Manny Machado went from the Los Angeles Dodgers to the San Diego Padres this offseason, and now he’s starting to punish his former team.
In his first at-bat against Clayton Kershaw on Friday, Machado took the Dodgers ace deep to left, and then admired the ball.
He even tipped his own cap.
The pitch? An 88 mph slider. The distance? Four hundred thirty-seven feet, and quite a greeting from Machado to his former teammate to give the Padres a two-run lead in the first inning.
This came a few weeks after Kershaw gave up a homer to Yasiel Puig, now on the Cincinnati Reds, in Puig’s first at-bat facing Kershaw.
Something about Kershaw and ex-teammates taking him deep right away.
Machado’s homer is a statement beyond the two runs that crossed the plate. The Padres signed him in an effort to contend in the division and try to dethrone the Dodgers, who have won the NL West six years straight. San Diego entered Friday’s game 1.5 games back of Los Angeles in the standings.
Unfortunately for them, it was the Dodgers who got the final word in the series opener. Los Angeles rallied from a three-run deficit to win the game 4-3.
If both teams stay in contention, there will be many more dramatic showdowns to come between these teams and their stars, such as Kershaw and Machado, this season and beyond.
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