The Dodgers opened their five game division series against the Padres in the Arlington playoff bubble on Tuesday night. The boys in blue didn’t tally a hit until the top of the sixth inning. Normally you would think that meant an ugly loss, but the Dodgers used some small ball to score four runs in that sixth inning en route to a 5-1 win over the Padres in game 1.
Game 1 starter Walker Buehler was effectively wild, walking four through four innings. But he allowed just one earned run and struck out eight. Buehler issued nine three-ball counts to San Diego hitters, but he battled throughout the game, including escaping a bases loaded jam in the third. San Diego’s starter Mike Clevinger had to leave the game in the second inning due to injury. The Padres pitchers walked ten Dodgers and used eight relievers. San Diego manager Jayce Tingler was ejected from the game in the sixth for arguing balls and strikes and ticking off home plate umpire Lance Barrett. Former Dodger Skip Schumaker acted as manager for the rest of the game. It was entertaining to say the least.
NLDS Game 1
Padres 1 3 1
Dodgers 5 4 0
Dodgers Lead Series 1-0
San Diego took a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth when Wil Myers walked, stole second and scored on an Austin Nola RBI single. The Dodgers tied the game in the bottom of the fifth thanks to some sloppy San Diego defense. Justin Turner walked, advanced to second on a wild pitch from Garret Richards and scored on a throwing error from Jake Cronenworth.
Dodgers, uh, manufacture a four-run 6th inning. pic.twitter.com/wX0h0UNLfb
— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) October 7, 2020
In the bottom of the sixth with Richards still on the mound, Chris Taylor walked, and advanced to third on a Mookie Betts double down the left field line. Corey Seager’s sacrifice fly to left scored Taylor to put the Dodgers up 2-1. The Dodgers continued to play small ball on a run scoring single to right from Justin Turner, a double from Max Muncy, an intentional walk to Will Smith, and a Cody Bellinger ground ball single to second baseman Cronenworth. A wild pitch from Craig Stammen scored Muncy for the fifth run.
The Dodger bullpen was excellent yet again. Dustin May, Victor Gonzalez, Blake Treinen, and Kenley Jansen tossed five innings of shutout ball allowing just one hit, no walks and striking out six to quelch the San Diego bats to secure the win. It’s going to be hard to for the Dodgers and the Padres to hit home runs in the spacious Globe Life Park, so contact hitting, base-running and advancing runners is going to be super important to score runs. The Dodgers give the ball to Clayton Kershaw in game 2.