"We really need to step it up and stand up and beat those guys" - Padres' new reliever Yuki Matsui determined to take down the Dodgers 

Padres
Padres' new reliever Yuki Matsui determined to take down the Dodgers

The newest addition to the San Diego Padres’ bullpen, Yuki Matsui, is not mincing his words when it comes to the team‘s rivalry with the Los Angeles Dodgers. In a recent statement, Matsui expressed his determination to elevate the Padres’ game and take down their long-standing rivals.

Matsui’s candid remarks shed light on the competitive atmosphere between the two teams, especially considering the LA Dodgers’ dominance in the division over an extended period. The left-handed reliever, who led Nippon Professional Baseball in saves for the past two seasons, brings a proven track record to the Padres, and he’s eager to make an impact in the major leagues.

Yuki Matsui led the NPB in saves last season.
Yuki Matsui led the NPB in saves last season.

Acknowledging the Los Angeles Dodgers’ overwhelming popularity in Japan, Matsui is aware of the challenge that lies ahead. However, he is not shying away from the task at hand. In a division where the Dodgers have consistently reigned supreme, and now have one of the best teams ever assembled, Matsui believes it‘s time for the San Diego Padres to step up and topple their rivals.

Yuki Matsui expects Padres to be able to compete against all-powerfull Dodgers

The Padres’ bullpen, in particular, is undergoing a transformation, with Matsui being a crucial part of the team’s plans. While the ninth innings remains up for grabs, Matsui understands that he needs to earn his place on the mound, despite the expectations set during the free agency:

“I’ll be honest with you: In Japan it seems like it’s Dodgers — all Dodgers now... But we’re in the same division and obviously they’ve been winning the division for an extended period of time now, so we really need to step it up and stand up and beat those guys.
“Hopefully I can be a part of this team to help do that.”

With a potentially hefty contract, Matsui is ready to prove himself in San Diego. The Padres, having lost key pitchers in the previous season, are rebuilding their bullpen, and Matsui’s arrival is a significant step in that direction.

The Japanese pitcher’s motivation is apparent, fueled by his disappointment in the recent World Baseball Classic where he felt he couldn’t perform at his best. Now, with a chance to play in the MLB and contribute to a team with aspirations to challenge the Dodgers, Matsui is more motivated than ever.

As he prepares to face formidable opponents, including his fellow countrymen Shohei Ohtani and Yoshinobu Yamamoto now with the LA Dodgers, Matsui’s determination and work ethic indicate that he is ready to embrace the challenge and play a pivotal role in the Padres’ quest to dethrone the Dodgers in the NL West. Padres fans can undoubtedly look forward to Matsui’s passion and skill making a significant impact on the team’s fortunes in the upcoming season.

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Edited by Pablo Ricalde