The Padres are advancing to the next round, eliminating the Cardinals with strong efforts from their bullpen and timely hitting.
Approximately four hours before the scheduled first pitch, the Padres had still yet to announce their starting pitcher in a winner-take-all Game 3 with the Cardinals. And then the name emerged. Craig Stammen. I think it took many, including myself, by surprise that Stammen would be named the starting pitcher in a critical game.
The plan for him was to face six batters, Tim Hill for an inning, and from there, your guess was as good as mine. Stammen got through the first, going 1-2-3 and needing only 12 pitches to do so. Dylan Carlson led off the second inning with a single into right field, but Stammen was able to retire by Molina and DeJong before being pulled.
Given how the majority of Stammen’s regular season, I’d call his 1.2 innings a success. The score was deadlocked at 0-0 through the bottom half of the 5th inning until the Fernando Tatis Jr. and Eric Hosmer hit a pair of doubles, plating the game’s first run.
The Padres would get two more in the 7th inning and icing on the cake (no pun intended) with Jake Cronenworth‘s solo blast in the 8th. With a 4-0 lead heading into the 9th inning, Trevor Rosenthal made his third appearance of the series, fanning the side and sending the Padres to the NLDS.
It’s difficult for me to put into words how great of a job that not only Rosenthal did, but the bullpen as a group did in Game 3. Everyone stepped up and did what was asked of them and the Padres are moving on.
Speaking of, I said several times after the three matchups with the Dodgers that San Diego would have to eventually beat LA, if they wanted to have a deep postseason run. And in the NLDS, these two rivals will square off again. It’ll be interesting to see if Dinelson Lamet is healthy enough to return.
The good news is that the series doesn’t begin until October 6, so there are a few extra days for Lamet to rest. I doubt we see Mike Clevinger, but we’ll keep tabs on that. For now, enjoy this one, friends.
The Padres clawed their way back and found a way to win two games. Now they’re headed to the NLDS.