Dodgers supervisor Dave Roberts was once “surprised” and “a little taken aback” by way of New York Mets supervisor Buck Showalter’s request to have Padres pitcher Joe Musgrove checked for international substances earlier than the 6th inning of San Diego’s 6-0 National League wild-card clinching win in Citi Field Sunday night time.
Musgrove was once nearing the tip of a dominant seven-inning, one-hit, five-strikeout effort when Showalter requested group leader Alfonso Marquez to check the pitcher, who had his glove, arms and sweaty ears completely rubbed in what gave the look of a determined try by way of Showalter to disrupt Musgrove’s rhythm.
If anything else, it fired up Musgrove extra.
“I think that check kind of motivated me a little bit more and pushed me a little bit,” Musgrove stated earlier than Game 3 of the NL Division Series towards the Dodgers on Friday. “And I think my spin rates and everything went up even more after the check. It really fired me up to finish off the outing and kind of stick it to them.”
Which is why, if Musgrove is dominating the Dodgers in Game 4 on Saturday night time in Petco Park, there can be no try from the visiting dugout to rattle him.
“Buck knows whether it’s gamesmanship or whatever it might be — that was a decision he made,” Roberts stated. “I’m sure he had his reasons … I don’t know if I would have taken that approach.”
Musgrove stated the chants of “cheater” in New York didn’t hassle him up to feedback by way of the MLB Network’s Brian Kenny, who pointed to Musgrove’s larger spin charge and pace as indications he can have been dishonest.
“I was pretty offended and hurt by him going on the biggest platform in baseball, MLB Network, and spewing the things that he did, especially without evidence and proof,” Musgrove stated. “That bothered me, but you can’t get attached to it. As much as it offended me, I’m moving past it.”
Musgrove liked the truth that former players-turned-TV analysts reminiscent of Jake Peavy, Mike Lowell and Billy Ripken got here to his protection on MLB Network.
Musgrove is an El Cajon local who grew up rooting for the Padres and wears No. 44 in honor of Peavy, the previous San Diego ace who was once his favourite participant. Peavy will throw out the ceremonial first pitch earlier than Saturday night time’s recreation.
“Those are all guys that have played the game and been around,” Peavy stated. “I don’t know how much baseball Brian Kenny has played, and I feel like I take the opinion of those other guys a lot more than his.”
Dodgers left fielder Chris Taylor, who sat out the overall 5 video games of the common season on account of neck stiffness and didn’t play within the first two video games of the NLDS, returned to the lineup for Game 3.
Taylor, who stated earlier than the sport that he’s “100%,” were given a number of at-bats in an intrasquad recreation final Sunday and took a number of reside at-bats on Monday.
Though he hadn’t confronted an opposing pitcher in two weeks, he didn’t imagine it might take too lengthy to get locked in on the plate. Sometimes, as Taylor realized final October, when he opened the playoffs with a dramatic walk-off homer within the wild-card recreation towards St. Louis, it could actually take one swing.
“Last year was … actually, the wild-card game, I felt terrible,” Taylor stated. “That was just one of those things where one swing can kind of lock you back in.”
Taylor went directly to hit .351 (13 for 37) with a 1.202 on-base-plus-slugging proportion, 4 homers, 4 doubles and 12 RBIs in 11 playoff video games, the Dodgers bowing out in a six-game NL Championship Series to Atlanta.
“Obviously, that’s huge for your confidence going forward when you come up with a big hit like that,” stated Taylor, who struck out in the second one inning and level-headed out within the fourth inning of Game 3. I’m certain that performed a component in me feeling extra at ease and higher routinely, as neatly.”
When the Dodgers and Padres arrived at Petco Park on Friday, they discovered Fox tv cameras of their dugouts, they usually weren’t glad.
The digicam within the Padres dugout was once at the a long way finish. The one at the Dodgers’ aspect was once in a extra intrusive spot — proper by way of the doorway, the place it might have blocked the view from the bench. Further, the guests’ dugout is significantly smaller than the house group’s dugout.
Third baseman Manny Machado was once a number of the Padres gamers to bitch pregame. Justin Turner, pitching trainer Mark Prior and Roberts had been a number of the offended Dodgers at the box.
The protests had been sufficient to have the cameras got rid of and positioned within the photographer wells subsequent to the dugouts — the place they generally are for video games.
The cameras had been to start with positioned within the dugouts as a result of officers didn’t need to block the view of enthusiasts, in keeping with an individual with wisdom of the location. It’s one thing the Padres did for the All-Star Game at Petco Park in 2016.
But the Dodgers contended that the perspectives of gamers and coaches are extra essential for a playoff recreation, the primary in San Diego since 2006.
Staff author Jorge Castillo contributed to this file.