Dodgers keep tempers in check against Padres
The Dodgers and Padres played a peaceful game of baseball Thursday night in San Diego.
That’s worthy of notice. So is the final score: Padres 6, Dodgers 3.
From all appearances, the two teams have set aside their lingering animosities that extend from an April fight between Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke and Padres outfielder Carlos Quentin. At least it appears that way.
That’s a good thing. The Dodgers have more pressing concerns, specifically the long road that will lead them into contention in the National League West. Every defeat pushes them farther back; every victory makes them believe they can throw their disappointing season into gear.
But Thursday’s loss was another tough one, keeping them firmly locked into last place in a division that might be theirs for the taking with a little more offense and a little better pitching.
They are now 9-22 against the NL West and have lost 10 of their past 11 to division opponents. You can’t win if you don’t beat the teams ahead of you; it’s as simple as that.
So brawling should be the last thing on their minds.
Whatever bad feelings linger are probably better set aside, at least until next spring or next season. In baseball, there’s always time for payback – and you can be certain the Dodgers will get theirs. Just not this season.
Quentin has a bad left shoulder and sat out his sixth consecutive game, but Padres manager Bud Black said he might return by the weekend. That would bring him back just in time to face Greinke on Saturday afternoon.
Under normal circumstances, it would be an interesting confrontation, at least to see how Greinke pitches to Quentin. But it makes no sense to throw an inside pitch or even plunk the Padres left fielder. Can you imagine how transparent that would be?
Besides, the Dodgers don’t need to be known as a bunch of brawling losers. They’ve fought with the Padres and the Diamondbacks; another melee does them no good.
On Thursday, they got home runs from Yasiel Puig and A.J. Ellis, but little else. In fact, Puig struck out three times after his homer and made the last out of the game when he fanned on a slider from Huston Street. He also stranded five runners.
Just another loss for a team that can’t afford to keep losing. Or continue fighting.