Video Credit: MLB

FSM Essential Recap: Dodgers vs Padres – Series 41

Los Angeles Dodgers (81-47)  |  San Diego Padres (68-61)


“Listen, if you start worrying about the people in the stands, before too long you’re up in the stands with them.”

– Tommy LaSorda


Game 1:


Dodgers vs Padres
Photo Credit: Dodger Blue

After pushing the bullpen to its limit in a 16-inning triumph that ended in the wee hours Thursday morning, Max Scherzer provided relief for the Dodgers on Thursday night in a 4-0 win to finish off a three-game sweep on the Padres at Petco Park.

Scherzer struck out 10 in 7⅔ scoreless innings, his fifth double-digit strikeout game of the season and second with the Dodgers. He pitched into the eighth inning for the fourth time this year, easing the burden on a bullpen that used nine pitchers on Wednesday and had at least four relievers unavailable to pitch in the series finale.

Scherzer said he didn’t see the end of Wednesday night’s 16-inning win, as he was back at the hotel trying to sleep in advance of his start. He woke up to the news of the win.

Knowing that the game transpired like that, I understood what I needed to do today,” Scherzer said. “My number one goal was to go deep into the ball game. That was going to give us the best chance to win.”

Dodgers pitchers lulled the Padres to sleep during the series, allowing a total of five runs and 10 hits in three games. Two of those runs were unearned, for a 0.79 ERA with 36 strikeouts and eight unintentional walks in 34 innings. Starters allowed only one unearned run in 19⅓ innings.

When starting pitchers can go out there and do their jobs, and you go deep into ball games, it puts everybody in their roles where they feel comfortable,” Scherzer said. “It allows the offense as well to get some rhythm at the plate. You have a quick inning, and get your hitters back to the bat rack, they tend to hit better.”

Scherzer struck out the side in the first inning and got to eight strikeouts through just four innings. He retired the side in order in three of the first four frames. A leadoff double and hit by pitch in the fifth got Scherzer in some trouble, but he struck out Ha-Seong Kim and induced a double play to escape the threat unscathed.

That Caratini double-play ball, JT to Turner to Billy was a game-changing play,” manager Dave Roberts said.

Scherzer retired his final six batters faced on the night, striking out Victor Caratini on his 104th pitch of the night. Scherzer allowed only four batters to reach base.

He mixes, changeup, curveball slider. He’s fun to catch,” catcher Austin Barnes told Kirsten Watson on SportsNet LA. “It’s the first time I got to catch him, and I can see why he’s so good.”

Since joining the Dodgers, Scherzer has been every bit as good as advertised, allowing five runs in five starts, with 41 strikeouts against only five walks and a 1.55 ERA in 29 innings. He’s won four of the five starts, and the other outing was six strikeouts in 3⅓ scoreless frames shortened by rain in Philadelphia on August 10.


Dodgers vs Padres
Photo Credit: KCBS L.A.

He’s been huge. He’s been better than advertised,” Roberts said. “I knew there was a work ethic and a fire. But I didn’t realize the preparation. He knows exactly what he wants to do when he takes that mound.”

Yu Darvish had his way with the Dodgers in his first three starts against them this year, allowing three total runs on just seven hits in 20 innings, with 29 strikeouts.

The Dodgers had just two extra-base hits off Darvish in those first three starts, but on Thursday they had three in the third inning alone. After a Billy McKinney walk, while seemingly directly facing the sun to start the frame, Barnes hit his fifth home run of the season.

One out later, Trea Turner and Corey Seager pulled back-to-back doubles for a 3-0 advantage, matching the Dodgers’ total against Darvish in his first three starts.

In the fourth inning, AJ Pollock drove a ball that Gold Glove centerfielder Trent Grisham couldn’t corral, ending up with a triple, and scored a final fourth tally off Darvish on a sacrifice fly. Pollock had two hits on the night after making several key plays in each of the first two games of the series.

Pollock nearly had another home run in the ninth inning but was robbed by Trent Grisham over the center-field wall, the umpteenth excellent catch near an outfield wall in this series.

Prior to the game, the Dodgers activated Mookie Betts from the 10-day injured list, and he was 0 for 3 with a walk and two strikeouts. He missed 16 games with right hip inflammation. Also recalled Darien Núñez and optioned Gavin Lux and Matt Beaty to Triple-A Oklahoma City.


Game 3 Boxscore:


WP: Max Scherzer (12-4)

LP: Yu Darvish (7-8)

HR: Austin Barnes (5)



The Dodgers are back home for a weekend series against the Rockies at Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers haven’t named a starter, but Dave Roberts said Friday would be a bullpen game. “We’re going to kind of piece this series together,” Roberts said. “Like we do, we’ll manage it,” while the Rockies will start Kyle Freeland. The first pitch is at 7:10 and can be seen on SportsNet LA.



Game 2:


Dodgers vs Padres
Photo Credit: Denis Poroy/Getty Images

Walker Buehler and Blake Snell were both brilliant on Wednesday night, but they were long forgotten by the time this one ended. The Dodgers beat the Padres 5-3 in 16 innings at Petco Park, the longest extra-inning game since the new format started in 2020.

AJ Pollock hit a two-run home run-off reliever Daniel Camarena — the Padres’ ninth pitcher of the night — in the 16th inning for the game-winner.

Since the runner-on-second rule was instituted in 2020, the previous longest MLB game was 13 innings, done four times.

I don’t even know how many innings we played,” Dave Roberts said. “To come away with a win was huge.”

Even with a free runner on second base to start each extra frame, neither team scored a single run from the 10th through the 14th innings. The game was already loopy by this point, but then it got interesting.

The Dodgers’ first two hits with runners in scoring position did not score a run. One of them didn’t even advance a runner, since Chris Taylor had to hold at second base on an infield single by Will Smith in the 15th.

Taylor would score, thanks to Billy McKinney’s pinch-hit single off Daniel Camarena, then Trea Turner one pitch later singled home Smith, prompting Joe Davis to scream, “The floodgates have opened!” on SportsNet LA.

The Dodgers only had five hits in the first 14 innings, before three hits off Camarena in the 15th. The Padres went 10 innings without a hit, from Adam Frazier’s one-out single in the fifth to Fernando Tatis Jr.’s game-tying two-run home run in the 15th inning.

It was Tatis’ National League-leading 35th home run of the season and was his first hit in seven at-bats in the game, in which he struck out four times. It was that kind of a night.

Oh, and the home run came after Corey Knebel tried twice to commit an intentional balk to get the free runner off second base, to avoid any sign reading.

Shane Greene, the Dodgers’ 10th pitcher of the night, in just his second game with his new team, got the final three outs for the save. Greene is the eighth Dodgers pitcher to save a game this season.

I can’t say enough about these guys. It was frustrating at times, but those guys kept putting up zeroes,” Roberts said. “This was certainly a team win.”

Despite the paucity of offense, there was still plenty of intrigue. Roberts intentionally walked two batters to load the bases in the 11th inning, bringing up pitcher Joe Musgrove, who was forced to pinch-hit because Jayce Tingler used all his position players. Musgrove struck out.

It happened again in the 14th in the same fashion, this time with Brusdar Graterol pitching. He got Ryan Weathers to tap back to the box to end the threat. Roberts settled for an intentional walk with nobody on in the 15th, which made history.

The Dodgers intentionally walked eight Padres batters on Wednesday, setting a major league record. The old franchise record was six intentional walks, on July 5, 1940, by Brooklyn against the Boston Braves in a 20-inning game.

Thanks to a wild pitch, Max Muncy was on third base with nobody out in the 12th. Then with a runner on first base, Pollock’s hard grounder was stabbed by Manny Machado at third base. Muncy was far closer to third base than Machado, who looked in his direction. But Muncy, presumably thinking Machado might turn a double play, suddenly broke for home, running into an easy, yet singular out. Two more walks loaded the bases in that inning, but the Dodgers did not score.

Buehler allowed only three singles and a walk while pitching at least into the seventh for the sixth time in his last eight starts. The only run scored against him was unearned courtesy of Trea Turner throwing a ball into a camera well in the second inning and a two-out slow ground ball single up the third-base line by Wil Myers.

A walk to Myers with two outs in the seventh, the first free pass issued by Buehler in his last two starts, ended Buehler’s night, lowering his major-league-leading ERA to 2.02.

Walker threw the heck out of the baseball tonight,” Roberts added at the end of his postgame session. “Yesterday,” he added with a laugh.

Buehler left with 106 pitches, the same number Snell was at through seven scoreless innings.

But on a team that has taxed its bullpen greatly of late, Padres manager Jayce Tingler let Snell continue into the eighth for the first time since July 7, 2018. Snell’s 7⅔ innings were a career-high, and he even whiffed two in the inning to push his total to 10 strikeouts for the game.

But in between the two eighth-inning strikeouts for Snell was Smith launching a ball into the left-field seats to tie the game at one apiece.

The Dodgers had a pair of near-misses earlier in the game.


Photo Credit: Denis Poroy/Getty Images

One night after Pollock robbed Machado of a home run, a pair of Padres outfielders got into the act to turn the tables. Wil Myers robbed Corey Seager at the left-field wall with one out in the second inning, and Trent Grisham did the same in center field to Muncy with one out in the fourth.

Neither ball was sure home runs, but at the very least could have been extra bases. The Dodgers needed all the help they could get against Snell, who otherwise allowed only a pair of singles and no walks.

Snell’s slider was particularly confounding on Wednesday, inducing 11 swinging strikes. The Dodgers were hitless in nine at-bats at ended with the slider, including finishing off three of his 10 strikeouts.

It’s been a bad season overall for Snell, with a 4.58 ERA and 4.17 FIP with the Padres. But he’s been much better in August, with a 2.12 ERA and 44 strikeouts in 29⅔ innings. The Dodgers have had trouble against Snell all year, scoring five runs off him in four starts, for a 1.96 ERA, 29 strikeouts, and a paltry .190/.252/.286 line against the left-hander.


Game 2 Boxscore:


WP: Corey Knebel (3-0)

LP: Daniel Camarena (0-1)

SV: Shane Greene (1)

HR: Will Smith (20), AJ Pollock (16); Fernando Tatis Jr. (35)


Thursday night’s series finale starts an hour earlier and also delivers a wonderful pitching matchup on paper between the Dodgers Max Scherzer and the Padres Yu Darvish. The first pitch is at 6:10 and could be seen on SportsNet LA.




Game 1:


Dodgers vs Padres
Photo Credit: Los Angeles Dodgers

Scoring was at a premium on Tuesday night at Petco Park, but AJ Pollock did his best to procure and prevent runs in the Dodgers’ 5-2 win over the Padres in the opener of a three-game series in San Diego.

Pollock’s resurgence this season has been on offense, especially while hitting .363/.413/.624 since the beginning of July. But in the fourth inning, Manny Machado hit a ball with enough distance to get over the left-field wall for a potential 2-1 Padres lead. But Pollock got over the wall as well, leaping to snag the two-run homer in heavy traffic among fans.

I embarrassed myself the last time I went up to rob a homer [against the Mets at home over the weekend],” Pollock told Kirsten Watson on SportsNet LA after the game. “I was trying to tell the guys I had a little more hops than last time. I wanted to jump early so I didn’t hit the wall, like last time. It was fun. It’s always fun robbing home runs.”

When I saw AJ going back, getting under the ball, and estimating his jump, I knew there was a chance. But you get the fans involved and there’s a little bit of confusion and worry,” Julio Urías said through a translator. “It was a really good play.”

Machado had a great defensive play of his own in the seventh. With runners on second and third base and one out, Chris Taylor’s sharp grounder was just inside third base. Machado’s diving stop briefly prevented two runs from scoring, and though Machado briefly left the field to get examined by team trainers during a pitching change, he stayed in.

Naturally, Pollock was the next batter, and with the bases loaded he singled to right to score those two runs that Machado denied. Pollock has 15 RBI in 18 games in August.

Since the break, he’s played as good a baseball as anybody,” manager Dave Roberts said. “He’s hitting right-handers, left-handers, playing really good defense, being dynamic on the bases. He’s been slugging but can downshift and get the base hit when we need it. Overall he’s just been a really good player.”


Dodgers vs Padres
Photo Credit: Denis Poroy/Getty Images

The Padres deployed a bullpen game on Tuesday, and for the first six innings held the Dodgers to just one hit, a solo home run by Will Smith in the second inning off-nominal starter Pierce Johnson.

That was the only run of the game until the seventh when the Dodgers got four hits off Daniel Camarena and Daniel Hudson to add those two insurance runs.

Two more scored in the eighth thanks to a Trea Turner double and another one of his cool slides as he stole third base. Two walks, then sacrifice flies by Justin Turner and Corey Seager widened the advantage.

Thanks in large part to Pollock’s home run robbery, the Padres didn’t score off Julio Urías in his first start back off the injured list. Urías only allowed one hit, a double by Eric Hosmer with one out in the fifth inning.

Urías escaped the jam by getting Ha-Seong Kim to ground out and pinch-hitter Adam Frazier to fly out to center, ending his night with five scoreless innings for the third time in four August starts.

A five-run lead got a little hairy in the eighth inning when a walk by Corey Knebel and a two-run home run by Jurickson Profar put the Padres on the board. Then with two outs, Blake Treinen entered but walked both Fernando Tatis Jr. and Manny Machado to bring the tying run to the plate, but struck out Jake Cronenworth swinging to end the threat.

Kenley Jansen allowed a single to Wil Myers and walked Jurickson Profar after an 11-pitch battle to bring the tying run to the plate again in the ninth. But Jansen struck out Frazier on three pitches to end it.

Knebel, Treinen, and Jansen needed a combined 64 pitches to get the final six outs.


Game 1 Boxscore:


WP: Julio Urías (14-3)

LP: Pierce Johnson (3-3)

SV: Kenley Jansen (28)

HR: Will Smith (19), Jurickson Profar (3)


The Dodgers will start Walker Buehler on Wednesday night. He will face Blake Snell, who will be starting for the Padres, having allowed four total runs in three starts against the Dodgers this season, with 19 strikeouts and seven walks in 15⅓ innings. The first pitch is at 7:10 on SportsNet LA, and ESPN.


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– Joe Arrigo

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