Hold the champagne: Dodgers’ weekend plans to clinch NL West thwarted by Padres
SAN DIEGO — The champagne can stay on ice at least through the weekend. The Dodgers won’t be clinching the National League West in San Diego in the next couple days.
Needing a sweep against the Padres this weekend to lock up the division title on the opening leg of their three-city trip, the Dodgers instead lost the series’ opener in extra innings on Friday night, getting walked off on Jake Cronenworth’s 10th inning RBI single in 5-4 loss at Petco Park.
For the Padres, Friday’s win was monumental, moving them into the National League’s second wild-card spot and four games clear of the playoff cut line.
Final: Padres walk-off Dodgers in 5-4 extra-inning win
The Dodgers kept it tied into the 10th inning.
But after the top of their lineup went down in order, reliever Heath Hembree couldn’t keep the game going any longer.
With one out in the 10th, he gave up a walk-off RBI single to Jake Cronenworth, sending the Padres to a 5-4 win that will ensure the Dodgers don’t clinch the NL West this weekend.
The Dodgers are now 94-43.
Final: Padres 5, Dodgers 4
Josh Hader, Craig Kimbrel send game to extra innings
Both have struggled this season.
But in the ninth inning tonight, embattled closers Josh Hader and Craig Kimbrel both put a zero on the board, sending this game to extras.
The Dodgers are 4-6 in extra-inning games this year.
End 9th: Tied 4-4
Dodgers and Padres remain tied entering the ninth
The Dodgers bats have gone quiet against the Padres bullpen. But their own relievers have also excelled, with Caleb Ferguson pitching a scoreless sixth, Chris Martin getting four outs between the seventh and eighth, and Phil Bickford keeping it tied heading into the ninth.
End 8th: Tied 4-4
Padres tie it again after Mookie Betts boots ball in right field
Mookie Betts made a very rare — and very costly — mistake in right field to let the Padres tie it up in the fifth.
With Juan Soto on first and one out in the inning, Manny Machado lined a single into the corner. Betts went over to cut it off, usually a routine play for him.
Instead, he booted it, kicking the ball behind him to let Soto come all the way around to score and Machado get to third.
It appeared Machado had a chance to try and score on a potential sacrifice fly two batters later, but instead stayed put, allowing May to limit the damage there with a pop up to retire the side.
End 5th: Tied 4-4
Trayce Thompson puts Dodgers in front with home run in return to San Diego
In his first game back in San Diego since being DFA’d by the Padres earlier this year, Trayce Thompson has punished his former team.
The Dodgers slugger took Mike Clevinger deep in the fourth inning on a solo home run to left, Thompson’s ninth home run of the season and seventh against right-handed pitching.
Mid 4th: Dodgers lead 4-3
Dodgers load the bases, then tie the game in the third
The Dodgers responded to Trent Grisham’s home run in the very next inning.
After loading the bases on a pair of singles and a hit by pitch, Freddie Freeman drove in one run with a sacrifice fly, then Will Smith knotted the score with a swinging bunt single up the third base line.
Mid 3rd: Tied 3-3
Padres take lead on three-run homer against Dustin May
Just like in his start against the Padres last week, Dustin May was punished for two things in the second inning tonight:
Shaky command, and damage on the long ball.
After failing to get to Jake Cronenworth’s bunt single to lead off the inning, May issued a one-out walk to Wil Myers, failing to get a called third strike on a borderline pitch at the bottom of the zone.
The next batter, Trent Grisham, made it count, hammering a three-run homer into the Petco Porch to put the Padres in front.
Through two innings, May has already thrown 46 pitches (just 23 for strikes) and has two walks and a hit by pitch.
End 2nd: Padres lead 3-1
Game gets under way ... and Freddie Freeman immediately rips a home run
Moments after the first pitch, rain started to come down again.
With a vicious two-out swing, however, Freddie Freeman didn’t seem to care.
The first baseman slugged his 18th home run of the year to open the scoring, blasting the ball an estimated 446 feet off Mike Clevinger.
Mid 1st: Dodgers lead 1-0
Dodgers players have mixed opinions about 2023 MLB rule changes
SAN DIEGO — Max Muncy hit the ball high and deep to the warning track in right field.
More than a year removed from one of the most unusual doubles of his career, when Machado nearly robbed him of extra bases on an extreme defensive shift during a game at Petco Park last June, Muncy vividly recalled the play on Friday, reliving the flashback in the wake of Major League Baseball’s announcement of major 2023 rule changes.
Next season, shifts like the one Machado was in will be banned, with teams soon to be required to have two infielders on either side of second base, and all four infielders standing on the dirt.
Game delayed by rain; first pitch now at 7:20 p.m.
Tonight’s game in San Diego will not start on time, as the Padres announced that first pitch will be delayed because of rain:
First pitch is now at 7:20 p.m. PT.
Max Muncy out of lineup with knee issue
Max Muncy wasn’t in the Dodgers lineup Friday because he’s been battling a recent left knee issue, one that he said required him to get a pain-relief injection this week.
Manager Dave Roberts doesn’t expect Muncy to miss much time, encouraged that recent scans on the infielder’s knee came back clean.
Roberts was hopeful Muncy will be available off the bench Saturday.
Muncy said he believes the irritation is related to the new back-step he added at the start of every swing, a mechanical tweak that helped him rediscover some power at the plate last month after a poor start to the season.
Roberts said he believes Muncy will be able to continue to do the back step, however, once this current issue passes.
Lux to remain out through this weekend
Gavin Lux is not likely to play this weekend, Roberts said, as he continues to battle a lower neck issue.
Roberts said Lux’s neck has improved, and that the second baseman will start swinging a bat again Saturday.
However, Roberts believes the soonest Lux will return to the lineup will be this week’s series in Arizona against the Diamondbacks.
Lux will remain on the active roster for the time being.
Pitcher injury updates
Injured pitchers Tony Gonsolin (forearm), Brusdar Graterol (elbow) and Yency Almonte (elbow) could all throw bullpen sessions on Sunday as they progress in their recoveries.
Almonte came through a Friday bullpen session feeling well, Roberts said. Graterol and Gonsolin, meanwhile, extended their catch play out to 150 feet.
In the minor leagues, relievers Tommy Kahnle (elbow) and Victor González (elbow) both checked important boxes in their rehab assignments by pitching in back-to-back games this week.
Roberts said their next task will be pitching for more than one inning.
He said they are on track to return sometime “toward the back end of the middle of September.”
Dustin May set to take the mound, but rain looms in the forecast
Tropical Storm Kay could have an impact on tonight’s Dodgers-Padres game in San Diego, with the storm system blanketing the city with rain that is forecasted to continue throughout the night.
The Padres said in a statement this morning they still hope to get tonight’s game in. If they can’t, the team would have to make it up likely in a double-header, either later this weekend or when the Dodgers return to San Diego later this month.
If the game is able to take place, Dustin May (1-2, 3.94 ERA) will take the mound for his fourth start since coming back from Tommy John surgery, and second in a row against the Padres.
The Padres will counter with Mike Clevinger (5-6, 3.96), who gave up gave up five runs in less than four innings against the Dodgers last week.
Here is the Dodgers lineup:
If Dodgers’ postseason pitching goes wrong, Dave Roberts will be blamed
This feels like a setup.
Dave Roberts knows what this means.
Each possibility represents an opportunity to be second-guessed as it does a potential avenue to victory.
Whether a decision was made by Roberts or the front office will be immaterial. As far as the average fan is concerned, if the Dodgers fail to win the World Series, Roberts will be at fault.
“It certainly bothered me more early in my tenure than it does now,” Roberts said.
Starting lineups for Dodgers and Padres
It’s possible that tonight’s series opener between the Dodgers and San Diego Padres at Petco Park will be rained out. But if they do play, here are the starting lineups for each team:
Dodgers relievers playing games in the bullpen, saving games on the mound
The rules of the game are simple.
Every day, as they sit out in the bullpen, Dodgers relievers get the chance to predict one home run by their teammates at any point of a game. If they feel a long ball coming, they signal it with their hat. And on the rare occasions they call it right, it sets off a mini in-game celebration in what has become a friendly, but fierce, competition.
There is strategy involved. Evan Phillips tries to identify favorable matchups pregame. Alex Vesia will scout each hitter’s first at-bat. There are times calls are simply placed on the hottest hand (Edwin Ríos was a popular choice early this season), or pick that day’s most sentimental at-bat (Vesia won on James Outman’s homer in his first career at-bat).
The Dodgers have been tracking each pitcher’s season-long performance, too, keeping the standings updated on a hand-drawn scoreboard.
How to watch and stream the Dodgers this season
Here’s a look at the Dodgers broadcast and streaming schedule for the remainder of the 2022 regular season: