J.D. Martinez: Padres-Dodgers Rivalry Useful For Postseason

Originally published by DodgerBlue.com

Although J.D. Martinez was with the Los Angeles Dodgers last weekend for their series against the San Diego Padres, he did not play in any of the three games due to still being on the 10-day injured list because of lower back tightness.

Much has been made of the budding rivalry between the Padres and Dodgers, which Martinez has already enjoyed being part of even as L.A. maintains their usual approach.

“Over here we feel like it’s all the same. It feels like it’s been, as far as our preparation and the way that we get ready, it’s another team,” Martinez began.

“Obviously the fans get really into it and there’s a lot more energy out there, you can feel it. Especially when we were in San Diego, I felt like it was really rowdy there for a bit. It’s cool though, I love it.

“I’m a firm believer, like seeing in ’18 when we played the Yankees and it was just insane. It was like World Series-type atmosphere every game. I think these kind of environments where it’s rowdy, it’s loud, a lot of pressure, prepares you for the playoffs.”

Martinez was activated on Friday and has gone 2-for-7 with one home run and three RBI through the first two games of the series at Dodger Stadium. His three-run homer on Saturday provided the Dodgers with a decided lead in the bottom of the first inning.

The Dodgers went 14-5 against the Padres during the 2022 regular season, which seemed to squash much of the talk about a rivalry brewing. However, that changed when the Padres eliminated the Dodgers in the National League Division Series.

Then after winning the series opener at Petco Park last weekend, the Padres added another layer to the discourse by showing a meme of Clayton Kershaw crying on their video board.

J.D. Martinez getting comfortable

After a bit of an uneven start to his first season with the Dodgers, Martinez is getting more familiar in the new setting.

“At the beginning, I felt like I was pressing a little bit trying to do too much,” he acknowledged. “But we’ve got a good enough team. I don’t really do anything, really. Just do what I know how to do and if it’s me that night, it’s me. If it’s the other eight hitters, it’s the other eight hitters. Our lineup is really tough.”

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