San Diego Padres fans fret over possible ‘Clayton Kershaw Curse’

During a game on May 5 at Petco Park, the Padres poked fun at the Dodgers’ pitcher with a meme on the Jumbotron.

SD Petco Park Padres May 2023

The Padres hosted the Red Sox at Petco Park earlier this month.

Photo via Michael Beausoleil + SDtoday

Baseball has long been riddled with superstitions. Now, some San Diego Padres fans believe the team has been cursed, leading to their major slump in the MLB standings.

We’ve got goosebumps (and not the lucky Rally Goose kind, sadly) — is it real? What’s happening here?

🔮 The precursor

On May 5, the Padres faced the Dodgers at Petco Park — the first showdown between the SoCal rivals since SD’s historic win over LA in the National League Division Series last October.

After the Padres won 5-2, the crowd went wild and the Jumbotron did too — flashing a meme of beloved Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw looking sad in the dugout, with superimposed tears running down his face. Some argue the joke pushed the envelope, and this is where things took a turn for the worse.

The Padres lost the two other home games in that series. The following weekend, the Dodgers swept the Padres in LA. Ouch.

SD Petco Park

The Padres will play the Dodgers again at Petco Park Friday, Aug. 4-Monday, Aug. 7.

Photo via Monica Garske + SDtoday

🪄 The “curse”

Cue the “Twilight Zone” theme, ‘cause things have gotten pretty weird since then — at least in the eyes of the Friar Faithful.

The Padres are now (gulp) No. 4 in the National League West standings, while the Dodgers are No. 1. Manny Machado fractured his left hand and is currently on the injured list, but may return to the field soon.

Many fans blame the Kershaw meme for the Padres’ ongoing lackluster performance. As one does in 2023, fans have taken to the internet to cope, even posting “respectful” photos of Kershaw on Reddit to “reverse the curse.”

And that’s the game, for now, folks.

Play ball

The Padres are currently on the road, with a series against the New York Yankees this weekend, May 26-May 29. Then, they’ll take on the Miami Marlins, May 30-June 1. They’ll face the Dodgers again at Petco Park on Aug. 4-Aug. 7.

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