Photos from Dodgers-Padres NLDS Game 1
Robert Gauthier, a longtime photographer at the Los Angeles Times, captured images from the Dodgers’ 5-1 victory.
Hernández: Padres’ pitching problems overshadow Dodgers’ hitting woes
This isn’t October baseball.
This is a march across a Texan desert.
And the Dodgers’ opponents showed up without any water.
Whatever offensive troubles the Dodgers are experiencing at the moment, whatever concerns there are about Kenley Jansen and the back end of their bullpen, it’s hard to imagine them failing to win their National League Division Series against the San Diego Padres.
The Padres don’t have the pitching.
The Dodgers exploited the shortcoming in a 5-1 victory Tuesday night in Game1, waling on the fifth and sixth relievers the Padres deployed from their worn-down bullpen.
Just two innings into the series opener, the Padres’ situation went from disconcerting to borderline catastrophic.
Bellinger’s hustle and Dodgers’ late hits key NLDS Game 1 victory
ARLINGTON, Texas — The groundball ricocheted off the end of Cody Bellinger’s bat and up the middle, slowly sneaking through the infield before San Diego Padres second baseman Jake Cronenworth smothered it with a dive.
But it was too late. Bellinger sprinted through first base to complete a 71.4-mph infield hit as the Dodgers’ fifth run in their slow-moving 5-1 win over the Padres in Game 1 of the National League Division Series on Tuesday. Bellinger turned to his excited dugout and shook his hands, the team’s celebration for when they reach base on a hit they didn’t barrel up.
It wasn’t the kind of hit that will appear on highlight reels, but it was the kind the Dodgers need to win a World Series.
Final: Dodgers beat Padres 5-1 for NLDS lead
Kenley Jansen entered with one out in the ninth and shut the door on the Padres without any trouble.
After the 5-1 win, the Dodgers are two victories away from advancing to the National League Championship Series. Game 2 will be tomorrow at 6 p.m.
Some fun facts from Dodgers-Padres NLDS game 1
Let’s take a look at some interesting tidbits about this game.
May was flawless: Rookie Dustin May’s stellar season continued with a spectacular outing during a critical stretch. He retired all six batters he faced in two innings upon relieving Walker Buehler and struck out three as he went.
The lanky right-hander made 27 pitches and induced seven swings-and-misses.
May wasn’t the only Dodgers reliever to turn in an impressive performance Tuesday:
Historic game: It’s been a long night.
And the Padres did something no other team has ever done.
Dodgers take 5-1 lead after Betts breaks up Padres no-hitter
After Mookie Betts’ sixth-inning double, the Dodgers rallied for a 5-1 lead over the Padres.
Corey Seager lofted a fly ball to left field deep enough for Chris Taylor to score from third base and put the Dodgers ahead 2-1. Justin Turner softly swatted a ball into right field to extend the Dodgers’ lead by one run. After Max Muncy doubled and Will Smith was intentionally walked, Cody Bellinger hit a slow grounder. Second baseman Jake Cronenworth stifled the ball before it could dribble too far into the outfield but the play didn’t prevent Turner from scoring.
The Dodgers scored their fourth run of the inning on Craig Stammen’s wild pitch.
Turner’s RBI single was historic:
Mookie Betts breaks up Padres no-hitter in sixth
Like the rest of his Dodgers teammates, Mookie Betts had come up hitless in his first three plate appearances Tuesday night. But he finally found a pitch he could drive in the sixth. He lined a fastball from Padres reliever Garrett Richards into the left field corner at Globe Life Field for a double.
Betts’ two-base hit left his bat at 104.8 mph — the third hardest-hit ball of the game — and broke up the Padres’ combined no-hitter after 5 ⅓ innings.
Dodgers tie game 1-1 but they’re hitless through five
The Dodgers don’t yet have a hit in Texas but they have tied the Padres 1-1. Second baseman Jake Cronenworth’s two-out throwing error on Cody Bellinger’s ground-ball allowed Justin Turner to score from second base.
AJ Pollock followed up the play with a hard-hit flyball to left field but the Padres’ Jurickson Profar captured it for the final out.
Six Padres pitchers have combined to no-hit the Dodgers through five innings — but they haven’t done so efficiently. The Dodgers have drawn eight walks.
Padres break through for 1-0 lead over Dodgers, Walker Buehler
A free pass finally came back to haunt Dodgers starter Walker Buehler in the fourth.
After getting Padres outfielder Wil Myers in an 0-and-2 count, Buehler missed the strike zone on each of his next four pitches. Myers walked and later stole second base. He scored easily on Austin Nola’s sharp single to left field, giving the Padres a 1-0 lead.
Buehler issued three walks in the second inning but kept the Padres off the board with the help of his high-90s fastball.
Buehler has eight strikeouts after four innings but his night is likely done. He needed 95 pitches to navigate the Padres’ batting order twice.
Dodgers hitless through three innings vs Padres
The Padres have used three pitchers in three innings. Typically, such turnover would indicate that an opponent is firing on all cylinders.
Not so. The Dodgers’ offense have been silent in Arlington, Texas. Four batters have reached but none on hits.
The Padres were forced to dip into their bullpen early because of starter Mike Clevinger’s departure in the second inning. Manager Jayce Tingler said Clevinger’s elbow tightened up between innings.
Padres haven’t yet cracked Dodgers’ Walker Buehler
Walker Buehler’s command has been spotty but the Padres haven’t yet managed to make hard contact against him.
Through three innings, he has held the Dodgers’ NL West rival to one hit. Buehler has thrown 67 pitches and generated 13 swings and misses.
The game remains scoreless despite Buehler’s misadventures in the second inning. Facing the bottom half of the order, he walked the bases loaded with one out. It didn’t seem as though the blister on his right hand was an issue.
As relievers began to stir in the Dodgers bullpen, Buehler rebounded with back to back strikeouts of Jurickson Profar and Trent Grishman. Buehler retired both on high 99 mph fastballs.
The Dodgers had avoided issuing three walks in an inning this season until Buehler lost the thread in the second.
Padres’ Mike Clevinger departs after 24 pitches because of elbow
Padres starter Mike Clevinger left the game in the middle of a second-inning at-bat.
Manager Jayce Tingler said on the FS1 broadcast that Clevinger’s elbow tightened while six Padres hitters batted against Walker Buehler in the top of the second inning.
“He felt good, looked good in the first inning,” Tingler said. “Stuff was right where it usually is. ... He had everything working. I think what happened was just that long half-inning there, it tightened up and never warmed back up on him.”
Clevinger did not appear to be in pain as he spoke to a team trainer but his fastball had dipped to 90 mph. The subsequent slider he threw to the Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger, the first batter of the inning, barely reached the plate.
Clevinger was pitching for the first time since Sept. 23, a start he departed after one inning. He missed the wild-card series because of a posterior elbow impingement.
On Tuesday, Clevinger threw 10 of 24 pitches in one-plus innings for strikes. He did not yield a hit.
Right-hander Pierce Johnson relieved Clevinger and walked Bellinger. The walk was charged to Clevinger.
Padres beat writer Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune has more on Clevinger’s departure.
Walker Buehler holds off Padres in first inning
A single, a stolen base and a ground out got Fernando Tatis Jr. to third base, but Dodgers starter Walker Buehler stranded the Padres star in the first inning.
It just took Buehler, who is pitching with a blister, 20 pitches to get through it.
By the way, it’s loud in Arlington, Texas, and not just because of the piped-in crowd noise or the soundtrack provided to Globe Life Field by Dodgers employees. Family members and loved ones of the Dodgers and Padres are in the ballpark.
What to know about Dodgers-Padres NLDS Game 1
First pitch: 6:38 p.m. PT.
Dodgers notes: Joc Pederson is in the lineup at DH after making one plate appearance in the wild-card series. . . . Starter Walker Buehler will pitch as long as his blister allows him — or until he stops being effective, whichever comes first. Manager Dave Roberts will watch how Buehler is “throwing the baseball, the feel, is he losing balls arm-side, is the breaking ball not as sharp, is it a long inning? That’s where I kind of get involved.” . . . Will Smith will catch Buehler for the seventh time this season. With Smith behind the plate in five regular-season games, Buehler held batters to a .127 clip, struck out 24 and gave up four homers.
Padres notes: San Diego played three games in the wild-card series and enters the NLDS leading National League teams in playoff average (.304), on-base percentage (.308), slugging (.539), on-base-plus-slugging percentage (.928), home runs (6), RBIs (18), runs scored (19) and runs per game (6.33). . . . Hard-throwing left-hander Ryan Weathers, the team’s No. 8 prospect according to Baseball America, was added to the playoff roster. He’ll be making his major league debut if he appears in a game.
Globe Life Field will sound like Dodger Stadium during Dodgers NLDS home games
The surroundings might be unfamiliar. The sights and sounds, however, will be reminiscent of home.
The Dodgers won’t again play at Dodger Stadium this October with the remainder of their playoff games set to be held at a neutral-site bubble in Arlington, Texas. But the club is using in-game stadium production at Globe Life Field to re-create a small slice of their typical home game experience.
“We’re working with the crew in Arlington to make Globe Life Field feel a little bit like Dodger Stadium,” said Greg Taylor, the executive producer of Dodgers production. “We’re trying as much as we can to have content run in their ballpark.”
Meet Mike Clevinger, Padres’ Game 1 starter
The news of his Game 1 start had just hit social media when Mike Clevinger dropped this simple tweet Tuesday morning:
Almost like the Undertaker, Clevinger is figuratively rising from the dead to reprise his role in the ring, ready to take on the Dodgers after being left off the Padres’ wild-card series roster because of an arm injury.
Clevinger hasn’t appeared in a game since he threw one inning against the Angels on Sept. 23, a start he departed because of a posterior elbow impingement. He later received a cortisone injection. He pitched a bullpen before last week’s playoff roster was due but the Padres chose not to rush him back into a game.
His absence was worrying for a team that was also missing Dinelson Lamet, their other star pitcher, because of a biceps injury. But the Padres were able to rely on their bullpen to survive a three-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Clevinger will be a welcome sight on the mound for the Padres. He struck out nine, held batters to a .222 average and gave up six earned runs over 19 innings after joining their rotation in September.
Clevinger, who had a 3.02 ERA in eight starts this season, appears to have been cleared to pitch as deep into the game as he can. Padres general manager A.J. Preller did not put a limit on Clevinger in a pre-game videoconference. Neither did field manager Jayce Tingler.
“His health is the No. 1 priority,” Tingler said. “No. 2 is we’re trying to win the game.”
Clevinger, a former Angels farmhand who blossomed after being traded to the Cleveland Indians, arrived in San Diego as a trade deadline acquisition in late August. He did not pitch against the Dodgers — nor has he in the past. Only two Dodgers have ever faced the Padres quirky right-hander since his 2016 debut: Mookie Betts (4 for 7 with one triple, four RBIs and two walks) and Max Muncy (1 for 1).
Not familiar with Clevinger’s funky delivery? Have a look:
Padres’ Mike Clevinger pitches a complete game against the Giants on Sept. 13.
Hernández: Establishment Dodgers to take on the cool-kid Padres in NLDS
A batter celebrates a home run by flinging his bat in the air, and the opposing team accuses him of disrespecting their pitcher, their team, or, in some instances, the sport. Incidents like this happen all the time.
What made a particular bat-flip controversy Sept. 14 noteworthy was the role played by the Dodgers. They were the team that complained.
Opposite them starting Tuesday in their National League Division Series will be a San Diego Padres team characterized by a youthful exuberance for which the pre-Andrew Friedman Dodgers were known.
Spacious Globe Life Field could present challenge for power-hitting Dodgers and Padres
Mookie Betts offered two observations about Globe Life Field on Monday afternoon.
“It’s a pretty big field,” the Dodgers leadoff hitter said of the pitcher-friendly host site in Arlington, Texas, for this week’s National League Division Series. “But that means there’s a lot of hits out there, so we just [need to] build innings with hits instead of homers.”
In the regular season, the Dodgers were at their most dangerous doing the latter. They led Major League Baseball in homers with 118, scored more than half their runs via the long ball and went 39-10 in games they left the park at least once.
Dodgers vs. Padres NLDS: Who has the edge in positional matchups?
ARLINGTON, Texas — The Dodgers hold an edge over the San Diego Padres at a majority of positions heading into the National League Division Series, with the outfield and the bench leaning most heavily in their favor. However, the Padres hold an edge in the infield behind Fernando Tatis Jr. and Manny Machado, and their bullpen is coming off strong performances while the Dodgers’ closer role is in question. A comparison:
Dodgers: Shortstop Corey Seager rebounded from two injury-plagued seasons to again solidify himself as one of best hitters in baseball. Third baseman Justin Turner was hampered by a hamstring strain but remains an essential steady bat in the middle of the order. Chris Taylor will be the Dodgers’ everyday second baseman in the playoffs after a strong season as a utility man. The Dodgers split playing time at first base between Max Muncy and Cody Bellinger during the regular season, but Muncy will get the bulk of the time there in the postseason. His struggles continued in the wild-card round; he went 0 for 5 with four strikeouts and two walks.
Dodgers lineup: Joc Pederson to start at designated hitter in Game 1 vs. Padres
Pederson will serve as the designated hitter. He made one pinch-hit appearance in Game 2 of the wild-card series against the Milwaukee Brewers and grounded into a double play. Pederson has come up big in the postseason during his career but had his worst season as a major leaguer in 2020. He batted .190 with a .681 on-base-plus-slugging percentage in 43 games.
Justin Turner and Mookie Betts address the team ahead of NLDS vs. Padres
ARLINGTON, Texas — A few minutes before 6 p.m. CT Monday, before they conducted their final workout at Globe Life Field in preparation for their National League Division Series against the San Diego Padres, Dodgers players formed a circle in right field.
Everyone turned toward the team’s two leaders: Justin Turner and Mookie Betts. Turner spoke first. Betts addressed the team next. Turner then offered the final words before the group dispersed to stretch and throw.
Dodgers’ NLDS roster: Gavin Lux and Dylan Floro replace Edwin Rios and Keibert Ruiz
ARLINGTON, Texas — The Dodgers added second baseman Gavin Lux and reliever Dylan Floro to their best-of-five National League Division Series roster Tuesday and dropped infielder Edwin Ríos and rookie catcher Keibert Ruiz from the roster they used to defeat the Milwaukee Brewers in the best-of-three wild-card series.
On the other side, the San Diego Padres included Mike Clevinger, but not Dinelson Lamet, on their roster. The two right-handers — San Diego’s best starting pitchers — missed the wild card series against the St. Louis Cardinals. Clevinger was dealing with an elbow injury. Lamet had a biceps problem.
Lamet was deemed not ready to return, but Clevinger will start Game 1 opposite the Dodgers’ Walker Buehler.
Ríos was excluded from the roster after suffering an unspecified injury during the Dodgers’ workout Sunday, according to a person with knowledge of the situation. He won’t be available at all in the NLDS.