Dodgers vs.  Padres score: San Diego knocks out 111-win juggernaut with NLDS Game 4 rally

Dodgers vs. Padres score: San Diego knocks out 111-win juggernaut with NLDS Game 4 rally

The San Diego Padres staged a furious late-inning comeback and knocked the top-seeded Los Angeles Dodgers out of the playoffs with a 5-3 win in Game 4 of the National League Division Series on Saturday night. In doing so they won the series, 3-1, in upset fashion. The series win means that the Padres will be in the NLCS for the first time since 1998, where they will face the Phillies.

In Game 4, the Padres trailed for much of the game after the Dodger offense finally managed some timely hitting in the second for a 2-0 lead. That lead grew to 3-0 in the top of the seventh thanks to a Will Smith sac fly. In the bottom of the seventh, however, the Padres clawed back to plate five runs and sixteen a lead that the San Diego bullpen, nearly perfect in this series, would hold.

Now for some takeaways from the Game 4 clincher.

The seventh inning was one to remember for the Padres

Going into the bottom of the seventh, the Padres trailed 3-0 and had just a 10.8 percent chance of winning Game 4, per basic win expectancy. Then they got to work against the Dodger bullpen. Here’s the blow by blow:

  • Jurickson Profar walks.
  • Trent Grisham singles.Austin Nola singles.
  • Yency Almonte relieves Tommy Kahnle.
  • Ha-Seong Kim doubles, one run scores.
  • Juan Soto singles, one run scores.
  • Manny Machado strikes out.
  • Brandon Drury pops out.
  • Alex Vesia relieves Almonte with 1-0 count.
  • Soto steals second base.
  • Jake Cronenworth does this:

That made it 5-3, and that 10.8 percent chance of a Padres win had become a 90.2 percent chance of a Padres win. Given the “little brother” status of the Padres when it comes to the Dodgers and given the stakes, it’s no exaggeration to call that one of the biggest innings in Padres franchise history.

The Padres bullpen did the job again

Yes, the San Diego relief corps allowed their first run of the series after taking over for starter Joe Musgrove, but it didn’t come in anything like authoritative fashion (the Dodgers pushed across a run against Steven Wilson in their small-ball top of the seventh). After the Padres snatched the lead, the bullpen notched the final six outs without any dramatics. The Padre pen came into Game 4 with these numbers through the first three games of the NLDS: 13 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 15 SO, 4 BB. On Saturday, they allowed one run in three innings, which gave them an ERA of 0.56 for the series. That’s the kind of lockdown relief you need to win in the postseason these days.

Tyler Anderson delivered for the Dodgers

The 32-year-old retread lefty continues to be a quiet savior for the Dodgers. Armed with a refined pitch mix and tweaked changeup grip, Anderson had a career year in 2022: a 2.57 ERA and 4.06 K/BB ratio in a team-high 178 ⅔ innings. On Saturday, he authored the biggest start of the Dodgers’ season, as he twirled five scoreless innings with six strikeouts, two walks, and two hits allowed. At one point, Anderson retired nine in a row. That’s in keeping with how Anderson has handled the Padres in 2022. During the regular season, he made four starts against the Padres and thrived across those combined 24 innings: 1.88 ERA, no unearned runs allowed, 15 hits, 16 strikeouts, six walks, .502 OPS against.

A great Dodger season ends in disappointment

During the regular season, the Dodgers barged to a franchise-record 111 wins, and they put up a run differential of plus-334 – both markers of success two of the best in MLB history. Three October losses shouldn’t undo what was authored across 162 games, but the reality is that the Dodgers will once again be remembered for coming up short in the postseason. Dave Roberts’ club has won 217 games over the last two regular seasons without a ring to show for it.

The NLCS is set

It will be the Padres and Philadelphia Phillies in the NLCS. The best-of-seven clash gets started Tuesday in San Diego with a trip to the World Series on the line. The Padres, incidentally, have never won the World Series. During the regular season, the Phillies won four of seven head-to-head games against San Diego and out-scored them 21-15 in those contests.

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