LOS ANGELES — Manny Machado expressed his utter shock when reporters approached him after the San Diego Padres’ weekend against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
For him – and he believes the rest of his clubhouse – it was just one game and a series amid many, which in no way indicates a gap that exists between the two divisional rivals.
“Keep playing baseball,” Machado said after the Padres’ 4-0 loss at Dodger Stadium on Sunday when asked what he took away from that series. “It’s plain and simple. Nothing else.”
However, this series was ripe for thorough investigation, flawed as the approach might be for a sport that can be confusing at smaller sample sizes. Earlier in the week, the Padres had traded 23-year-old superstar Juan Soto — along with Josh Bell, Brandon Drury and Josh Hader — in a brave bid to break into World Series competition and defeat the Dodgers for good.
They arrived in LA with little chance of gaining any meaningful ground in the National League West, but aiming to match their new team against arguably the best in the sport.
But the Padres fell eight runs down early Friday, quickly squandering a small lead midway through Saturday’s game and standing little chance against Tyler Anderson on Sunday. The Padres are now 2-8 against the Dodgers this season and are 15 1/2 games behind them in the division.
With that in mind, Machado was asked if he’s worried about how the Padres are performing with the Dodgers — a team they’re bound to face in the postseason.
“Affected?” he shot back. “Why should I worry? Not at all.”
What gives you that confidence?
“I fuck Manny Machado,” he joked.
The Padres don’t just have Machado, of course. They also have soto. And bell. And Druri. And Jake Cronenworth. In those last three games, those five went 6 against 49 together. The Padres believe this group will obviously be a lot better than they should be. And they’re also eyeing the prospect of returning Fernando Tatis Jr., one of the sport’s most electrifying players, to the lineup in a week or two.
Those names, coupled with a star-studded pitching staff, make the Padres think they’re as good as anyone, even the Dodgers. And that one three-game streak shouldn’t mean much beyond that. It was a sentiment echoed by many at Dodger Stadium who visited the clubhouse on Sunday night, particularly Soto, Cronenworth, Myers and Padres manager Bob Melvin.
Machado, defensive yet determined, probably spoke best to him.
“We know what we have and that’s it,” he said, later adding, “We don’t have any pressure here. We go out there and play baseball every day. Whatever that day brings us, we’re going to go out there.” there and give everything we have.”
https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/34367426/manny-machado-new-look-san-diego-padres-not-all-concerned-sweep-los-angeles-dodgers Manny Machado, new-look San Diego Padres ‘not at all’ concerned despite sweep by Los Angeles Dodgers