2022 National League Wild Card Series 2

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2022 National League Wild Card Series
San Diego Padres logo
2022 National League Wild Card Series logo
New York Mets logo
San Diego Padres
89 - 73 in the NL
2 - 1
Series Summary
New York Mets
101 - 59 in the NL

Overview[edit]

The Teams[edit]

Mets

Padres

Umpires[edit]

Series results[edit]

Game Score Date Starters Time (ET)
1 San Diego Padres 7 New York Mets 1 October 7 Yu Darvish (1-0) Max Scherzer (0-1) 8:07 pm
2 San Diego Padres 3 New York Mets 7 October 8 Blake Snell (0-0) Jacob deGrom (1-0) 7:37 pm
3 San Diego Padres 6 New York Mets 0 October 9 Joe Musgrove (1-0) Chris Bassitt (0-1) 7:07 pm

Results[edit]

Game 1 @ Citi Field[edit]

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Padres 2 1 0 0 4 0 0 0 0 7 8 0
Mets 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 7 0
WP: Yu Darvish (1-0); LP: Max Scherzer (0-1)
Home Runs: SD - Josh Bell (1), Trent Grisham (1), Jurickson Profar (1), Manny Machado (1); NY - Eduardo Escobar (1)
  • Attendance: 41,621

San Diego won Game 1 by battering New York Mets starter Max Scherzer for four home runs, as the 40-million-dollar man seemed out of sorts, from the time he stepped on the mound to start the 1st inning. Jurickson Profar led off the game with a single, but Scherzer managed to retire the next two batters. Up next was DH Josh Bell, who hadn't done much after being acquired alongside Juan Soto in the Padres' big mid-season trade, but he erased that by homering to center field, stunning the Citi Field crowd. But that 2-0 lead was just the beginning. In contrast, Yu Darvish was on a good day, using all of his vast array of pitches to keep Mets batters off-stride, although he did put a couple of men on base in the 1st, hitting Francisco Lindor with a pitch and allowing a single to batting champion Jeff McNeil. However, he got Daniel Vogelbach to fly out softly to right to end the inning, the weak fly ball being Darvish's best weapon in this game.

For those who thought Scherzer's 1st-inning troubles were just a blip, they were disproved in the 2nd when he gave up another gopher ball with two outs, this one to Trent Grisham with no one on base. Starling Marte tried to inject some energy back into the crowd in the bottom of the inning when, after a lead-off single, he stole second and third base, but he was stranded there by a couple of fly ball outs and a strikeout. Things settled down over the next two innings, and it seemed as if Scherzer was back on track, which explains why no one was warming up for the Mets when the 5th inning started. Ha-Seong Kim led off the inning with a single but Grisham popped up to second for the first out. Next up was Austin Nola who doubled into the right field corner on the next pitch, Kim being prevented from scoring when the ball bounced into the stands. Up next came Profar, and, again on the first pitch, he lined the ball into the left field stands for a three-run homer. Just like that, it was 6-0, and it had happened so fast that Buck Showalter hadn't been able to react. As a reliever was finally getting up in the bullpen, Scherzer retired Soto for out number two, but on his next pitch he gave up a fourth homer, another line drive, this one by Manny Machado. Trevor May was finally ready to take over for Scherzer, but it was too late.

The Mets did reply with a solo homer by Eduardo Escobar with one out in the bottom of the 5th, but that was it. With two outs, Brandon Nimmo hit a triple to the right field corner on a ball that could have been caught by Soto were it not for the windy conditions, but he was stranded and Lindor popped up harmlessly to end the inning. The Padres had done enough with their bats, and it was now a question of how long Darvish could fluster the Mets. He allowed only a single in the 6th and a double to Escobar in the 7th, but otherwise was untouched. Robert Suarez replaced him in the 8th and retired the Mets in order on three more fly outs. Luis Garcia took over in the 9th. He gave up a one-out single to Marte, moved him to second on a wild pitch, then after a second out walked Escobar, but young pinch-hitter Francisco Álvarez ended the game by striking out.

Game 2 @ Citi Field[edit]

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Padres 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 3 6 0
Mets 1 0 0 1 1 0 4 0 x 7 9 0
WP: Jacob deGrom (1-0); LP: Nick Martinez (0-1); SV: Seth Lugo (1)
Home Runs: NY - Francisco Lindor (1), Pete Alonso (1); SD - Trent Grisham (2)
  • Attendance: 42,156

The Mets evened the series with a 7-3 win in Game 2, but it was no cakewalk: a hard-fought back-and-forth game that took four hours and thirteen minutes to complete and ended with the Mets' outstanding closer, Edwin Díaz, out of the game as the tying run came to bat. With their backs against the wall, the Mets sent in their co-ace, Jacob deGrom, to the mound, facing Blake Snell in a battle of former winners of the Cy Young Award. There have been nights when deGrom is pitching on another plane and is simply unhittable for as long as he can go, but this was not one of those. The Padres managed to get to him, even if he ended up giving up just 2 runs in 6 innings, but for once, the undisputed king of poor run support got some help from his teammates' bats and notched the win. For his part Snell had trouble with his control all night, and by the time he was lifted with one out in the 4th, he had issued six free passes in addition to four hits - but he had managed to keep his team in the game until that point.

DeGrom started strong, striking out two of the three batters he faced in the 1st, but not Snell. He was greeted by a lead-off single by Brandon Nimmo but escaped what could have been a disastrous inning by forcing the next batter, Starling Marte, to ground into a double play. Thus, the bases were empty when Francisco Lindor took him deep to center field. He then walked Pete Alonso and Mark Canha but Jeff McNeil lined out to center, and for all the baserunners, it was still only 1-0 in the Mets' favor. He then issued another walk and allowed a single with two outs in the 2nd, but the Mets stranded both runners. DeGrom had retired the first seven batters when Trent Grisham hit his second long ball in two days with one out in the 3rd, tying the score. That seemed to put deGrom off his game, and he issued a walk and gave up a single to Juan Soto before getting out of the inning, and did not appear to be as dominant as he had been the first two innings for the remainder of his outing. The Mets took the lead again in the 4th when Eduardo Escobar and Darin Ruf led off with back-to-back walks. Snell managed to strike out Tomas Nido, but Nimmo, facing him for a third time, singled to left to score Escobar and end what had been a very shaky outing. Nick Martinez took over and retired the next two batters with no other damage. That lead did not last long either, as the Padres came right back, tying the game again on a walk to Grisham, a sacrifice bunt, and a single by Jurickson Profar. But the back-and-forth continued in the bottom of the inning as Alonso, who had been quiet until now, hit Martinez's first pitch for a long homer to left field. The Mets were up 3-2, their third lead of the evening, but this one would last.

After a scoreless 6th inning - deGrom's last - the Mets sent in closer Díaz to pitch the 7th in a strange move by manager Buck Showalter. Diaz had notched a few multiple-inning saves during his dominating season, but if the game stayed close he would have to go three innings, and if the Mets were to advance further, they would need to win a Game 3 as well the following day - for which Diaz would not be available. He did not completely overpower his opponents as he normally does, but did pitch a scoreless inning in spite of allowing a single to Austin Nola, and then he was given some breathing room in the bottom of the inning. Adrian Morejon replaced Martinez, whose only mistake had been Alonso's long ball, but Morejon was not on a good day. The inning started with a single, a wild pitch and two walks, loading the bases for McNeil who doubled in two runs. Pierce Johnson took over, but the house was on fire. Escobar singled in a third run and Daniel Vogelbach followed with a sacrifice fly that made it 7-2, Nido singled as well putting a second runner on, before Johnson finally got some clean outs by striking out Nimmo and Marte. Showalter now had a decision to make: continue with Diaz, potentially making him unavailable for the decisive Game 3, or use one of his second-tier relievers? He decided to stick with his closer, who issued a one-out walk to Josh Bell then gave way to Adam Ottavino with two outs, having used 28 pitches to get five outs. Ottavino ended the inning by striking out Brandon Drury and now the question was, who would pitch the 9th? Showalter left Ottavino in the game, but after striking out Ha-Seong Kim, he hit Grisham with a pitch and walked Nola. Things were suddenly getting heated again. Profar flied out for the second out, but Grisham advanced to third, after which Nola took second on defensive indifference with Soto at bat. Soto drew a walk to load the bases, and then so did Manny Machado, forcing in a run. It was now 7-3, and the next batter, Bell, represented the tying run. Showalter finally called on Seth Lugo to replace the ineffective Ottavino, and he recorded the save by getting Bell to ground out to Alonso at first base. The Mets had forced a third game, but it had been a lot harder than it looked, and Showalter's strange moves had left their bullpen potentially vulnerable for the next day. But at least, there would be a next day - unlike the other three Wild Card Series, that had all ended after two games.

Game 3 @ Citi Field[edit]

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Padres 0 2 0 1 1 0 0 2 0 6 10 0
Mets 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
WP: Joe Musgrove (1-0); LP: Chris Bassitt (0-1)
Home Runs: none
  • Attendance: 39,241

If the first two games had been decided by the long ball, the Padres won Game 3 by playing perfect fundamental baseball behind a great pitching performance by Joe Musgrove. The Mets had to play catch-up all game, and never were able to mount any sort of threat, while the Padres added great defense and opportunistic hitting to keep adding runs, quieting the crowd and leaving the Mets to contemplate how a season that had looked so promising until a couple of weeks earlier could end that early. Facing Musgrove, forever in Padres' fans hearts for authoring the first no-hitter in franchise history after more than fifty seasons in 2021, was Chris Bassitt, another one of the Mets' many additions this season, pitching against his former manager, Bob Melvin. It did not look so on paper, but it ended up being a mismatch.

The 1st inning went quickly with both pitchers being perfect, but the Padres took the lead in the 2nd, and would never let go of their chokehold on their opponents afterwards. Josh Bell led off with a single, moved to second on a ground out, but could not advance on a second ground out. However, Bassitt could not get the third out. He walked Ha-Seong Kim and Trent Grisham to load the bases, and after fouling off a number of pitches, Aaron Nola singled just out of the reach of SS Francisco Lindor to drive in two runs. In the bottom of the inning, the Padres made a first outstanding defensive play when Jeff McNeil hit a ball down the first base line that hit the bag and bounced very high in the air. McNeil was convinced the ball was foul and started running late, giving 1B Wil Myers just enough time to make a great barehanded catch and flip the ball to Musgrove to get him out. That was one of 12 consecutive outs that Musgrove recorded to start the game, as he had the Mets completely baffled.

While Musgrove was mowin' 'em down, the Padres added a run in the 4th, again with two outs, as Kim drew another walk, then stole second on the next pitch and scored when Grisham followed with a single. In the 5th, David Peterson replaced Bassitt, the Mets hoping that this would change the momentum, but the Padres attacked him immediately as Jurickson Profar hit a lead-off single and was bunted over to second by Juan Soto. Manny Machado followed with another single, and it was 4-0. Pete Alonso became the Mets' first baserunner when he led off the bottom of the 5th with a single but he did not advance further as Musgrove struck out McNeil, then Grisham made a tremendous catch at the wall in right-center field to deprive Mark Canha of a double. Alonso had to scramble back to first base to avoid being doubled off and Daniel Vogelbach struck out to end the "threat". The Padres stranded two baserunners against Drew Smith in the 6th and before the bottom of the inning, in a move smacking of desperation and very bush league, Mets manager Buck Showalter asked the umpires to check Musgrove for a possible foreign substance. They complied to his request and did so thoroughly, including checking in his ears - and of course found nothing. If Showalter thought this would rattle Musgrove, it had the opposite effect, as he retired the Mets in order in the 6th. The Padres threatened again in the 7th, when Soto hit a lead-off single followed by a double by Machado. However, this time, they failed to cash in the runners as Bell and Jake Cronenworth both struck out against Seth Lugo before Mychal Givens completed the trifecta by striking out Myers as well.

New York got its second runner of the game when Starling Marte drew a walk to lead off the 7th against Musgrove, but he could not advance past second as the Padres' pitcher ended his night's brilliant work by retiring the next three batters. The Mets were reeling by this point, but San Diego struck the death blow in the 8th. Givens started off the inning wildly, walking Kim on four pitches, and Grisham singled as the pair proved to be absolute pests on that night. Showalter then turned to his magnificent closer, Edwin Díaz, who came in to the usual sound of trumpets, but one could sense the crowd as would normally have been the case, since there was no lead to save - just a sinking ship to bail out. Diaz gave up a sacrifice bunt to Nola, another one of the excellent fundamental plays executed to perfection by the Padres on the night, placing both runners in scoring position. This called for what Díaz does best - striking batters out - and he did so with Profar for out number two. But Soto, who had been relatively quiet thus far in the series, lined the first pitch of his at-bat into left field, both runners scored, and with a 6-0 lead, it was all over for the Mets. Robert Suarez replaced Musgrove for the bottom of the inning and was just as dominant, with a 1-2-3 inning that included two strikeouts. In the 9th, it was closer Josh Hader, who had gone through a rough patch in the middle of the season, who came out for the first time of the series. By then, the Mets were just going through the motions, and he worked a perfect inning as well, completing the one-hitter. David had slain Goliath on Goliath's home turf, but would have to face an even bigger monster in the Division Series - the 111-win Los Angeles Dodgers.

Further Reading[edit]

  • David Adler: "Padres-Mets position-by-position breakdown", mlb.com, October 5, 2022. [1]
  • AJ Cassavell: "Padres silence Mets, move on to NLDS: Friars to face Dodgers after Musgrove leads way to Game 3 shutout win", mlb.com, October 10, 2022. [2]
  • Zach Crizer: "Padres eliminate 101-win Mets behind Joe Musgrove's outstanding performance in NL wild-card Game 3", Yahoo! News, October 9, 2022. [3]
  • Zach Crizer: "101 and done: How will the 2022 Mets' soaring summer and crushing wild-card exit be remembered?", Yahoo! Sports, October 10, 2022. [4]
  • Mike Fitzpatrick (Associated Press): "Star-studded Padres and Mets square off in wild-card round", Yahoo! News, October 6, 2022. [5]

Related Sites[edit]

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NL Wild Card Series Phillies (WC3) over Cardinals (NLC) (2-0)

NL Wild Card Series Padres (WC2) over Mets (WC1) (2-1)

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