Oct 15, 2022 In San Diego The Los Angeles Dodgers have consistently put themselves in excellent run-scoring situations but failed to take advantage of them.
In the second game of the National League Division Series on Wednesday, the Nationals went 0 for 8 with runners in scoring position, and in game three on Friday, they went 0-for 9. They now have a 19-at-bat hitless streak in certain circumstances, which is tied for the longest streak of the season and the longest in a single playoff since 1981. They are now on the verge of having their historic season, which included 111 victories and a plus-334 run differential that was tied for the fourth-largest in history, end at the hands of the same San Diego Padres squad that they had dominated for the previous six months. This abrupt feeling is common during the postseason.
After Los Angeles’ 2-1 loss at Petco Park, which gave the Padres a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five series, first baseman Freddie Freeman lamented, “They’re throwing good right now, and we’re not hitting,” “We have to strike tomorrow.”
Joe Musgrove, a native of San Diego and a lifelong supporter of the Padres, will start Game 4 on Saturday in front of what is expected to be a raucous home crowd, with the chance to put an end to a Dodgers team that easily won the division. To beat a Padres bullpen that has held the Dodgers’ illustrious offense to nine baserunners and zero runs in 13 innings this season, the Dodgers, who will start left-hander Tyler Anderson, must get past Musgrove.
Jake Cronenworth’s two-out single in the first inning and Trent Grisham’s first-pitch home run in the fourth inning—his third this postseason after hitting only two in his final 40 regular-season games—both helped the Padres score. Although they had offensive difficulties as well, going 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position, they were nonetheless successful.
Regarding the Dodgers’ problems, Mookie Betts remarked, “Just timely hitting.” We don’t string together many at-bats to score runs, says the speaker.
Betts started the game with a single off Blake Snell, but she was unable to capitalize as Trea Turner, Freeman, and Will Smith all failed to advance. A theme would emerge from it. When the famous top of the Dodgers’ order failed to deliver, the Nos. 8 and 9 batters reached base with no outs on two separate occasions. In the third, Turner struck out, Betts lined out, and Smith popped out after Freeman walked. Betts delivered a sacrifice fly in the fifth inning, but Turner popped out and Freeman grounded out, preventing the tying score from scoring from third base.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts stated, “We’re being hyper-aggressive early in counts and not staying on the ball.” They’re getting us with spin and on the outside of the plate, they say.
In the eighth, Turner led off with an infield single, creating another chance. Next up were Freeman, Smith, and Muncy, but baseball’s fastest player, Turner, decided not to try to steal a base, which would have put the tying run in scoring position. Turner nearly got picked off by Padres reliever Robert Suarez the one time he appeared to be leaning toward doing so, which led Turner to jam his right ring finger against first base. After post-game X-rays on his finger came back negative, Turner went back to the dugout to get bandaged. He then observed the Nos. 3-5 batters bat in order.
Turner observed of the player’s lack of a steal attempt, “He’s pretty swift to the plate.” Although it appears as though he has a powerful leg kick, the times are actually quite quick. You must pick and select your opportunities to try to take them because he frequently delivers the ball under 1.3 seconds, with a handful of 1.4 seconds thrown in. I didn’t want to give them any easy outs because he was throwing the ball well.
The simple outs came in the inning after that, when Josh Hader—who has been playing more dominantly of late—quickly got through the Dodgers’ bottom half of the lineup, finishing with back-to-back strikeouts and rousing a sold-out, playoff-deprived crowd of 45,137.
In 2021, the Dodgers defeated the Padres in their final nine regular-season games. The next season, the Dodgers defeated the Padres 14-5 and amassed more than twice as many runs. They were 22 games better after 162 games. But it doesn’t matter anymore. The Padres are one win away from eliminating the team they’ve been chasing for the entirety of the franchise, never more aggressively than in these past four years, and are hosting a postseason series with fans in the stands for the first time since 2006.
The question of whether Betts is surprised that his star-studded team is in this situation was posed.
I’m not at all shocked, he declared. “They play good ball,” I said. Regular season has no significance. They have good play. We’ve not.