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The last thing that Manny Machado expected coming into the 2023 season was to be placed in a similar situation as last year where he had to put the team on his back and carry the offensive load.

In fact, Machado probably thought that would never be the case again his career as the Padres were able to add Juan Soto, Xander Bogaerts, and welcome back Fernando Tatis Jr. However, a third straight loss to the Dodgers on Friday saw the 30-year-old slugger step up to the plate in the eighth and failed to capitalize after both of LA's stars homered right before.

There are few players in the MLB that enjoy facing off against the Boys in Blue more than Machado does. They are his former team after all and he played a key role in taking them down in the NLDS. However, he is now on the outside looking in with the Dodgers having a firm hold on first place and San Diego sitting at 19-20.

The 2022 NL MVP runner-up saw zero success when batting on against Dustin May and LA's receivers as he went 0-4 and was so frustrated following the loss that he skipped out on his postgame interviews.

Team manager Bob Melvin instead spoke on his performance and even though he acknowledged that Manny had a shot to save them, fingers should not be pointed at him.

“We had a chance in the eighth, too," said Melvin. "Manny hits a ball on the screws. We had first and third, nobody out. That kind of decided it.”

“We don’t revolve around one guy,” said Melvin. “He has swung the bat good the last few games and really had not much to show for it. He hit three line drives the day before, hit that one on the screws there. You always feel good about him at the plate in that situation.”

(Via The San Diego-Union Tribune)

2023 has not seen Machado get off to the start he hoped but the franchise believes that he is their leader for the next decade and will continue to trust in him. Minus this outing, he has been electric as of late and has seen his power, batting average, and OPS all climb back up.

Let's hope he continues his history of raking against Julio Urias on Saturday.