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2020 National League Division Series 1
|2020 National League Division Series|
|Los Angeles Dodgers
43 - 17 in the NL
|3 - 0
|San Diego Padres|
37 - 23 in the NL
- Lance Barrett, Angel Hernandez, Bill Miller (crew chief), Doug Eddings, Alfonso Marquez, Quinn Wolcott
|1||San Diego Padres 1 Los Angeles Dodgers 5||October 6||Mike Clevinger (0-0) Walker Buehler (0-0)||9:30 pm|
|2||San Diego Padres 5 Los Angeles Dodgers 6||October 7||Zach Davies (0-1) Clayton Kershaw (1-0)||9:00 pm|
|3||Los Angeles Dodgers 12 San Diego Padres 3||October 8||Dustin May (1-0) Adrian Morejon (0-1)||9:00 pm|
Game 1 @ Globe Life Field
|WP: Dustin May (1-0); LP: Garrett Richards (0-1)|
|Home Runs: none|
- Attendance: none
The Padres had failed to receive any length from their starters in getting past the Cardinals in their Wild Card Series, and they waited until the last minute to announce their starter for Game 1. They pulled off a surprise, designating Mike Clevinger, their prize mid-season acquisition who had been sidelined with an injury for the past couple of weeks and who was thought to be unavailable until the latter games of this series - if it ever reached that point. The gambit did not pay off, though, as Clevinger was clearly not recovered and had to leave after just one inning and a couple of pitches in the 2nd. So the Padres were forced to go with another bullpen game, using nine pitchers in total, and repeating the likely unsustainable pattern from the Wild Card Series. The Dodgers did not have such existential qualms, however, as Walker Buehler was their man - although he was also under close watch, having developed a blister problem of late, something that would by necessity limit the length of his starts.
After a scoreless top of the 1st, Clevinger came out to pitch and struggled with his control. He got Mookie Betts to line out but walked Corey Seager and after striking out Justin Turner, threw a wild pitch while walking Max Muncy. He got Will Smith to line out, but he had to leave after throwing two pitches to the first batter of the 2nd, Cody Bellinger, his right elbow having seized up again. Bellinger ended up walking against Pierce Johnson, although the walk was charged to Clevinger. Johnson retired the next three batters though, but the Padres would need to dig deep into their bullpen, something they would rather have avoided. Meanwhile, the Padres had given Buehler a scare in the 2nd as Tommy Pham, Jake Cronenworth and Austin Nola all worked walks around a strikeout of Wil Myers, but after a mound visit, Buehler struck out both Jurickson Profar and Trent Grisham, the latter after falling behind 3-0, leaving the bases loaded in an inning in which none of the six batters put the ball in play. Ryan Weathers, a former first-round draft choice making his first appearance in a major league game - already the third player to make his debut around the majors this postseason - pitched the 3rd for the Padres and allowed just one walk, as the parade of relievers was now truly on.
The Padres got on the scoreboard first in the 4th inning as Myers walked after one out, then stole second base after a second out, both of the outs coming on strikeouts. Nola then hit a single and Myers came around to score. Buehler ended his night's work with 4 walks and 8 strikeouts in 4 innings, having allowed the one run on just 2 hits, but having also needed a whopping 95 pitches to accomplish this. Dustin May replaced him in the 5th, after the Dodgers had managed to load the bases - without a hit of course - against Weathers and his successor Austin Adams (two walks and a hit-by-pitch did the trick). Betts flied out to end the inning. May retired the Padres in order in the top of the 5th, then Tim Hill took over on the mound for the Padres. He faced the mandated minimum of three batters, getting two outs around a walk to Turner, and was replaced by Garrett Richards, already the fifth pitcher of the evening, who walked Smith. All those baserunners were bound to eventually pay off, and this occurred when Cronenworth threw wildly after handling a grounder by Bellinger, allowing the Dodgers to tie the game when Turner scored. The Dodgers were still looking for their first hit by that point, but had already placed 10 men on base, thanks to 8 walks, a hit batsman and the error! The Padres were lucky not to have seen the dam burst open yet...
Dustin May pitched another perfect inning in the top of the 6th, then Richards issued a one-walk to Chris Taylor before Betts got the Dodgers' first hit, a double to left. Taylor stopped at third, though. Padres Manager Jayce Tingler came out to make another pitching change and in doing so got into an argument with home plate umpire Lance Barrett about his interpretation of the strike zone, an argument that resulted in Tingler being ejected. Matt Strahm got Seager to fly out to left, but that allowed Taylor to score the go-ahead run, after which Turner singled and Muncy doubled, allowing three more runs to score for a 5-1 Dodgers lead. That was the game. Victor Gonzalez replaced May in the 7th, but he also retired the Padres in order, making it three straight up-and-down innings by a Dodger reliever. Craig Stammen, who had gotten the final out in the 6th, also retired the Dodgers in order in the 7th. In the 8th, Grisham led off with a double, the Padres' first hit since Nola's run-scoring single in the 4th, but he was left stranded on second as Blake Treinen came in to record the next three outs in order. Luis Patino pitched a perfect 8th inning for San Diego, but they were still unable to score any runs, as in the 9th, Treinor got Pham to line out for the first out, and closer Kenley Jansen then recorded the final two outs without any drama.
Game 2 @ Globe Life Field
|WP: Clayton Kershaw (1-0); LP: Zach Davies (0-1); SV: Joe Kelly (1)|
|Home Runs: LA - Cody Bellinger (1); SD - Manny Machado (1), Eric Hosmer (1)|
- Attendance: none
After a low-hitting affair in Game 1, Game 2 turned out to be more of a showcase for the hitters, as the Dodgers came out on top 6-5, in a tight game that went down to the wire and featured a number of memorable plays. On the mound, the Dodgers had their ace, Clayton Kershaw, coming off a brilliant performance in Game 2 of the Wild Card Series, while the Padres sent the reliable but unspectacular Zach Davies with the hope he would be the starting pitcher who could finally pitch more than a couple of innings. While neither pitcher was dominant, they both fulfilled their mandate, Kershaw giving up 3 runs in 6 innings to get credit for the win, and Davies lasting 5 innings without placing his team in a deep hole, even if the four runs he allowed got him saddled with the loss.
The Padres struck first after a quiet 1st inning, as Tommy Pham led off the 2nd with a single and Wil Myers immediately doubled him in. However, Kershaw quickly proceeded to snuff out the fire, with a pair of strikeouts and a little comebacker hit back to him. Davies had started well, allowing just one single through the first two innings, but in the 3rd, the Dodgers got to him as A.J. Pollock and Austin Barnes led off with back-to-back singles. Davies got Mookie Betts to line out sharply to Manny Machado at third base for the first out, but Corey Seager hit a double to right field, the ball taking a lucky bounce off the short fence that protects the bullpen and bouncing into no man's land, allowing both runners to score. Max Muncy then singled with two outs, scoring Seager and making it 3-1 for L.A. The Padres stranded a couple of runners in the 4th and the Dodgers then added a fourth run, on a solo homer by Cody Bellinger. It looked like the Game 1 script was being repeated, with the Dodgers now having a comfortable lead after trailing early by a single run, but San Diego would not go down quietly this time, even if they never quite managed to tie the score.
Kershaw was still pitching in the top of the 6th when he ran into his postseason bugaboo, the home run ball, allowing them back-to-back to Manny Machado, who took advantage of the spotlight to turn a bat flip designed to make his teammate Fernando Tatis Jr. blush with envy, followed by Eric Hosmer. Both long balls were solo shots, however, so the score was still 4-3 in the Dodgers' favor. Emilio Pagan replaced Davies in the bottom of the 6th, pitching a scoreless frame and the Padres now faced a new pitcher in the 7th in Blake Treinen. After two quick outs, Treinen hit Trent Grisham with a pitch, bringing up the aforementioned Tatis. Dave Roberts replaced Treinen with rookie Brusdar Graterol, setting up the play of the game. Graterol committed a balk to move Grisham to second base, then Tatis drove a pitch to deep center field; however, Bellinger ran to the wall and made a leaping catch, taking back a home run and hauling it in to end the inning. It had been a close call, but the Dodgers' 4-3 lead still held. It was a bit too close for comfort, though, and the Dodgers proceeded to add a couple of insurance runs in the bottom of the 7th. With "Everyday" Pierce Johnson now pitching, Barnes drew a lead-off walk, but was forced out at second by Betts, who advanced to second on Seager's single. Drew Pomeranz replaced Johnson, but the Dodgers pulled off a double steal and Justin Turner hit a sacrifice fly to center field. Muncy followed with a single and Seager scored as well, making it 6-3.
Both teams went down in order in the 8th, but in the 9th, the Padres almost managed to tie the game. Kenley Jansen took over for Graterol and with a three-run lead, it should have been easy going for the very experienced closer, but he stumbled after striking out Myers for the first out. Jake Cronenworth hit a single and Mitch Moreland, pinch-hitting for Jurickson Profar, doubled to center to drive him in. Jansen got Austin Nola to pop up for the second out, but Grisham then singled to center to score Moreland. It was now 6-5, with the speedy Grisham representing the tying run on first base. Roberts removed Jansen and called in the hard-throwing but erratic Joe Kelly to nail down the final out with the heart of the Padres' batting order due up. Kelly went to a full count on both Tatis and Machado - and walked both men to load the bases. Hosmer could now put his team in the lead with a base hit, but he grounded sharply to second baseman Kiké Hernandez, ending the game as the Dodgers could breathe a sigh of relief, this one having been much closer that it needed have been.
Game 3 @ Globe Life Field
|WP: Julio Urias (1-0); LP: Adrian Morejon (0-1)|
|Home Runs: none|
- Attendance: none
The Dodgers completed their three-game sweep of the Padres with a convincing 12-3 win in Game 3. It may have been a case of the Padres having difficulty getting over the disappointment of losing a game they had had plenty of opportunities to win the night before, or simply of a superior and highly motivated team flexing its muscles. On the mound, both teams delegated starters who were unlikely to pitch deep into the game: the Dodgers' Dustin May had pitched (and picked up the win) in Game 1, while Adrian Morejon for the Padres had been used as a short reliever since the start of the postseason, although he was well-rested, not having pitched in a week.
In any case, the Dodgers scored the first run, but their first lead was short-lived. In the 2nd inning, Max Muncy drew a lead-off walk, Will Smith doubled and Cody Bellinger hit into a fielder's choice, with Smith being thrown out at third base but Muncy scoring the game's first run. The inning continued when Morejon hit A.J. Pollock with a pitch, but both Joc Pederson and Chris Taylor struck out, to keep it a one-nothing game. The Padres then replied immediately, with Adam Kolarek having replaced May. Eric Hosmer and Tommy Pham opened the inning with singles, both advanced on a ground out by Mitch Moreland, and Wil Myers was issued an intentional pass to load the bases. Jake Cronenworth then drew a walk, forcing in a run, and Jason Castro grounded into a force out, as Pham was cut down at home plate. However, Trent Grisham hit a single just out of SS Corey Seager's reach to allow everyone to move up one base and San Diego to take a 2-1 lead. That was it for Kolarek, who was replaced by Julio Urias, who struck out Fernando Tatis Jr. in a key moment to end the inning.
That was the last time San Diego would be in front, or would even threaten to force a fourth game. Everything fell apart for the Padres in the 3rd as Morejon was unable to record an out, setting up a big inning. He walked Mookie Betts, threw a wild pitch, after which Tatis made a nice diving stop on a ground ball by Seager, only to throw the ball away while attempting an improbable relay to first base from his knees. Betts scored the tying run, Seager went to second, and Craig Stammen replaced Morejon. Justin Turner greeted him with an RBI single on his first pitch. Stammen retired the next two batters, with Turner taking second on a ground ball, then manager Jayce Tingler made the fateful decision of issuing an intentional walk to Cody Bellinger. Pollock made him pay by hitting another single, advancing the two runners two bases each. He then stole second base. Pederson followed with another single, and both runners scored. It was now 6-2, and the Dodgers were in complete control as Tingler replaced Stammen with Luis Patino.
The Dodgers continued to pile on the runs, scoring one in the 4th and another in the 5th to bring their lead to 8-2. Betts was at the center of things, as he scored the first of these runs after a lead-off double, and drove in the second with a sacrifice fly. By the end of that inning, the Padres were already using their fifth pitcher, Dan Altavilla, added to the roster after Mike Clevinger had been placed on the injured list, and they would end up using 11 in total, a high number even by their standards this postseason and indeed a new record for a postseason game. In contrast, Urias ended up pitching 5 innings, giving up just 1 hit while striking out six, and was a well-deserving winner. The Padres did manage to score a third run in the 6th on a single, a two-base error by Pollock, and a balk... In the 9th, with the game already decided, the Dodgers put up four more runs as Trevor Rosenthal struggled with his control, loading the bases with two outs without the Dodgers collecting a hit, and then being burned by a double by Smith followed by a triple by Bellinger. Smith's hit gave him a five-hit game, becoming the first Dodgers player to accomplish the feat in the postseason. Pedro Baez and Dylan Floro pitched the final two innings for L.A. with the game well in hand and both breezed through their inning, completing the sweep.
- Adam Berry: "Padres, Dodgers bring 'intensity' to NLDS", mlb.com, October 5, 2020. 
- Mark Feinsand: "Padres-Dodgers position-by-position analysis", mlb.com, October 3, 2020. 
- Ken Gurnick: "LA juggernaut cruises to 4th NLCS in 5 years", mlb.com, October 9, 2020. 
- Gabe Lacques: "Dodgers sweep Padres, will take on similarly perfect Braves in NLCS", USA Today, October 9, 2020. 
|Major League Baseball National League Division Series