The Los Angeles Dodgers flexed their way to an 8-1 win on Friday night against the new-look San Diego Padres at Dodger Stadium in their first matchup since the trade deadline.
Prior to Friday’s game, the Dodgers held a 5-2 advantage over the Padres this season and have dominated their National League West rivals since the second half of last year.
But Padres president of baseball operations AJ Preller completed a series of trades before the deadline, including the acquisition of both Juan Soto and Josh Bell from the Washington Nationals in exchange for several top prospects. They also added closer Josh Hader from the Milwaukee Brewers and Brandon Drury from the Cincinnati Reds.
With all the buzz surrounding the Padres, a blowout win for the Dodgers increased their division lead to 13.5 games, but Trea Turner dismissed the notion of it being any sort of statement game.
“I mean, you can write as many articles as you want, but I think our view of it might be different,” Turner said. “Not in a good or a bad way. But yeah, I think they got a lot better. Adding so much depth to their lineup, so it just seems like so many guys can hurt you know with Soto, JB and Drury over there.
“They definitely got better, but we took care of business tonight. Tony was great and our bullpen did well. More of that tomorrow hopefully.”
Heading into Saturday, the Dodgers and Padres have 11 more meetings in the regular season. Regardless of the lead in the division, Turner believes each game will have a high level of intensity given the star power.
“You can tell yourself whatever you want, and you can go yeah, ‘Let’s do this.’ But you’ve got to go out there and play,” Turner said. “Like I said, today has no effect on tomorrow. So they could come out and kick our butts tomorrow. That’s why you’ve got to show up each and every day.
“I think you just have to take it one step at a time, one game at a time. I know it’s boring, but that’s what we’ve done all year and it’s why we’re in the position that we’re in.”
The Dodgers were on the opposite side of the deadline flurry, making minor moves that provided depth and upside over major impact. Manager Dave Roberts said his club hasn’t changed their demeanor with the outside hype of the matchup.
“I obviously think the anticipation outside of the ballplayers is there, but the messaging has been consistent on our part as far as just focusing on ourselves and playing good baseball,” Roberts said. “If we do that, it’s easy to bet on the result.”
Friedman: Dodgers ‘looking forward’ to competition with Padres
Preller certainly lived up to his reputation as one of the most aggressive executives in baseball as he traded away a slew of the organization’s top prospects to complete the deals.
By going all-in, the Padres have their sights on a deep postseason run. “We fully expected it. AJ and his crew, they’re really good at what they do and really aggressive,” Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said of the Padres’ moves to not only acquire Soto but others as well.
“They made their team way better in the last couple of days. And we look forward to that competition. It wasn’t surprising to us.”
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