Padres win Game 3 of NLDS against Dodgers on strength of pitching staff

Credit: AP Photo

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Credit: MLB

Petco Park- San Diego, California

For the first time in 16 years, the San Diego Padres hosted a playoff game on Friday.

The electricity could be felt in the air as Petco Park exploded with applause during the announcements of the starting lineups. San Diegans showed up in full force and helped guide the Padres in the game. “This crowd was unbelievable,” Manny Machado said after the game.

Dodgers’ starter Tony Goselin mentioned to the media this week that he could not imagine Petco Park being any louder than Dodger Stadium. The Friar faithful were up to the challenge. The Los Angeles pitcher was knocked out of the game in the second inning by the Padres, to the delight of the fans.

Blake Snell toed the rubber for the Padres and brought his typical swagger to the mound. Snell left the bases loaded in the top of the third by getting Will Smith to pop up to Wil Myers. That was a huge moment in the game as the left-hander worked his way through the heart of the Dodger lineup after allowing a leadoff walk to Trayce Thompson and a base hit to Austin Barmes.

Andrew Heaney threw 61  pitches in relief of Goselin. He went three innings, only allowing one run as Trent Grisham continued his postseason dominance with a homer in the fourth inning off the Dodgers lefty. Grisham’s homer made it a 2-0 game. “It is easy to play in these situations. You feel how important it is to your teammates. You feel how important it is to this city,” Grisham said after the game. His homer proved to be the game-winner, but there were plenty of tense situations before the Padres would claim victory.

Credit: AP Photo

The pitch count again was an issue for Snell as he struggled to go deep into the game on Friday. “It’s tough. We found a way,” Blake Snell said after the game. The southpaw threw 87 pitched through five innings but went out for another frame. A double off the bat of Max Muncy with one out in the top of the sixth inning ended his night at 96 pitches as Bob Melvin made the walk from the dugout. Nick Martinez was summoned from the bullpen with Justin Turner at-bat for the Dodgers and Muncy at second base.

Martinez was able to strikeout Turner and get Chris Taylor to tap back to him for the third out of the sixth inning. The Padres bullpen once again put out the fire against the Dodgers. Luis Garcia threw a scoreless seventh inning as the game stayed close. The Padres held a 2-1 lead heading into the top of the eighth. Rookie pitcher Robert Suarez came into the game to face the heart of the Dodgers lineup.

Trea Turner singled to lead off the inning, but Suarez got Freddie Freeman to fly out weakly on the first pitch of his at-bat. Suarez, the first-year pitcher from the Japan Leagues, induced a pop-up from Will Smith, and then the fireballer promptly struck out Max Muncy. The Petco Park crowd went wild as the Padres looked to add on in the bottom of the eight to their 2-1 lead.

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Josh Hader was acquired this August and struggled immediately as a Friar. The left-handed made significant adjustments down the stretch and turned back into the dominant closer he was in Milwaukee. The Padres showed confidence in him heading into the playoffs, and the southpaw repaid that trust with scoreless baseball this playoff season.

On Friday, Hader came in to close a 2-1 game and looked dominant once again, hitting 100 mph with his fastball. Hader also threw a changeup and a wipeout slider to put away the Dodgers. The Padres won and are now up two games to one game, with Game 4 scheduled for Saturday evening.

Joe Musgrove will be on the mound. The native San Diegan will have an opportunity to knock out the Dodgers in one of the largest games in the history of the San Diego Padres.

The first pitch is scheduled for 6:37 PM.

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