Dodgers, Padres play a thriller in first assembly of 2021; six takeaways from NL West showdown


The environment in San Diego on Friday was infinitely extra October than April. The Dodgers have been on the town for the primary of 19 “World Collection video games” this season vs. the division-rival Padres. The 15,250 followers at Petco Park, break up into blue and brown camps, introduced postseason vitality.

Let’s hope that these groups are nonetheless battling for first place within the NL West in Sport 19 on Sept. 30, as a result of the opener of the season sequence — which the Dodgers gained 11-6 in 12 innings — was electrical.

MORE: Bellinger noticed this coming within the spring

A six-pack of takeaways from the most effective recreation up to now in 2021, a 4-hour, 57-minute thrill trip that ended at 3:08 a.m. ET:

Fernando Tatis Jr. introduced his return in a giant manner

The San Diego shortstop missed simply 10 days after showing to endure a critical shoulder damage. He got here off the injured checklist Friday and instantly made up for misplaced time with a house run to heart discipline towards LA starter Walker Buehler.

The drive turned the depth inside Petco as much as 11. 

Sadly for Tatis and the Padres, he struck out with the bases loaded to finish the underside of the tenth.

Manny Machado performed on guts on the finish

Machado appeared to harm himself batting towards LA nearer Kenley Jansen within the backside of the ninth. Machado stayed in and finally drew a two-out stroll to maintain the sport going. He then stole second and superior to 3rd on a wild pitch earlier than scoring on Eric Hosmer’s two-strike, ground-ball single to heart.

He was uncomfortable your complete journey across the bases however nonetheless managed to complete the sport. 

Each closers entered in a tie recreation

Jansen got here on with two outs within the backside of the eighth and the go-ahead run in scoring place after the Padres had rallied to tie. Melancon began the highest of the ninth in a 5-5 recreation. Each relievers finally gave up runs, which despatched the sport to extras.

However the nearer utilization confirmed how essential the sport was to the groups. Jansen was requested to get 4 outs, Melancon six. The sport’s depth additionally appeared to spice up Jansen’s fastball. He was touching the mid-90s with it.

Sure, the benches cleared

Do not guess on that being the one dustup this season. The groups bought collectively within the backside of the tenth after Dodgers reliever Dennis Santana hit Jorge Mateo within the thigh with a fastball. The 2 exchanged glances and phrases. They wound up standing in entrance of one another however declined to do anything. Their teammates did not must work onerous to carry them again.

There might need been extra exercise if the sport wasn’t on the road on the time.

The Dodgers confirmed off their unparalleled depth

LA obtained huge offensive contributions from rookies Luke Raley (fifth-inning dwelling run) and Zach McKinstry (RBI double within the eighth). They have been in for outfielder A.J. Pollock (groin) and second baseman Gavin Lux (wrist), respectively. The lefty-swinging McKinstry’s hit got here off Padres left-hander Drew Pomeranz, who was dominant with San Diego final season.

McKinstry has hit effectively sufficient to obtain semi-regular at-bats. He has a .999 OPS in 46 plate appearances.

MORE: Bellinger has fracture, is out indefinitely

And whereas San Diego’s bullpen struggled late (extra on that within the last merchandise), LA gave the eleventh and twelfth innings to David Value, the $32 million left-hander who’s the workforce’s No. 3 nearer at the second behind Jansen and Corey Knebel. Value earned the win with two scoreless frames, placing out 4, one night time after he notched a save towards the Rockies. 

Issues bought bizarre on the finish

Padres supervisor Jayce Tingler put second baseman Jake Cronenworth on the mound to complete the twelfth after the Dodgers scored thrice towards Tim Hill, who faltered in his second inning of aid. Hill was the Padres’ eighth reliever on the night time. San Diego’s nine-man bullpen was brief an arm as a result of Craig Stammen labored three innings for a save Thursday afternoon in Pittsburgh.

Cronenworth was a two-way participant within the Rays group, so pitching him on this state of affairs made sense. The odd a part of the transfer was that San Diego starter Joe Musgrove needed to are available and play left discipline as a result of the Padres have been additionally out of place gamers. Jurickson Profar moved from left to second instead of Cronenworth. And, as a result of the ball finds you, because the baseball saying goes, Musgrove caught a line-drive sacrifice fly hit by . . . Value. 

So as to add to the loopy, Cronenworth struck out Mookie Betts to finish the inning.

After which Musgrove batted within the backside of the twelfth. Value struck him out.

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