On Friday, Petco Park held its first postseason game in front of fans since 2006. It was as loud as ever. The next day, the crowd at home was quieter as the still-powerful Dodgers, trying to keep from being eliminated, built and kept an early lead.
Before the bottom of the seventh inning, that happened. In an amazing comeback, the Padres sent 10 batters to the plate and scored 5 runs in a row to catch up to the Dodgers, who were stunned.
Two innings later, Josh Hader pitched a scoreless ninth inning to seal a huge upset and send San Diego to the National League Championship Series for the first time since 1998.
The Padres win, 5-3. They won three straight NLDS games, the last one in epic, come-from-behind fashion, and have slayed the dragon up the freeway. They’ll have home-field advantage in the unlikeliest of CS matchups vs the Phillies. The Dodgers and their 111-win season are done.
— Alden González (@Alden_Gonzalez) October 16, 2022
On Saturday, for most of the first six innings, it seemed like the Padres were getting ready for a big breakthrough. Local teen Joe Musgrove battled through six innings of a two-run ball with no assistance.
Tyler Anderson, who started for the Dodgers, threw five scoreless innings. In the seventh, when it was the Padres’ turn to bat, there were already two runners on base. The Dodgers were up 3-0 and looked like they were going to force a winner-take-all Game 5 at Chavez Ravine.
Then, Jurickson Profar walked to start the game. Trent Grisham got a hit. The Padres’ first run was scored by a single by Austin Nola. With his double, Ha-Seong Kim cut the Dodgers’ lead to one run.
— Mike DiGiovanna (@MikeDiGiovanna) October 16, 2022
Even though there were no outs, Juan Soto hit a single to bring in the tying run. And finally, after Yency Almonte got back on track and got two batters out in a row, Jake Cronenworth hit a single to center, bringing in the winning runs.
San Diego hit around but didn’t add anything. But by then, it seemed like it didn’t matter. In the eighth and ninth innings, the Dodgers didn’t do anything. Even though Petco Park was already a mess in the seventh, it got even worse.
Jake Peavy, who was Musgrove’s childhood hero, said before the game that it might be the biggest sports event in San Diego in 20 years. But they still had to play the game.
At 10:54 p.m., Hader struck out Freddie Freeman. The home dugout was emptied onto the field, fireworks went off and downtown San Diego heard an unforgettable roar. After pulling off a huge upset, the Padres will host the Phillies on Tuesday in the first NLCS game in this city in 24 years.
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