By Rowan Kavner
FOX Sports MLB Writer
SAN DIEGO — The rain started pouring. San Diego’s lovers did not budge. They stayed in their seats, soaked, twisting their rally towels, dancing and making a song to Blink-182 because the grounds team repaired the mound at Petco Park prior to the ground of the 8th inning in Game 4 of the National League Division Series.
By then, the Padres’ explosive comeback towards the top-seeded, 111-win Dodgers used to be already entire.
“Nothing I can say is going to make it feel any better,” Dodgers supervisor Dave Roberts mentioned Saturday after the Dodgers’ season got here to a stunning finish in a 5-3 defeat. “Obviously, we didn’t expect to be in this position.”
The Dodgers had been meant to be the battle-tested group, the gang in a position to countering a punch and persisting. Instead, it used to be the Padres doing “All The Small Things.” They hit once they had to, whilst the Dodgers didn’t. They secured their lead once they went forward, whilst the Dodgers didn’t.
And after a surprising five-run Padres blitz in the 7th inning, they completed off what they could not prior to: They after all slayed the dragon up the highway.
“Shock factor, very high,” Roberts mentioned. “Disappointment, very high. It’s crushing.”
Padres’ five-run inning offers San Diego the lead
The San Diego Padres’ five-run inning offers them the lead towards the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 4 of NLDS prior to their eventual victory.
The Dodgers had simply wrapped up a franchise-best season. Their offense used to be as stacked as any all the way through their 10 immediately playoff runs. Even and not using a outlined nearer this October, they felt as succesful as ever of matching up sufficient fine quality fingers to make a championship run.
Their first check would come towards a Padres group they bested 14 instances in 19 regular-season matchups this season, one they swept in the NLDS en path to their 2020 World Series championship, one they’d no longer dropped a sequence to all 12 months — till the one who mattered maximum.
They took Game 1, then dropped 3 immediately.
“October baseball can be brutal,” Freddie Freeman mentioned.
Though it ended that manner, that is not how it all started Saturday evening for the Dodgers. They seemed primed to damage out in their offensive funk after coming into Game 4 hitless in their ultimate 19 at-bats with runners in scoring place.
Roberts did not suppose his offense used to be showing its standard persistence. The skid stretched to an 0-for-20 mark with a flyout in the primary inning, however Freeman — the NL hits chief who helped flip a powerful Dodgers lineup into the most efficient in baseball — ended the drought with a two-run double in the 3rd.
That, plus Tyler Anderson’s 5 shutout innings, had zapped the power from Petco Park.
Presented the risk he craved, Anderson delivered. The veteran lefty went to the Dodgers for the chance to win, to pitch in the postseason, one thing he hadn’t performed since 2018. He used to be a distinct participant now than the person who arrived to the Dodgers at Spring Training. He had finished his transformation from lengthy reliever to starter to All-Star, vaulting to heights unseen in the past in his seven-year profession.
On Saturday, the Dodgers put their season in his palms. He did the whole lot requested of him.
“I would’ve thrown 150 pitches if they would’ve let me,” Anderson mentioned.
He would get 86 as an alternative, his evening finishing after retiring 10 of the ultimate 11 batters he confronted.
Soon after his departure, pandemonium ensued.
“You never second-guess that situation,” Anderson mentioned. “We have an unbelievable bullpen. They’ve been so good all year, and they’ve helped us win so many games this year. You understand, try to piece this thing together until the end and get us to tomorrow.”
Los Angeles Dodgers vs. San Diego Padres NLDS Game 4 Recap
Ben Verlander and Alex Curry wreck down the San Diego Padres’ 5-3 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers to advance to the NLCS.
The Padres had different ideas.
Every Dodgers reliever who entered in the 7th and 8th innings fell sufferer to San Diego’s chronic fusillade. Freeman had noticed that roughly underdog ascension prior to. Just ultimate 12 months, his 88-win Braves group stunned the arena on their path to the World Series, topping the Dodgers at the manner.
“You always seem to get those double plays when you need them, that hit that gets through,” Freeman mentioned.
This time, they had been taking place at the different aspect.
After mustering simply two hits in 5 innings towards Anderson, the Padres recorded two hits off reliever Chris Martin in the 6th inning, even though he escaped unscathed. The Dodgers would not be so fortunate in the 7th, when every of the primary 5 Padres batters reached base. They recorded two hits towards Tommy Kahnle and some other two towards Yency Almonte. Surprisingly, Evan Phillips, the person the Dodgers became to in leverage greater than any reliever this 12 months, used to be no longer a part of the equation because the season slipped away.
But Almonte perceived to settle in, retiring two immediately batters to stay the sport tied when one thing extraordinary took place. He threw one pitch, a ball to Jake Cronenworth, prior to being pulled. Catcher Will Smith and Roberts each mentioned there used to be a miscommunication as Alex Vesia warmed up in the bullpen getting in a position for the lefty-lefty matchup.
“We missed a throw-over to buy a little bit of time, so Alex inherited a 1-0 count,” Roberts mentioned. “I still liked the matchup right there. Cronenworth put a good swing on the 2-2 pitch.”
The swing, a two-run unmarried up the center off Vesia, equipped the dagger.
By the time Phillips entered in the 8th inning, placing out all 3 batters he confronted, the wear used to be performed. The birthday celebration had begun. For the primary time since 2006, Padres lovers had been witnessing a house playoff sequence in particular person. And for the primary time for the reason that Padres went to the World Series in 1998, their playoff trip will now proceed previous the National League Division Series.
For the Dodgers?
“It’s just disappointment,” Freeman mentioned. “We had a really good team. We just didn’t get it done.”
The Dodgers would get one ultimate likelihood.
In the 9th inning, it used to be Mookie Betts, Trea Turner and Freeman towards Josh Hader. The vaunted trio, the one who guided the most efficient offense in baseball all season, went down in order.
All 3 NL department winners, and all 3 NL 100-win groups, are already eradicated.
“You play the game to win a World Series,” Betts mentioned. “To come up short, it’s a sudden end. It sucks. But there’s nothing else we can do now.”
Roberts mentioned no person at the Dodgers would imagine it a wasted season, however the sadness used to be palpable in the visiting clubhouse as hugs had been passed out and goodbyes had been mentioned.
The five-seed Padres will transfer on to stand the six-seed Phillies in the National League Championship Series. The Dodgers, in the meantime, could have the offseason to imagine the price of a 111-win season that incorporated one playoff win.
“They played better than us,” Clayton Kershaw mentioned. “It’s hard to admit sometimes, but that’s the truth of it. They just beat us.”
Rowan Kavner covers the Dodgers and NL West for FOX Sports. He in the past used to be the Dodgers’ editor of virtual and print publications. Follow him on Twitter at @RowanKavner.
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