Cronenworth, Padres rally to stun Dodgers 5-3 to reach NLCS
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Baseball followers in San Diego have been ready a very long time to social gathering like this and the Padres have been very happy to lastly oblige.
What made it a lot sweeter was that they toppled the mighty Los Angeles Dodgers, the most effective crew within the majors this yr and one which had crushed up on the Padres recurrently for the higher a part of two seasons.
Jake Cronenworth hit a tiebreaking, two-run single with two outs within the seventh inning and San Diego rallied previous the Dodgers 5-3 Saturday evening to advance to the NL Championship Sequence for the primary time since 1998.
Petco Park shook and the sellout crowd of 45,139 roared when Josh Hader struck out Mookie Betts, Trea Turner and Freddie Freeman in succession to finish the Padres’ third straight win towards the Dodgers.
Hader and third baseman Manny Machado jumped into one another’s arms and the remainder of the crew joined them in a wild celebration on the infield grass as fireworks went off above the downtown ballpark. Machado and Juan Soto exhorted the followers for extra as all of them reveled in the midst of a uncommon San Diego rainstorm.
“Our followers have been ready for therefore lengthy and I was that fan that was ready,” stated Joe Musgrove, the hometown child who began the clincher. “It feels good to be on this facet of the ball, I will inform you that, however these followers need to have a good time tonight.
“I do know the job’s not carried out, we have got a variety of baseball forward of us nonetheless, however that is one thing that must be celebrated,” Musgrove stated. “These guys handed it to us all yr lengthy and when it got here right down to it and we would have liked to win ballgames we discovered methods to do it.”
Earlier than a sign-carrying crowd chanting “Beat LA! Beat LA!,” the Padres shocked the 111-win Dodgers with a five-run seventh to win their best-of-five NL Division Sequence 3-1.
“It is about to be a celebration out right here tonight,” stated Musgrove, who grew up a Padres fan within the San Diego suburbs.
“I imply, since I used to be somewhat child we’ve been getting beat up by the Dodgers. However when it comes right down to it and the video games matter, this crew stepped up, from prime to backside.”
The Padres had misplaced 9 straight collection to the Dodgers earlier than successful the one which mattered essentially the most.
San Diego will host the Philadelphia Phillies in Video games 1 and a couple of of an all-wild card NLCS on Tuesday and Wednesday. The Phillies beat the defending World Sequence champion Atlanta Braves 8-3 earlier within the day to win their NLDS in 4 video games.
“That is what the town’s been ready for for a very long time,” stated Machado, the Padres’ $300 million third baseman and unquestioned chief.
The Padres final reached the NLCS 24 years in the past after they beat Atlanta in six video games and have been then swept by the New York Yankees within the World Sequence. A handful of gamers from that crew watched from a luxurious suite, together with Corridor of Fame nearer Trevor Hoffman and heart fielder Steve Finley.
It was a soul-crushing ending for the Dodgers after the most effective regular-season file in membership historical past and supervisor Dave Roberts’ prediction throughout spring coaching that they’d win the World Sequence.
“Shock issue, very excessive. Disappointment, very excessive. It’s crushing,” Roberts stated. “Every man gave every part they’d all yr lengthy, and an amazing season. The wonderful thing about baseball is the unpredictability, and the powerful factor about it’s the identical factor.
“Nothing I can say goes to make it really feel any higher. Clearly we didn’t count on to be on this place,” he added.
The sport was delayed 31 minutes in the beginning by showers, which returned within the eighth inning and prompted a brief delay whereas the grounds crew labored on the mound.
After left-hander Tyler Anderson stymied the Padres by 5 scoreless innings, San Diego broke by towards the Dodgers’ bullpen within the seventh.
Jurickson Profar drew a leadoff stroll towards Tommy Kahnle, took third on Trent Grisham’s single and scored when Austin Nola’s infield single glanced off Freeman’s glove at first base. Yency Almonte, who took the loss, got here on and was greeted by Kim Ha-seong’s RBI double contained in the third final analysis, adopted by Soto’s tying single to proper.
With two outs and the group on its toes, Cronenworth singled to heart off native product Alex Vesia to present the Padres the lead, elevating his arms in celebration as he rounded first after which punching the air together with his proper fist as he pulled into second base on the throw dwelling. Soto, acquired from Washington in a blockbuster commerce Aug. 2, slid dwelling headfirst and jumped up and cheered.
“We talked about all of it day — we’re successful tonight it doesn’t matter what the state of affairs is,” Cronenworth stated.
“It took a crew effort to beat a very good crew and we did that,” Machado stated.
After the primary rain delay, followers have been amped up in anticipation of Musgrove pitching his hometown Padres into the NL Championship Sequence. The massive right-hander from suburban El Cajon, a first-time All-Star in 2022, was the primary Padres pitcher from San Diego to make a postseason begin in his hometown.
However Anderson outpitched Musgrove, holding the Padres to 2 hits by 5 innings.
The Dodgers took a 2-0 lead within the third. Betts walked with one out and Turner scorched a grounder previous third baseman Machado, who has carried the Padres a lot of the season, to maneuver Betts to 3rd. Freeman, who helped the Braves win the World Sequence final yr earlier than signing with the Dodgers as a free agent, doubled down the suitable subject line to carry them each in.
Will Smith hit a sacrifice fly towards Steven Wilson with the bases loaded within the seventh for a 3-0 lead, however successful pitcher Tim Hill prevented additional harm.
The Dodgers will likely be left with an empty feeling. They received the NL West for the ninth time in 10 seasons and completed 22 video games forward of San Diego. The Dodgers went 14-5 towards the Padres within the common season.
Musgrove was attempting for his second straight playoff series-clinching win. On Sunday evening, he dominated the New York Mets at Citi Discipline, permitting only one hit and one stroll in seven innings in a 6-0 win that despatched the Padres to the NLDS.
He gave up two runs and 6 hits in six innings towards the Dodgers, struck out eight and walked three.
Jake Peavy, the 2007 NL Cy Younger Award winner who was Musgrove’s boyhood idol, threw out the ceremonial first pitch to former teammate Mark Loretta. Musgrove switched to Peavy’s No. 44 after he was obtained by the Padres previous to the 2021 season.
Dodgers: Play their spring coaching opener Feb. 25 towards Milwaukee.
Padres: RHP Yu Darvish possible will get the beginning Tuesday in Recreation 1 of the NLCS.
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