Padres score against Dodgers: San Diego takes NLDS lead as bullpen, Trent Grisham helps defeat LA

In the San Diego Padres’ first home playoff game with fans since 2006, the hosts thrilled the crowd as the Padres edged the Los Angeles Dodgers 2-1. With the victory in Game 3 of the National League Division Series, the Padres took a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five series. That means the Padres are one win away from eliminating the Dodgers, who won a franchise-record 111 games during the regular season.

Padres starter Blake Snell dumped 5 1/3 innings of a run, and the San Diego bullpen continued to put zeros on the board. On offense, Trent Grisham hit his third home run of the 2022 playoffs.

The winner of this series will move on to the NLCS to face the winner of the Philadelphia Phillies-Atlanta Braves NLDS.

Now for the match 3 takeaways.

Tony Gonsolin wasn’t able to give the Dodgers much

With a forearm injury, Gonsolin missed more than a month in the streak and only returned in time to make an abbreviated start against the Rockies on Oct. 3. In Friday night’s third game, he wasn’t himself. Control was sorely lacking, and Gonsolin’s fastball speed was down about a tick (just like against Colorado in their last start). He endured a 31-pitch first inning, and Dave Roberts was emotional for Andrew Heaney to warm up in that first frame. Things could have gotten worse in the second, but Gonsolin was able to escape disaster thanks in part to a bunt attempt by Jurickson Profar that went wrong.

Roberts had about 75 pitches slated for Gonsolin in Game 3, but he was only able to last 42 pitches and 1 1/3 innings. During that span, he allowed one run on four hits with one strikeout and one walk. In the first two games of this series, the Dodgers went eight relief appearances and eight relief innings. Even with the day off before Game 3 and the first-round bye, the LA pen is racking up recent miles. This trend continued on Friday.

Padres’ bullpen has been nails

In the first two games of this series, the San Diego bullpen posted these numbers: 9 1/3 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 9 SO, 4 BB. Then, in the crucial Game 3, that same pen was tasked with protecting a one-run lead for 11 outs – including Nick Martinez at sixth inheriting a runner in scoring position with one out. Once again, San Diego’s relief corps rose to the challenge and did so against one of MLB’s best offenses. Now for these updated numbers for the NLDS: 13 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 15 SO, 4 BB.

Trent Grisham continued his playoff fireworks

Pads center fielder and No. 8 hitter Trent Grisham endured a pretty tough regular season at the plate, but he was huge in the Wild Card series upset by the Mets, as he got through twice in three games. In the first two games of the NLDS against the Dodgers, Grisham didn’t do much, but he rediscovered his first-round power hit in the fourth inning of Game 3:

Andrew Heaney’s came off the stick at 109.8 mph and traveled 389 feet. That third home run in the 2022 playoffs — in just six games played — has put Grisham into elite franchise company:

At a minimum, he’ll have at least two more games to tie or beat Jim Leyritz’s record. More importantly, the Padres probably wouldn’t be where they are without Grisham’s October surge.

The Dodgers again struggled with runners in scoring position

On Friday night, the Dodgers found themselves empty in RISP situations for a second straight game. In Game 3, they went 0 for 9 with RISP, which means they are now 0 for their last 19 in such places. Suffice it to say, the Dodgers are just a few timely shots away from this very different series.

History favors the Padres

Unsurprisingly, the Padres are in good shape with a 2-1 lead in a best-of-five series. In the history of the best of five League Divisional Series, a team has taken a 2–1 series lead 67 times, and 49 of those teams leading 2–1 have won the series. In other words, only 26.9% of teams down 2-1 in the LDS came back to win, the LDS said.

For the Dodgers, the first step in defying the odds and history comes in Game 4 on Saturday. Tyler Anderson goes for LA against Joe Musgrove, and the first pitch is scheduled for 9:07 p.m. ET at Petco Park in San Diego.

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