The Los Angeles Dodgers won a franchise-record 111 games during the regular season en route to capturing their ninth National League West title in the last 10 seasons and a first-round bye in the playoffs.
The Dodgers were ultimately matched up against the San Diego Padres, who advanced by defeating the New York Mets in the Wild Card Series. It was a favorable matchup for L.A. on paper as they went 14-5 against thee Padres during the regular season.
The Dodgers, however, could not replicate that success as they struggled to find consistency at the plate and were eliminated by the Padres in four games.
Joe Musgrove, who was on the mound for San Diego in the decisive Game 4 at Petco Park, hopes the Padres’ momentous victory will mark the beginning of a new era, via Scott Miller of The New York Times:
“As much as we know there’s a lot of baseball ahead of us and more games to be played, this is something that needs to be celebrated,” Musgrove said. “Because for a long time those guys up north have been beating us down and knocking us out of playoff contention and taken the division from us every year. So these fans deserve to celebrate tonight as a moment of the changing of the tides, hopefully.”
As Musgrove noted, the Dodgers-Padres ‘rivalry’ has been rather one-sided over the past decade, with San Diego only advancing to the playoffs twice since 2007. Their only other postseason matchup resulted in a Dodgers sweep during the 2020 NLDS.
Musgrove did his part to change the narrative as he allowed two runs on six hits and collected eight strikeouts against the Dodgers in Game 4.
The Padres now take on the Philadelphia Phillies in the NL Championship Series, which begins Tuesday, Oct. 18.
Clayton Kershaw: Padres outplayed Dodgers in NLDS
Prior to the NLDS, the Padres had never won two consecutive games against the Dodgers this year. Clayton Kershaw gave credit to San Diego for playing well.
“It’s always disappointing to lose in the postseason,” Kershaw said. “That’s what makes winning so great and losing so bad. Part of being in the postseason is it’s just abrupt.
“It just ends when you don’t expect it to. You’ve got to give a lot of credit to the Padres. They played really well, had great at-bats the whole series, made big pitches when they had to, and they played better than us. It’s hard to admit sometimes, but that’s the honest truth of it. They just beat us.”
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