In a memorable season filled with so many positives, the 2020 Padres season will hopefully be remembered for what they did as opposed to what they didn’t achieve. They not only made the postseason for the first time in a decade, but they won their playoff series against the Cardinals, a team known for having San Diego’s number in the post season.
Hopefully it’s remembered for the grand slams, the astonishing plays made by their young phenom Fernando Tatis Jr. and superstar Manny Machado, and heck, even Jake Cronenworth found a way to grab some headlines despite not being on anyone’s radar prior to the season.
But the sad truth is, the season ended last night in less-than-ideal circumstances.
Last night, the Padres held an early 2-1 lead in the bottom of the third. The fan base was content and the energy was high, at least virtually. But the warm and fuzzy feelings evaporated soon after as the Dodgers would go on to score 11 more runs en route to a 12-3 series victory in Globe Life Field.
The Padres utilized 11 pitchers on the night, with only four of them completing a full inning. Starter Adrian Morejon went 2 1⁄3 inning, allowing two hits, three runs, and two walks with a pair of strikeouts. Closer Trevor Rosenthal struggled mightily in the final inning, allowing four more runs in the final stanza which made the Dodgers’ lead insurmountable.
One of the greatest potential swings of momentum for San Diego came in the second when the bases were loaded after Wil Myers was intentionally walked three batters into the inning. Cronenworth was walked, himself, which lead to a tie game at 1-1. Jason Castro would grounded into fielder’s choice for the team’s second out on the next at-bat, but Trent Grisham knocked a single into shallow left center to bring home Myers for the go-ahead run. The Dodgers then made a pitching change to Julio Urias, who got Tatis to strikeout swinging to end the inning.
Oh, what could have been there, my friends. I’m sure Tatis will forever want that one back, but chalk it up underneath motivation for the future.
Urias went on to pitch five innings, allowing just one hit and striking out six. His pitching helped keep the Padres at bay while the Dodgers tacked on seven runs through the next three innings, extending their lead to 8-2.
C Will Smith had a postseason-record five hits on the evening out of six plate appearances.
3B Justin Turner hit an RBI single to give the Dodgers the lead back at 3-2 in the third that was his 64th of the postseason. That broke Steve Garvey’s franchise record for postseason hits, giving Turner sole possession of the mark.
When the Padres needed their live bats the most, they weren’t anywhere to be found in what was a quiet postseason compared to their regular season slugfest. Tatis finished 1-3 at the plate for a walk and a strikeout. Machado went 1-for-4. Cronenworth and Grisham were the only two to record an RBI.
This was my first season covering the Padres, and it was an absolute pleasure. Thank you to all of you for making it a really fun and engaging “season” and I cannot wait to go through it all again next year when we get three times as many games.
Enjoy the weekend, and Go Padres.