Dodgers score against Padres: LA starts playoffs with win, holds San Diego in NLDS Game 1

The Los Angeles Dodgers beat the San Diego Padres, 5-3, Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium to take a 1-0 lead in the NLDS best of five.

Here’s everything you need to know about the game, and then the upcoming series.

Turner set the tone early

Despite a five-day layoff after a first-round bye, it didn’t take the Dodgers long to get on the board. Trea Turner, the second batter in the bottom of the first, started things off with a homer that was definitely left.

The 419 feet was just the beginning. Will Smith would double then score on a Max Muncy single. The Dodgers had three hits and a walk in the first inning by Padres starter Mike Clevinger.

Clevinger would end up lasting just 2 2/3 innings. He allowed five runs on six hits and the biggest problem was that five of those hits were for added bases. Trea Turner added a brace to her home run. Smith doubled twice. Gavin Lux completed an RBI double.

The Dodgers were in total control.

Urías deals early, runs into trouble, gets fired

Dodgers starter Julio Urías, the NL ERA regular season leader, was dominant for four innings. He didn’t allow a hit until there were two outs in the third. He faced just one over the minimum in four scoreless innings.

In the fifth, however, the Padres made it a game again. Wil Myers started with a home run. Jake Cronenworth scored a single and Ha-seong Kim doubled before two productive outs cut the Dodgers lead to 5-3.

And although Urías only threw 79 pitches, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts opted to go to his bullpen with Evan Phillips taking over for the sixth.

The Padres made it interesting

After the Padres cut the deficit from 5-0 to 5-3, they put the first two runners on base in the sixth against Phillips. Juan Soto, who walks more often than anyone else in baseball, drew a walk to start the inning. Manny Machado had a base hit, as he knocked down a dribbler on the third base line that Dodgers defenders tried to pass. He stayed fair and Machado had his hit.

There were now two no-out runners in a two-run game. The Padres had reduced the Dodgers’ win expectation from 95% to 65%. Josh Bell came to the plate with a chance to do some major damage. Instead, he knocked.

Myers then hit the ball really hard (100.1 miles per hour), but it was right at second baseman Gavin Lux. Lux surrounded him and the Dodgers were able to turn a double play to end the threat.

It was one of those times when the game seemed to be on the line and it went the Dodgers way.

Martin closes for the Dodgers

There was great interest in how the Dodgers put together their bullpen in close games before this game. Craig Kimbrel was the closest for most of the season, but the Dodgers removed him from the role at the end of the season – when the division was already over – and he’s not even on the NLDS roster. .

Evan Phillips worked the sixth. Alex Vesia got the seventh and then the first two outs of the eighth. Brusdal Graterol was called in to pick up Manny Machado, and he did it – although it was a deep flyout that wasn’t too far from a home run – then Chris Martin got the last three out for the stoppage .

That doesn’t necessarily mean that’s how the Dodgers will operate in every close game, but it’s possible that Phillips and Vesia serve as the “fire-putting” guys while Graterol and Martin are there for late-inning work.

They’re probably their top four relievers, though, that seems clear.

The Dodgers still own the Padres

The Padres have the opportunity this series to turn the tide and turn the tide, but it’s just not a rivalry right now. The Dodgers won the regular season series 14-5 and edged the Padres by 62, more than doubling them 109-47.

The Dodgers went 12-7 against the Padres last year. In 2020, it was 6-4 Dodgers in the regular season but then 3-0 Dodgers in the playoffs. In 2019, it was 13-6 Dodgers. The Padres haven’t had a winning record against the Dodgers since 2010.

Next: Game 2 Wednesday

They will face off again at Dodger Stadium for Game 2 on Wednesday at 8:37 p.m. ET.

Yu Darvish (16-8, 3.10) recovers the ball for the Padres. He was brilliant in the Wild Card series against the Mets, allowing just one run on six hits in seven innings of work. He’s faced the Dodgers four times this season, throwing to a 2.52 ERA and 0.92 WHIP, though that’s only enough for one split, with each team winning two of those games.

Clayton Kershaw (12-3, 2.28) will start for the Dodgers. As everyone knows by now, the narrative that Kershaw can’t pitch in the playoffs persists. He is 13-12 with a 4.19 ERA in his playoff career. He faced the Padres twice this year and posted a 0.75 ERA and 0.75 WHIP over 12 innings.

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