Josh Bell and Trent Grisham combined for three home runs, five RBI and scored seven runs to beat the Mets in their Wild Card series matchup. Now they will load up for the rematch the west coast has been waiting for against Mookie Betts, Dave Roberts, Trayce Thompson and the Los Angeles Dodgers.
It’s playoff time and the bros are out in full swing, playing for big stakes.
San Diego has been waiting for this matchup since 2020, when they got swept 3-0 by Los Angeles in the “Bubble” World Series.
That series win not only propelled the Dodgers to their first World Series win since 1988 and gave Betts, Price and manager Dave Roberts their second championship rings, it showed the Padres could finally stand toe-to-toe with some of the Majors’ top teams, if they could find a few missing a few pieces.
Fast forward to 2021, when San Diego entered as big favorites but ultimately failed to make the playoffs after an injury to Fernando Tatis Jr. and the Dodgers ran into a buzzsaw in the N.L.C.S. against the Brave. Both teams were left searching to reach another level.
That set the stage for 2022, which began with Dave Roberts guaranteeing a World Series win for his Dodgers.
Mookie Betts sends a message and talks about his DJ skills and his favorite rapper. pic.twitter.com/nnTdS1Pal7
— MLBbro.com (@MLBbrodotcom) July 23, 2022
As Mookie Betts told us at the All-Star Game, anything less would be selling them short. The big-spending Dodgers added All-Star first baseman Freddie Freeman to give them the best one-two-three punch in baseball along with Betts in the leadoff spot and Trae Turner behind him.
Those comments resonated within the locker room as the Dodgers finished with a franchise record 111 wins, mostly without their best starting pitcher and after somewhat of a slow start.
Wins began accumulating for the L.A. when they promoted Trayce Thompson, the brother of NBA Champion, Golden State Warriors guard Klay. Thompson sparked the offense when he replaced Betts after he went on the Injured List for a few weeks. He hit over .300 between June and August, finishing the year at .256 with 13 home runs and 41 RBI.
The Padres were without Tatis Jr. to begin the year and it turned out he would not be playing a game in their uniform for a while after he was suspended for PED use right before he made his comeback. For most teams that may spell the end to their seasons, but weeks before San Diego made a blockbuster trade, acquiring Juan Soto and Josh Bell from the Washington Nationals.
Soto is one of the best players in baseball, has already turned down a $440M contract offer and he is only 23, while Bell has earned himself a bag in upcoming free agency.
Bell ended the season with one of the highest batting averages for any switch hitter and was robbed from an All-Star selection after hitting .358 with seven home runs, seven doubles and 18 RBI in June. Padres outfielder Trent Grisham was the MVP of Wild Card weekend. If Tatis Jr. was playing, Grisham may have been made the odd man out, but now he is doing what you are supposed to do in October, make a name for yourself.
Games 1 and 2 of the Divisional Series will be played on Tuesday and Wednesday.