Musgrove, Padres ‘ear-itate’ Mets with near perfect night, advance to NLDS

Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

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Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Queens, NY- Citi Field

The Padres and Mets met up one last time for a winner-advance-loser-goes-home Game 3 in Queens. 2022 All-Star Joe Musgrove took the ball for the Padres, trying to send them to the NL Division Series against the Dodgers. The Mets countered with a former All-Star of their own, in Chris Bassitt.

Musgrove was built for this moment. He has been the most consistent pitcher over the last two seasons for the Padres.

He delivered in every possible way on Sunday night in New York. Musgrove dominated the Mets, up and down the lineup. The bats backed him up, and the Padres smashed the Mets 6-0 for the series-clinching win.

The Padres got the scoring started in the second inning. Josh Bell led it off with a single. After two outs, Ha-Seong Kim and Trent Grisham worked walks, loading the bases for Austin Nola. Much like Grisham, Nola has found his groove at the plate in this Wild Card Series. He delivered with a two-run single, giving the Padres a 2-0 lead off of Bassitt.

Kim and Grisham would be instrumental in the Padres getting their third run as well. Kim walked with two outs in the fourth. He then stole second base ahead of Grisham, who singled him home for a 3-0 lead.

The San Diego Padres continued to add on, as Manny Machado singled home Jurickson Profar in the fifth, extending San Diego’s lead to four.

The game really took a turn before the start of the bottom of the sixth. Mets manager Buck Showalter walked onto the field and requested that Musgrove be inspected for a banned substance. Musgrove obliged. The umpires thoroughly checked his hands, glove and even ears, finding nothing amiss. This got Citi Field in a frenzy, before Musgrove promptly silenced the crowd with a 1-2-3 inning. He waltzed off the mound with some swagger and gestured towards the Mets dugout.

Showalter attempted to throw Musgrove off his groove and it failed spectacularly.

The El Cajon native was not done. He went a seventh inning, with the same result. Musgrove finished the night with seven shutout innings, allowing just one hit, one walk, and five strikeouts. He ended up making history in the epic effort.

Robert Suarez relieved him in the eighth with a 1-2-3 inning of his own.

Juan Soto extended the Padres’ lead in the eighth with a two-run single with two outs, making it 6-0.

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Josh Hader closed it down in the ninth seemingly effortlessly. With the 6-0 win, the Padres advance to the NL Division Series to face the Dodgers.

“This is the first step. That was a tough team,” Musgrove told ESPN after the game. “I had a lot of stuff working. It all comes down to execution.”

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