SAN DIEGO -- Dodgers pitcher David Price, who was part of the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry, said a rivalry doesn’t truly begin until you have your first benches-clearing situation.
Well, the Dodgers and Padres are batting 1.000 in that department this season.
After a benches-clearing situation in the 10th inning on Friday, the bad blood between the two clubs carried over into the Dodgers' 2-0 win on Saturday at Petco Park. In the fourth inning, it appeared as if Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw struck out Jurickson Profar to end the inning, but the Padres’ utility man argued that it was catcher’s interference.
The Padres ultimately won the review and Profar was awarded first base. But Kershaw took exception to Profar’s swing. Kershaw felt that Profar attempted to hit Austin Barnes’ glove on purpose in order to get the free base.
“That’s a [expletive] swing,” Kershaw yelled at Profar from across the diamond. Profar quickly responded with an expletive and both benches got up to the top step of their respective dugouts, but didn’t fully clear.
“That’s a little scary. Barnes could’ve been seriously injured on that play,” Kershaw said after the game. “He basically swung straight down and backwards. I’m not saying it was intentional, but that was not a big league swing right there.
“I asked the umpire if I could just hit the catcher’s glove every time because I have a much better chance of doing that than hitting the ball. There’s some gray area within that rule that might need to be looked at, for sure.”
The Padres also don’t believe that Profar was intentionally trying to hit Barnes’ glove. After all, Kershaw was on his game on Saturday, striking out eight over six scoreless innings.
“Kershaw tunnels his pitches so well, and it’s tough to see the rotation,” said Padres manager Jayce Tingler. “I definitely, 100 percent, do not believe that Profar is trying to do that. I believe he’s up there battling, doing everything, seeing it deep. It’s tough to pick up rotation. Profar’s not going to go up there and try to hit the guy’s glove. He’s up there battling.”
The two teams are scheduled to play at least 17 more times this season. There’s no love lost between them. We’ll see what's in store on Sunday when Trevor Bauer faces off against Blake Snell.
“They’re a good club, and obviously we know that,” said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. “We knew it was going to be emotional and intense, and it has certainly lived up to the billing.”