In the San Diego Padres’ first playoff game with fans since 2006, the hosts gave the crowd a kick as the Padres defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers by a score of 2-1. With the win in Game 3 of the National League Division Series, the Padres took a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five series. That means the Padres had one win over the elimination of the Dodgers, who won a franchise-record 111 games during the regular season.
Padres starter Blake Snell retired 5 1/3 innings of a one-run ball and the San Diego bullpen kept putting outs. On offense, Trent Grisham hit his third home run of the 2022 postseason.
The winner of this series advances to the NLCS to face the winner of the Philadelphia Phillies-Atlanta Braves NLDS.
Now, for Game 3 takeaways.
Tony Gonsolin couldn’t give the Dodgers much
Thanks to a forearm injury, Gonsolin missed more than a month and only made it back in time to make a shortened start against the Rockies on October 3. In Game 3 on Friday night, he was not himself. The command was severely lacking and Gonsolin’s fastball speed was a tad lower (just like it was against Colorado in his last start). He endured a first inning of 31 pitches and Dave Roberts was moved to warm up Andrew Heaney in that first frame. Things could have gotten worse in the second, but Gonsolin was able to escape disaster, thanks in part to a failed bunt attempt by Jurickson Profar.
Roberts had planned a line of about 75 pitches for Gonsolin in Game 3, but he only lasted 42 pitches and 1 1/3 innings. During that period, he gave up one run on four hits with one strikeout and one walk. During the first two games of this series, the Dodgers made eight relief-appearances and eight relief-innings. Even with the off day for Game 3 and the first round bye, the LA pen is racking up some recent miles. That trend continued on Friday.
The Padres’ bullpen has been nails
During the first two games of this series, the San Diego bullpen entered these numbers: 9 1/3 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 9 SO, 4 BB. In the crucial Game 3, that same pin was then tasked with protecting a one-run lead to 11 outs – including Nick Martinez in the sixth who inherits a runner in scoring position with one out. Once again, the San Diego Auxiliary Corps rose to the challenge, doing so against one of the best offenses in MLB. Now for those updated numbers for the NLDS: 13 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 15 SO, 4 BB.
Trent Grisham continued with his post-season fireworks
Pads midfielder and number 8 batter Trent Grisham endured a pretty rough season at the plate, but he was terribly upset about the Mets in the Wild Card Series, as he homered twice in three games. In the first two games of the NLDS against the Dodgers, Grisham didn’t do much, but he rediscovered his first-round power strike in the fourth inning of Game 3:
Andrew Heaney’s one left the bat at 109.8 mph and traveled 389 feet. That third home run of the 2022 postseason — with just six games played — set Grisham into an elite franchise business:
He has at least two more games to match or break Jim Leyritz’s record. Most importantly, the Padres probably wouldn’t be in their current state without Grisham’s power surge in October.
The Dodgers again struggled with runners in scoring position
The Dodgers came empty-handed into RISP situations for a second game in a row on Friday-evening. In Game 3 they went 0 for 9 with RISP, meaning they are now 0 for their last 19 in such places. Suffice it to say that the Dodgers are a few timely hits away from this series that is very different.
History favors the Padres
Not surprisingly, the Padres are in a good position with a 2-1 lead in a best-of-five series. In the history of the best-of-five League Division Series, one team has taken a 2-1 lead in the series 67 times, and 49 of those teams with a 2-1 lead have won the series. In other words, only 26.9 percent of the teams trailing 2-1 in the LDS have come back to win the said LDS.
For the Dodgers, the first step towards defying odds and history comes in Game 4 on Saturday. Tyler Anderson goes for LA against Joe Musgrove, and the first pitch is scheduled for 9:07 PM ET at Petco Park in San Diego.