Dodgers-Padres saw plenty of action on the basepaths, but not a lot of actual hitting for both sides. The go-ahead run in the eighth inning for the Padres, and the tying run for the Dodgers in the ninth both scored on balls that weren’t caught cleanly. So it was fitting that the game ended on a base on balls, as Craig Kimbrel walked in the winning run with the bases loaded, giving San Diego a 4-3 win in 10 innings.
They say that at any given baseball game you can get to see something new and in this particular affair, it didn’t take long for this on Tuesday.
Mookie Betts led off the ballgame with a single, then stole steal second base. But he was told to go back to first base because of umpire’s interference, as home plate ump Sean Barner failed to get out of the way of catcher Austin Nola’s throw to second.
Betts had the base stolen one way or another, but due to the way the rule is set up, much like when a runner would’ve easily scored on a ground-rule double, there just isn’t anything you can do about it.
Interestingly enough, that came to be all the damage that the Dodgers lineup would inflict on Blake Snell on the night.
In a matchup of southpaws, the similarities between the two pitchers stop there, and their performance in tonight’s outing only highlighted that.
Blake Snell is a high-strikeout pitcher but struggles to go deep in games, while Tyler Anderson succeeds by pitching to, and inducing soft contact, with below-average strikeout numbers, and the ability to eat up innings.
Snell allowed no hits after Betts’ leadoff single. He was dominant, but ran several counts full and walked three batters on the night. The bulk of his five innings were stressful, and he didn’t get to see the sixth, after throwing 96 pitches.
The Dodgers are a patient offense and deserve a part of the credit for making Snell work deep counts, and getting on via base on balls. But this wasn’t an outlier performance for the Padres’ starter, Snell routinely runs up his pitch count against virtually every team, even if he was coming off his first two-seven inning outings on the season.
On the other side of the mound, Anderson simply cruised through six innings following a two-run seeing-eye single by Will Myers in the first that did all the damage for the Padres off Anderson on the night. And it was only six through an abundance of caution, as the Dodgers’ starter left with only 71 pitches on the night.
Anderson was true to his nature, walking none, and only striking out three with five whiffs, and left after retiring his final sixteen hitters.
It only took Snell leaving the game for the Dodgers offense to get on the board with two runs in the bottom of the sixth against Nick Martinez, with a Max Muncy RBI ground-out, and a clutch two-out RBI single from Chris Taylor.
The single by Taylor was the Dodgers’ only hit in 17 at-bats with runners in scoring position Tuesday.
With the game tied late, it was going to be up to the bullpens to see who blinked first, and after Evan Phillips did what Evan Phillips does in the seventh, unfortunately, Caleb Ferguson struggled to find the zone and loaded the bases with only one out before Dave Roberts put in Chris Martin.
The Dodgers’ deadline pickup struck out Manny Machado and Jurickson Profar, but a Brandon Drury grounder eluded Justin Turner just enough to allow the Padres’ first baseman to get to first and drive in the go-ahead run.
Unfortunately for the Padres, sloppiness was in play for both sides, as Josh Hader came in to close out the ball game, and with runners at the corners and two outs, defensive replacement Jorge Alfaro behind the plate failed to corral a high fastball and saw it go all the way to the backstop, allowing Trea Turner to score and tie the game.
A mistake that only happened because Ha-Seong Kim committed an error on a Will Smith ground-out that extended the inning.
After failing to score in the top of the tenth inning, the Dodgers had to hold the Padres scoreless with the automatic runner on second, and Kimbrel coming into the ballgame, and the losing experience was as painful as possible.
Kim bunted the runner to third, Roberts put Soto on intentionally, and SportsNet LA analyst Eric Karros seemed baffled by the decision to pitch to Manny Machado with the second base open, and the fifth run being useless, but there was a very clear explanation.
Roberts didn’t want Kimbrel pitching without the benefit of an open base, fearing what ultimately did the Dodgers in, the walk. Machado struck out, Kimbrel walked Brandon Drury on six pitches to load the bases, and despite needing to throw strikes, Kimbrel tossed two non-competitive outside fastballs to walk Alfaro, and lose the game.
Home runs: none
WP — Pierce Johnson (1-1): 1 IP, 1 strikeout
LP —Craig Kimbrel (6-7): ⅔ IP, 1 run, 3 walks, 1 strikeout
Julio Urías will take the ball for the Dodgers on Wednesday night (6:40 p.m., SportsNet LA), with Joe Musgrove starting for the Padres.