The Los Angeles Dodgers’ first series with the San Diego Padres at Petco Park more than lived up to expectations, as each game was tightly-contested, came with some drama and featured star-studded pitching matchups.
L.A. took two of the three contests and will next play San Diego this weekend at Dodger Stadium. Before that, they’ll travel to T-Mobile Park for a two-game Interleague series against the Seattle Mariners.
While much was made of facing the Padres, the Dodgers collectively downplayed the series and stressed the bigger picture.
“It’s April. The thing about this club and our teams the last couple years is we talk a lot about taking it one game at a time, worrying about today and doing everything we can to win a game today” Justin Turner said after Saturday’s game.
“Not worry about what happened yesterday or looking ahead to what’s coming tomorrow. I think a lot of teams talk about that, but this team is one of the best groups I’ve ever been around at actually executing that. Not letting the moment get too big, just trying to figure out a way to win the game.”
Having won eight consecutive National League West titles, the Dodgers are well aware of how important it is to keep the focus on one game at a time. “It’s taken time. Our guys understand the value of that,” manager Dave Roberts said of instilling that mindset.
“It’s not easy, but to play six months, there’s going to be tough times and you’ve got to grind. Just to kind of shorten the mentality allows you to perform better. Our guys, to a man, do that.”
Chris Taylor echoed those comments and believes the Dodgers need to keep their foot on the gas following an emotional series with the Padres. “Just keep going. I don’t think we came into this series any different than any other series,” Taylor said.
“I think we’re coming in and we’re trying to win a game each and every day. We’re not looking forward or backwards, and that’s what we’re going to do against the Mariners. We’re going to come in with the same intensity and focus, and hopefully play a good ballgame.”
Roberts: Dodgers not looking for edge in games vs. Padres
Given how well they match up, many expect the Dodgers and Padres to meet again in the postseason for a second consecutive year.
Playing in the same division, the teams will see each other 19 times before then. However, Roberts stopped short of saying the matchups will help L.A. gain any sort of advantage.
“I don’t know. We don’t look outward for an edge. I think we’re really good about focusing on how we play and the brand of baseball we play,” Roberts said.
“There’s certainly more series or teams that are going to be more magnified, but we’ve done pretty well the last five years when the Padres weren’t as good as they are. I think we’re going to keep doing the same things we’ve been doing.”
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