Padres squander chances, lose 16-inning affair

Credit: AP Photo

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Credit: AP Photo

When the fans walked into Petco Park, there cannot have been anyone who thought they wouldn’t leave until the next day, let alone at 1 A.M. The Padres lost, 5-3, in a sixteen inning classic, squandering chance after chance.

Blake Snell gave the Padres everything, and he earned a win. Unfortunately, Walker Buehler earned a win too. Neither team’s bats ever really woke up as the game entered extra innings tied at one. The Padres played their longest game of baseball since 2018, and in terms of innings, the longest game since MLB added the extra-inning rule.

The Padres bats were utterly silenced by Dodgers Cy Young candidate Walker Buehler. The Padres’ lone run off Buehler was unearned, scraping across Jake Cronenworth on three balls that did not leave the infield. Dodgers deadline acquisition Trea Turner threw away Cronenworth’s ground ball, sending him onto second base. Eric Hosmer’s groundout put Cronenworth 90 feet away, but with two outs, Wil Myers needed to find a way to pick up a hit. A little dribbler down the third baseline, combined with Myers’ speed, gave the Padres the lead.

The Padres managed to put a runner on base just three more times through the next seven innings, but thanks to a pair of fantastic catches by Padres outfielders, they remained in the lead until the eighth. In the second inning, Wil Myers robbed Corey Seager of a home run, timing his leap to perfection to snag the fly ball. Trent Grisham made a leaping grab at the centerfield wall to rob Max Muncy of extra bases. Grisham, who was shifted towards left-center field, covered a lot of ground to get to the ball, helping to keep Snell’s outing going strong.

Snell made his mistake on pitch 116, at which point Will Smith sent a high fastball over the left-center field wall, tying the game at one. Snell struck out the struggling Cody Bellinger, ending his night with a career-high 122 pitches. Snell left everything out on the mound, and his 23 outs were crucial for a bullpen that has been pushed to its limit thanks to numerous injuries to Padres starters.

The bullpen somehow found a way to keep the game scoreless for inning after inning. Daniel Hudson and Mark Melancon combined for four outs to keep the game tied, and Craig Stammen retired all three batters he faced to send the game to the 11th. Tim Hill’s inning was perfect, save for an intentional walk of Trea Turner, but things got wild in the 12th. Austin Adams immediately threw a wild pitch and walked a batter before a fielder’s choice gunned down Max Muncy at home. A strikeout got the Padres one out away from escaping the jam, but a walk then loaded the bases. After the first three pitches to Will Smith, who already homered for the Dodgers’ first run, were down and away, it did not look good for the Padres. Somehow, Austin Adams found control and retired Smith with a fly-out.

Nabil Crismatt found himself in huge danger in the 13th, allowing the first hit of the game since the ninth, before a 104.7 mile per hour Matt Beaty line drive was snared by Eric Hosmer. After a second fielder’s choice at home plate, a Max Muncy strikeout gave the Padres offense, who had not picked up a hit since the bottom of the fifth, another chance to win the game.

Thanks to a second pair of intentional walks to make a pitcher bat with the bases loaded, Ryan Weathers found himself with a chance to win the game. He grounded the ball back to Brusdal Graterol, and the game moved to the 14th inning, where Shaun Anderson, who the Padres called up before the game, entered. Coming into the game, Anderson had an ERA above nine, but due to the absurdity of baseball, he threw another scoreless inning.

Despite another two at-bats with runners in scoring position, the Padres were unable to push home a run. Instead, Daniel Camarena took the mound for the 15th. Earlier in the day, Camarena had taken the mound for the El Paso Chihuahuas before hopping on a plane flight to get to San Diego in time to pitch. Camarena understandably struggled, and after an infield single and a double steal, the Dodgers had two runners in scoring position with no outs. Despite getting a fly-out from Cody Bellinger, back-to-back singles put the Dodgers ahead by a pair. Camarena limited the damage to two runs, giving the top of the Padres order one last chance to pull a rabbit out of their hats.

Trent Grisham’s fly-out made it 27 outs for the Dodgers since a Padres hit. A lot of times in baseball, that’s a no-hitter, but instead, the Padres still had two outs to play with. Fernando Tatis Jr.was 0-6, with four strikeouts through the first 14 innings. The magical Tatis overcame all of that, homering to right, just over the glove of Chris Taylor. The game-tying blast came after the Dodgers finally broke through, giving the Padres life again. Corey Knebel recovered to get the final two outs, and the game moved to the 16th.

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With the Padres out of rested bullpen options, Jayce Tingler was forced to send Camarena back out for a second inning of work, despite his struggles in the previous frame. It did not get better for him, as he allowed a home run to A. J. Pollock, putting the Dodgers back ahead by a pair. He worked his way around a double, but the Padres once again needed two runs with just three outs to work with.

Shane Greene looked to close down the game for the Dodgers. The right-hander owned a 9.35 ERA on the season, giving the Padres a chance of hope. He quickly struck out Eric Hosmer and Tommy Pham, leaving the Padres down to their final out. After working ahead of Adam Frazier, the Padres were down to their last strike. Adam Frazier grounded out to Corey Seager, and the nearly six-hour odyssey finally concluded.

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