NLDS Recap: Dodgers Patiently Defeat Padres In Game 1

Neither Walker Buehler nor Mike Clevinger were long for Game 1 of the National League Division Series, which saw the Los Angeles Dodgers eventually get going in a 5-1 win over the San Diego Padres.

In Clevinger’s case, he was forced to come out after throwing two pitches in the second inning. He was starting for the first time this postseason after missing the Wild Card Series due to an elbow injury.

Clevinger had his usual velocity in the first inning, though lost command and issued a pair of walks. Will Smith nearly cashed it in but his line drive was caught by Fernando Tatis Jr.

Buehler fought a high pitch count in both the first and second innings to get through four. However, the Padres ultimately made him pay for continuing to walk batters. Buehler put Wil Myers on with one out in the fourth inning and he later stole second base.

Austin Nola’s sinking line drive into left field dropped in front of Pollock for an RBI single that gave the Padres a 1-0 lead. That Buehler only allowed one run was an accomplishment in itself, considering San Diego loaded the bases on three walks with one out in the second inning.

While Clevinger exiting early due to a potential injury was hardly ideal, the Padres could take solace in being familiar with relying heavily on their stable of relief pitchers.

The Dodgers worked plenty of walks and loaded the bases in the bottom of the fourth inning, only for Mookie Betts to fly out to left field. Justin Turner’s walk in the fifth inning led to scoring the game-tying run when Cody Bellinger’s grounder to the right side of the infield resulted in an error on Eric Hosmer as he dropped the ball for what would’ve been the third out.

After going hitless through five innings, the Dodgers broke through in the sixth. The rally fittingly began with a one-out walk, which was followed by a Betts double. Corey Seager’s sacrifice fly gave the Dodgers a lead, and Justin Turner added to it by going inside out for an RBI base hit into right field.

Max Muncy’s double and intentional walk of Will Smith loaded the bases, then led to Bellinger’s RBI infield single. The Dodgers capped off the four-run inning with Muncy coming across on a wild pitch.

Both prior to and after the offense waking up from its slumber, the Dodgers bullpen answered the bell. Dustin May, Victor Gonzalez, Blake Treinen and Kenley Jansen combined for five shutout innings.

Of note considering the NLDS is being played without any off days, the Padres used nine pitchers in the Game 1 loss. They became he first team to ever use nine pitchers in three separate games during a single postseason.

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