The San Diego Padres staged a furious innings comeback in Game 4 of the National League Division Series on Saturday night and eliminated the playoffs with a 5-3 victory over the top-seeded Los Angeles Dodgers. With this, they won the series with a score of 3-1. The streak would be the Padres’ first in the NLCS since 1998, where they would face the Phillies.
In Game 4, the Dodger offense finally got some timely hitting in the second to take a 2-0 lead. That lead grew to 3-0 on Will Smith’s sac fly in the top of the seventh. However, in the bottom of the seventh, the Padres stormed back to within five runs and a lead that the San Diego bullpen has held almost perfect in the series.
Now for some takeaways from the Game 4 clincher.
The seventh inning was one to remember for the Padres
Going into the top of the seventh, the Padres trailed 3-0 and had just a 10.8 percent chance of winning Game 4 based on baseline win expectations. Then they worked against the Dodger bullpen. Here is the step by step:
- Jurickson walks proffer.
- Trent Grisham singles. Austin Nola Singles.
- Yancy Almonte relieves Tommy Conley.
- Ha-Seong Kim doubled, scored a run.
- Juan Soto singled, scoring a run.
- Manny Machado is out.
- Brandon Drury comes out.
- Alex Vecia makes it 1-0 for Almonte.
- Soto steals second base.
- Jake Cronenworth does this:
It became 5-3, and a 10.8 percent chance of a Padres win turned into a 90.2 percent chance of a Padres win. Given the Padres’ “little brother” status when it comes to the Dodgers, it’s no exaggeration to call it the greatest inning in Padres ownership history, given the stakes.
The Padres bullpen got the job done again
Yes, the San Diego relief corps allowed the first run of the series since opener Joe Musgrove, but it didn’t come in official fashion (the Dodgers pushed across a run in their small ball against Steven Wilson in the seventh). After the Padres blew the lead, the bullpen pitched the final six outs without a play. Padre Pena came through the first three games of the NLDS in Game 4 with these numbers: 13 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 15 SO, 4 BB. On Saturday, they allowed one run in three innings, giving them a 0.56 ERA for the series. That’s the kind of lockdown relief you need to win the postseason these days.
Tyler Anderson pitched for the Dodgers
The 32-year-old retread lefty continues to be a quiet savior for the Dodgers. Armed with a refined pitch combination and modified changeup grip, Anderson had a career year in 2022: a team-high 178 ⅔ innings with a 2.57 ERA and 4.06 K/BB ratio. On Saturday, he authored the Dodgers’ biggest start of the season, spinning five scoreless innings with six strikeouts, two walks and two hits allowed. At one point, Anderson retired nine in a row. How Anderson handles the Padres in 2022 is fitting. In the regular season, he made four starts against the Padres and thrived in those combined 24 innings: 1.88 ERA, no runs allowed, 15 hits, 16 strikeouts, six walks, .502 OPS vs.
A great Dodger season ends in disappointment
During the regular season, the Dodgers set a franchise record with 111 wins, and they produced a plus-334 earned run differential — both of the best two-hit marks in MLB history. Three October losses shouldn’t undo what was written in 162 games, but the reality is the Dodgers will be remembered again for coming up short in the postseason. Dave Roberts’ club has won 217 games over the past two regular seasons.
NLCS is set
It will be the Padres and the Philadelphia Phillies in the NLCS. The best-of-seven showdown begins Tuesday in San Diego with a trip to the World Series. The Padres, incidentally, have never won a World Series. During the regular season, the Phillies won four of seven head-to-head games against San Diego and outscored them 21-15 in those contests.