Dodgers remind the loaded Padres that they’re still the team to beat

Cody Bellinger takes Luis Garcia and Padres deep.

Cody Bellinger takes Luis Garcia and Padres deep.
Picture: AP

The Dodgers couldn’t be more concerned with Padres and trading deadlines.

You can’t pay them to even raise an eyebrow.

The Padres could have traded for Juan Soto, Shohei Ohtani, Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron, and Babe Ruth, and the Dodgers wouldn’t keep an eye on them.

After San Diego acquired Soto, Josh Bell, Brandon Drury, and Josh Hader in the San Diego deadline, everyone was ready to crown them as National League champions. I think the mayor of San Diego, Todd Gloria, planned the World Series parade.

But it seems they’ve all forgotten one important thing: They still need to play baseball.

The Dodgers and Padres opened a trio of games last weekend at Dodger Stadium. All the new faces of the Padres are there. It was supposed to be the unofficial coronation of baseball’s new best team.

ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball channel even chose to interview Soto and Padres owner Peter Seidler. No one on the team had the best record in baseball. No one on the team that Vin Scully spent his 67-year career on. It was clearly supposed to be the start of the Padres’ race to glory in the NL West.

Well, that’s not it.

The Dodgers swept the series, edging past the Padres 20-4, and extending their NL West lead to 15.5 games over the second-placed Padres.

Dodger pitches only once earned in the entire series, coming in the 9th inning of Friday night’s 8-1 game. It was pure dominance from the first pitch of Friday night’s game through to the last on Sunday night. The Padres don’t even look like they’re in the same league as Boys in Blue.

During the year, the Dodgers have won eight out of 10 games against the Friars, and will meet them nine more times before the season.

“Just wait until Fernando Tatis returns.”

That seems to be the constant excuse from those around Padres. I will return them immediately.

Just wait until Walker Buehler, Dustin May, Blake Treinen, Clayton Kershaw, Justin Turner, Brusdar Graterol and Edwin Rios return.

The rest of the tournament must be terrified. What the Dodgers are doing this season is unprecedented.

They are 75-33, by far the team with the most members in baseball, and are moving fast with 112 wins. Andrew Friedman knew he didn’t need to make any drastic moves during this trading deadline – so he didn’t. He knows the team is doing well enough to win the World Championship. And he knows they will only get better when their people return from IL in the next few weeks.

The MLB record for most wins in a single season is 116, set by the 1906 Cubs and 2001 Mariners. We might have to start talking about the 2022 Dodgers potentially setting up a new one.

The Dodgers are the best team in the NL West, the National League, and the entire league. And this weekend only confirmed one thing: The Dodgers are the Padre of San Diego.

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