In the San Diego Padres’ first home playoff game with fans since 2006, the hosts gave the crowd a thrill as the Padres edged 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 are one win from eliminating the Dodgers, who won a franchise-record 111 games during the regular season.
Padres starter Blake Snell gutted out 5 1/3 innings of one-run ball, and the San Diego bullpen continued to put zeroes on the board. On offense, Trent Grisham hit his third home run of the 2022 postseason.
The winner of this series will advance to the NLCS to face the winner of the Philadelphia Phillies-Atlanta Braves NLDS.
Now, for takeaways from Game 3.
Tony Gonsolin wasn’t able to give the Dodgers much
Thanks to a forearm injury, Gonsolin missed more than a month down the stretch and only returned in time to make an abbreviated start against the Rockies on Oct. 3. In Game 3 on Friday night, he wasn’t himself. The command was badly lacking, and Gonsolin’s fastball velocity was down a tick or so (just as it was against Colorado in his last start). He endured a 31-pitch first inning, and Dave Roberts was moved to get Andrew Heaney warming up in that first frame. Things could have gotten worse in the second, but Gonsolin was able to escape disaster thanks in part to a Jurickson Profar bunt attempt gone wrong.
Roberts had a leash of 75 pitches or so planned for Gonsolin in Game 3, but he was able to last for just 42 pitches and 1 1/3 innings. Over that span he allowed one run on four hits with one strikeout and one walk. Through the first two games of this series, the Dodgers dialed up eight relief appearances and eight relief innings. Even with the off day before Game 3 and the first-round bye, the L.A. pen is racking up some recent miles. That trend continued on Friday.
The Padres’ bullpen has been nails
Through the first two games of this series, the San Diego bullpen put up these digits: 9 1/3 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 9 SO, 4 BB. Then in the crucial Game 3, that same pen was tasked with protecting a one-run lead for 11 outs – including Nick Martinez in the sixth inheriting a runner in scoring position with one out. Once again, the San Diego relief corps rose to the challenge and did 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 postseason fireworks
Pads center fielder and No. 8 hitter Trent Grisham endured a pretty rough regular season at the plate, but he was huge in the Wild Card Series upset over the Mets, as he homered twice in three games. Through 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:
That one off Andrew Heaney left the bat at 109.8 mph and traveled 389 feet. That third home run of the 2022 postseason – through just six games played – put Grisham in elite franchise company:
At minimum, he’ll have at least two more games to tie or break Jim Leyritz’s record. Most important is that the Padres probably wouldn’t be in their current situation without Grisham’s October power surge.
The Dodgers again struggled with runners in scoring position
The Dodgers on Friday night came up empty in RISP situations for a second straight game. In Game 3, they went 0 for 9 with RISP, and that means they’re now 0 for their last 19 in such spots. Suffice it to say, the Dodgers are a couple of timely hits away from this series being very different.
History favors the Padres
Not surprisingly, the Padres are in a good position being up 2-1 in a best-of-five series. In the history of the best-of-five League Division Series, a team has taken a 2-1 lead in the series 67 times, and 49 of those teams up 2-1 went on to win the series. Framed another way, just 26.9 percent of teams down 2-1 in the LDS have come back to win said LDS.
For the Dodgers, the first step toward defying the odds and history comes in Game 4 on Saturday. Tyler Anderson goes for L.A. against Joe Musgrove, and first pitch is scheduled for 9:07 p.m. ET back at Petco Park in San Diego. Shortstop Trea Turner may be a game-time decision for the Dodgers. He injured his fingers in Game 3 while diving back to first base on a pick-off attempt. X-rays were negative.