The Sports Report: Dodgers hold on to win Game 1

Chris Martin celebrates with Will Smith after Game 1 of the NLDS.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Howdy, I’m your host, Houston Mitchell. Let’s get right to the news.

From Jack Harris: What started as a party turned into a nail-biter, a game once seemingly headed for a blowout instead becoming an immediate October stress test.

The Dodgers know they don’t have a traditional pitching staff.

They don’t care about their unsettled situation in the ninth inning.

During a franchise-record 111-win season, it rarely mattered — not when veteran closer Craig Kimbrel battled maddening inconsistency for most of the year, and not when they removed him from the role a month ago in favor of a closer-by-committee approach.


All along, they insisted this is the best October bullpen they’ve had in years, that they have the kind of trustworthy depth and versatile, late-inning weapons to navigate a playoff run without a defined hierarchy at the end of games.

On Tuesday, during their playoff opener in the National League Division Series against the San Diego Padres, they got an unexpected evaluation after watching a big, early lead dwindle to two runs.

But, in a 5-3 victory in front of a sold-out Dodger Stadium, an unlikely quartet of relievers backed up their faith by finishing off a Game 1 win.

Evan Phillips, Alex Vesia, Brusdar Graterol and Chris Martin combined for four scoreless innings out of the bullpen to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead in this best-of-five NLDS.

Phillips retired the heart of the Padres order in the sixth. Vesia and Graterol paired in the eighth to do the same. Then in the ninth, it was Martin who came trotting to the mound, with the once-unheralded trade-deadline acquisition bringing Chavez Ravine to its feet with his first career playoff save.

Game 2 will be Wednesday night at 5:37 p.m.


Hernández: Julio Urías was masterful in Game 1 until he wasn’t. Can he keep the Dodgers’ trust?


Shaikin: For Dodgers during postseason, it’s the next reliever up

Yu Darvish wouldn’t object to an umpire ear inspection: ‘Touch my wherever’

A more relaxed Clayton Kershaw hopes he’s aced the timing on dominant stretch

Photos: Memorable moments from Dodgers’ win over Padres in Game 1 of NLDS

Craig Kimbrel off Dodgers’ NLDS roster; Blake Treinen, Dustin May, Miguel Vargas are on

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From Helene Elliott: When Todd McLellan was hired to coach the downtrodden Kings in 2019, he compared them to marathon runners at Mile 1. With a hard-fought playoff series loss behind him and the deepest, most skillful lineup he has had at his disposal, McLellan updated that analogy as he began his fourth season.

“We’ve settled into the race now,” he said. “We’ve climbed some hills. We got in some valleys. I think in marathons there’s runners that break away and sometimes the pack catches them again. I would say we’re in that pack. We’re no longer in Miles 1 through 5. We’re way further into it.

“But if crossing the finish line and putting a medal around your neck is the Stanley Cup championship, we still have a lot of running to do.”

True. But they’re striding purposefully now, not stumbling. They have structure, defined lines and a mobile defense corps that’s injury-free.

The chrome-domed Kings still had an assortment of “ifs” and “maybes” to resolve as they opened the season Tuesday with a 4-3 loss to division rival Vegas at Arena. They were fueled by goals from Gabe Vilardi, Adrian Kempe, and Arthur Kaliyev, but their defense was spotty and they gave up a goal to Mark Stone with 24 seconds to play.

“We wasted an outstanding goaltending effort by not getting a point tonight,” McLellan said of goaltender Jonathan Quick’s effort against a 51-shot barrage.


From Nathan Fenno: Former Angels communications director Eric Kay was sentenced to 22 years in federal prison Tuesday after being convicted of providing counterfeit oxycodone pills laced with fentanyl that led to the overdose death of pitcher Tyler Skaggs.

The investigation and trial brought Major League Baseball face to face with the country’s opioid epidemic and led to the wood-paneled courtroom filled with anger, sadness and occasional sobs.

Prosecutors alleged Kay provided opioids to Skaggs and at least five other professional baseball players since 2017. Several players testified during the trial about obtaining and using illicit oxycodone pills, called “blues” or “blue boys” because of their color.


1920 — In the final race of his career, 3-year-old Man O War defeats 1919 Triple Crown winner Sir Barton in a match race, the Kenilworth Park Gold Cup. Sent off at odds of 1-20, Man o War wins by seven lengths for his 14th consecutive victory.

1940 — Tennessee registers its 17th consecutive regular-season shutout with a 53-0 rout of Tennessee-Chattanooga. The record streak started on Nov. 5, 1938, also against Tennessee-Chattanooga.

1946 — The No. 2 Texas Longhorns beat No. 1 Oklahoma 28-7. It’s the eighth 1-2 matchup in AP poll history and the first time the second-ranked team wins the game.

1976 — Don Murdoch of the New York Rangers ties an NHL record for rookies with five goals in a 10-4 victory over the Minnesota North Stars.

1986 — Walter Payton becomes the first NFL player to accumulate 20,000 all-purpose yards in the Chicago Bears’ 20-7 victory over the Houston Oilers. Payton has 76 yards rushing and 30 yards receiving for a career total of 20,045.

1991 — Doug Flutie of the British Columbia Lions breaks Warren Moon’s CFL record for yards passing in a season with a 582-yard performance in a 45-38 overtime loss to Edmonton.

1997 — James Stewart of the Jacksonville Jaguars becomes the fourth player in NFL history and the first since 1963 to rush for five touchdowns. All the TDs are for less than 10 yards, and he finishes with 102 yards on 15 carries in Jacksonville’s 38-21 victory over Philadelphia.

2003 — Michael Schumacher wins a record sixth world title. He clinches the Formula One championship by two points after finishing eighth in the Japanese Grand Prix. Ferrari teammate Rubens Barrichello wins the season-ending race.

2007 — Philadelphia forward Jesse Boulerice is suspended 25 games by the NHL for striking Vancouver’s Ryan Kesler across the face with his stick, the longest single-season ban in league history.

2008 — Arizona becomes the first team in NFL history to block a punt to score the winning TD in overtime in their 30-24 win over Dallas.

2009 — Brent Seabrook scores 26 seconds into overtime and the Chicago Blackhawks matched the biggest comeback in NHL history, rallying from a five-goal deficit to beat the Calgary Flames 6-5. Chicago fell behind 5-0 in the first period before overtaking the Flames.

2016 — Auston Matthews takes 40 minutes to get into the NHL record book. In the highest-scoring debut in modern NHL history, Matthews scores four goals for the Toronto Maple Leafs in a 5-4 loss to Ottawa. Kyle Turris scores 37 seconds into overtime to give the Senators the season-opening victory. The 19-year-old Matthews, who was the 12th first overall pick to score in his NHL debut, gets his fourth goal with 3 seconds left in the second period.

2019 — Kenyan distance runner Eliud Kipchoge becomes the first to run the marathon in under two hours (1:59:40)

Compiled by the Associated Press

And finally

Trea Turner gets the Dodgers started with a home run. Watch and listen here.

Until next time...

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