Live within the past or glance anyplace rather then ahead at your individual peril, Padres. Keep even a toe dipped into the heady deliciousness of sending the Dodgers scrambling for golfing tee instances and face actual and critical possibility.
Forget any conceivable confidence-padding ideas about the Phillies being the general crew to skid into the NL playoffs with 87 wins. You had 89. The Braves used 88 as a launching pad to final season’s global championship.
You’ve were given Yu Darvish. They’ve were given Aaron Nola. You’ve were given Joe Musgrove. They’ve were given Zack Wheeler. You’ve were given NL MVP candidate Manny Machado and ubertalented Juan Soto. They’ve were given 2021 MVP Bryce Harper with 3 postseason house runs and a gaudy .435 reasonable, paired with NL house run chief Kyle Schwarber.
San Diego can wallow within the bliss of swinging a wrecking ball during the Dodgers, however now not the crew that represents it. When the NLCS lurches to existence at 5:03 p.m. Tuesday inside Petco Park, the Padres must keep away from a Dodgers hangover in any respect prices.
Keep the ones eyes on the horizon. No peeking on the rearview reflect.
“I don’t expect something like that,” Padres supervisor Bob Melvin mentioned Monday. “Now, it was needed. This team needed to beat the Dodgers at some point in time to get to a certain place where we are right now.
“Just being here one year, I felt the impact of seasons before, too, and not being able to get that done. During the course of the season, it did not feel good not winning a series against them. But we finally got a chance at the end and won the biggest (series) of the season.
“We are very aware that (the Phillies have) played extremely well, as well as we have, too. This is just as big a chore as any of the other series and I think our guys know that.”
They higher. At this spot on the calendar, dropping focus — even for an immediate — can also be deadly.
Stiff-arming the Dodgers already makes this season really feel like an unqualified good fortune, which amplifies the risk. The edge that put you in place to do away with a 111-win juggernaut and shake San Diego to its roots calls for sprucing every spherical to make a World Series conceivable.
Winning the ones forms of video games towards the ones varieties of groups can exhaust the emotional fuel tank. As Bob Seger sang, flip the web page … temporarily.
Machado vowed to do exactly that.
“I think as a group, we all enjoyed that night,” Machado mentioned of Saturday’s raucous clincher that kicked open the door to the franchise’s first NLCS since 1998. “Obviously beating one of the best teams in baseball, you soak it all in. You enjoy it. Then once Saturday was over, focus was on to the next.
“We’ve got to stay focused on what the real goal is, and it’s to bring a championship to this city. I don’t think any of us are losing that focus.”
Then once more, gamers say that type of factor. In the instant, nearly they all imply it. The Yankees and Red Sox robotically swear the focus stays laser-like, however each have fallen sufferer to the energized meat grinder after a heated postseason collection with hovering stakes towards a nagging nemesis roars to a detailed.
Some harness the momentum and select up steam. Others pop out flat.
“I can’t talk for everybody else, but as far as myself, yeah, there is a sense of satisfaction being able to beat the Dodgers and being here,” Darvish, the Game 1 starter, mentioned by the use of translator Shingo Horie. “But obviously this is not the end of the road for us. We’ve got more games to play. That’s where my focus is. Kind of plain and simple.”
Melvin mentioned rebounding from large losses can tell the method as groups attempt to move ahead from large wins. Though the eventualities aren’t precisely the similar, the gear used can also be.
“Early in the season, we were able to bounce back from some difficult losses,” he mentioned. “During the course of the season in general, we’ve been able to take what felt like a crushing blow and then come back the next day. … We’ve been able to put those games in the past. That’s an important trait to have in the postseason, because every game you lose feels like the end of the world.
“You have to turn the page and come back with the same type of vigor that you have in another game. Hopefully that serves us well.”
There are some causes to consider the Padres can sidestep a case of Dodger-itis.
They’ve been secure all over, by no means successful or dropping greater than 5 video games in a row. Avoiding wild swings has been irritating when the offense lacked, but it surely additionally way this staff didn’t tumble off the cliff’s edge when issues were given sticky.
They even have such a lot of new faces — together with the trade-deadline quartet of Soto, Josh Bell, Brandon Drury and Josh Hader — who’ve now not lived and breathed the Dodgers factor yr after yr.
Without a doubt, regardless that, the facility to hit the reset button shall be a think about figuring out if the Padres can take a distinct season farther towards the abruptly bad Phillies.
“It’s baseball,” Harper reminded Monday. “Anything can happen in baseball.”
Just ask the Dodgers.