Padres back ‘relevant’ Jurickson Profar after clutch hit vs. Dodgers

LOS ANGELES — San Diego Padres outfielder Jurickson Profar delivered the game-winning hit that led to a series victory Sunday at Dodger Stadium. The fact that his seventh-inning three-run double came a day after Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Will Smith called it “irrelevant” did not go unnoticed by one of the team’s most eminent people of Profar.

“Isn’t that relevant? I don’t know. You’ll have to look in the dictionary on that,” Padres third baseman Manny Machado said after San Diego’s 6-3 victory. “He has led this team for a long time. The numbers speak for themselves. Every time he comes here and steps on this field, he has a big impact on the game. In the end, the boy got 10 years in the game. “There are only a handful of baseball players, in all of baseball, who achieve that goal, so I have to put some respect to his name. “

Profar objected to being grounded by a cutter from Dodgers starter Gavin Stone in the fifth inning Saturday, triggering a benches-clearing incident. It was a surprising reaction from the Dodgers, who noted that they were leading by just one run and Stone was pitching a perfect game.

Smith, speaking to AM 570 after Saturday’s contest, said of Profar: “I don’t know why we would cast him. He’s irrelevant.”

A day later, with the score tied at 3 in the seventh inning, Profar responded in the best possible way, coming up with the bases loaded and one out and lining a JP Feyereisen offering off the top of the infield wall central.

Profar, a beloved clubhouse presence who was brought back with a $1 million contract during spring training, has an OPS of .960 so far.

“I can tell you this: Profar is very relevant to us,” Padres manager Mike Shildt said. “He’s a glue guy for us. Guy has 10 years in the major leagues. There’s relevance there. He did a good job tonight with the three-run double. But beyond that , Pro is a pro. He is a very big part of the San Diego team. He is very important to me. I absolutely believe that he is very important to his teammates. »

While on the microphone for ESPN’s “Sunday Night Baseball,” Profar admitted that Stone wasn’t trying to throw at him and mostly laughed about the incident. After the match, Profar refused to respond to Smith’s remark.

“I’m not going to comment on that,” Profar said with a laugh when asked if he felt “relevant.” “I’m just going to play, like I did.”

Asked if he had heard of Smith’s jab, Profar said: “Yeah, I’ve heard it. But I’m not a media guy. I’m showing up there.”

While Profar tried to dispel the feeling of helplessness, this incident was just one more incident – however small – in a budding rivalry that has seen many tense moments over the past few years.

Machado, a former Dodger booed loudly every time he returns to play in Los Angeles, said he doesn’t pay much attention. But he made it clear he was opposed to it.

He also came up with a new nickname for Profar: Mr. Relevant.

“You have a guy who’s 10 years in the league; I think he’s a little more relevant than irrelevant, like (Smith) said,” Machado said. “You have to show respect to some people’s names. And I think that’s what this game is losing: They’re losing respect for some of these guys who have been here a long, long time.”

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