In a series full of the Dodgers not capitalizing on opportunities, the Padres opened the floodgates with a five-run seventh inning against three relievers, winning 5-3 in Game 4 to win the National League Division Series, sending the Dodgers home with 111 wins and nothing to show for it.
The Dodgers actually led 3-0 in the entering the bottom of the seventh, by exorcising a few series demons. Freddie Freeman had three hits, including his two-run double that snapped an 0-for-20 skid with runners in scoring position which was the third-longest in the postseason in Dodgers franchise history, per Sarah Langs of MLB.com.
They even scored a run off of a Padres reliever, when Will Smith delivered a sacrifice fly in the top of the seventh. That was the first run against San Diego’s bullpen in 16 innings this series, and despite a bases-loaded, no-out situation in that inning, was also the only run.
Tyler Anderson, who started the season sixth on the depth chart of a five-pitcher starting rotation but finished the season leading the team in innings, waited until the fourth game of the NLDS for his turn to start. All he did was deliver the best start of the series.
Anderson pitched five scoreless innings, striking out six, limiting the Padres to just two singles and two walks. He relied on his fastball more than usual, throwing it for 51 of his 86 pitches (59.3 percent), well above his 38-percent seasonal usage of the fastball. Anderson didn’t allow a hit after the second inning, and retired 10 of his last 11 batters faced.
He was removed in favor of Chris Martin, who worked around two hits to keep San Diego scoreless in the sixth.
With no Dodgers starter pitching more than five innings in the NLDS, the bullpen was tasked with a heavy workload. In the seventh inning of Game 4, three relievers were used for the second day in a row, and all gave up hits.
The nightmare inning began with a walk and four hits to tie the score at three. Tommy Kahnle faced three batters and retired none of them. Yency Almonte allowed hits to his first two batters, but recovered to get two outs, including a strikeout of Manny Machado.
Almonte threw one pitch, a ball, to Jake Cronenworth before Roberts called on lefty Alex Vesia for a rare mid-at-bat pitching change. It backfired when Cronenworth singled to center, driving home two go-ahead runs.
The Padres in the seventh inning of Game 4 had four hits with runners in scoring position. The Dodgers had two hits with runners in scoring position in Games 2-4 combined.
Evan Phillips, the Dodgers best reliever, did finally enter Game 4, but entered with the Dodgers down two runs, the fifth LA reliever used on the night.
The Dodgers beat the Padres in all six series they played during the regular season, but none of that mattered as San Diego advances to the NLCS while Los Angeles heads home.
NLDS Game 4 particulars
Home runs: none
WP — Tim Hill (0-0): ⅔ IP, 1 strikeout
LP — Yency Almonte (0-1): ⅔ IP, 2 hits, 2 runs, strikeout
Sv — Josh Hader (3): 1 IP, 3 strikeouts
Opening day is Thursday, March 30, 2023, with the D-backs coming to Dodger Stadium.