The San Diego Padres. They try so hard to be relevant, then top out at an NLCS appearance. And, on the heels of that momentum, they start the 2023 season 18-17 with a back-breaking series loss to the "chief rival" Los Angeles Dodgers.
In short order, the Dodgers erased the stink of last year's NLDS loss to the Pads by taking the final two contests of the three-game weekend set. Yeah, maybe don't troll Clayton Kershaw after securing the first win on Friday? You have to know that'll never end well for you.
LA spoiled two Padres leads in the top of the ninth on Saturday and Sunday, grabbing both victories in extras in the process. But everyone was able to see it on Sunday Night Baseball's nationally televised broadcast.
In the top of the ninth with two outs, Josh Hader got behind 3-1 in the count against Mookie Betts and tried to sneak a fastball by him. Nice try, buddy. That'll be a solo homer and a tie game. Silence in San Diego. Well, not completely silent, because there were plenty of Dodgers fans making their presence known!
Padres Twitter gets owned after two Dodgers weekend comebacks
Then, in the top of the 10th, the Padres got a taste of the Dodgers' rookies. A Michael Busch RBI single and James Outman two-run homer put this one out of reach, while San Diego failed to get a single baserunner each in their last two innings at the plate.
The Padres and their fans aren't exactly fast learners, but perhaps this weekend taught them a lesson. One playoff series victory over a division rival doesn't give you permanent reign over them.
The aftermath was the best part, too. Julio Urías, who is famously soft-spoken, took a shot at the Padres in the postgame when asked about the crying Kershaw on the jumbotron Friday.
And then you had the good old savagery on Twitter, courtesy of Dodgers fans -- the best in the business. San Diego was ready to walk out of Petco Park and enjoy the rest of their Sunday until their world came crashing down.
That was the collective sold out crowd at Petco, turning to their left or right only to see Dodgers fans celebrating Betts' clutch bomb and the newly gifted momentum they would use in the 10th to slam the door shut. Now, the Padres must respond this coming weekend during a weekend series in LA, because the next time these two teams will face off after that is August.
How about a little Tatis dance to cap this one off? If he's going to try and tune out the boos and jeers with his moves, he's going to be pretty exhausted at Dodger Stadium this weekend when he's more than likely given a harsh welcome back.
This is how the little brother-big brother relationship goes. The little brother gets his most satisfying victory yet, only to be knocked down three more pegs.