Philadelphia Phillies draw first blood in NLCS clash with San Diego Padres as solo home runs from Bryce Harper and Kyle Schwarber drive 2-0 win
Juan Soto, Manny Machado and the unlikely star Trent Grisham kept silent for the San Diego Padres, leaving the trusty Petco Park little to cheer for in the city’s first NL Championship Series appearance since 1998.
The Padres scored only one goal against Zack Wheeler and the Philadelphia Phillies in an opening loss, 2-0 on Tuesday-evening, becoming the first team to throw a one-hitter in the same postseason.
“We hit the ball, but we couldn’t find the hole,” Machado said. “We had some hard hit balls, but they were right on guys.”
Soto, Machado and Grisham combined 0 for 9 with four strikeouts and one walk. The Padres went down in order in all but the first, fifth and ninth inning.
In the NLCS, Machado, Austin Nola and Grisham had eight hits this postseason. Soto, Jurickson Profar and Jake Cronenworth had seven hits.
Grisham and Nola had helped at the bottom of the lineup, hitting .338 against the New York Mets in the NL wild card series and Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL Division Series. The first six batters were only .201.
All the Padres did was watch them lose to the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 1 of the NLCS
Against the hot-hitting Phillies, the Padres’ lone hit was a single by Wil Myers in the fifth.
“This is hard to swallow because offensively we just have to do better,” Nola said. “We’re going to turn this page soon.”
Padres starter Yu Darvish gave up homeruns to Kyle Schwarber and Bryce Harper plus a single to Schwarber in seven innings. He struckout seven and walked one.
“These are the kinds of games that give you a chance to win,” said Padres manager Bob Melvin. “We just couldn’t do enough offensively.”
Only shots from Kyle Schwarber (L) and Bryce Harper (R) were all it took for the win
The yellow towel-wielding crowd of 44,826 did its part, urging the Padres with supporting chants. The Rally Goose also showed up, appearing in eighth on the giant video board. But the big bird laid an egg.
The Padres adopted the goose as a lucky charm after a real one landed in the Dodger Stadium field during their attack on Los Angeles.
With the screeching crowd on their feet in the ninth inning, Profar walked with one out. That brought Soto to the plate. He grounded out on a fielder’s choice to third base, but Alec Bohm messed up the throw to second base due to an error.
Machado emerged as the potential go-ahead, but flied out to the right. Josh Bell swung over a cutter for a game-ending strikeout.
The win went to Zach Wheeler, who threw seven innings of no-run, one hit baseball on Tuesday
“We always feel good when we have a chance to win in the ninth inning,” said Melvin. ‘Not happened. But it leaves a bad taste in your mouth, so you want to get out of it (again) as soon as possible.’
When the Padres failed to strikeout 11 times, they flied out or shot up or put balls into the gloves of Philadelphia’s defense.
The Padres fought Wheeler in the first inning when he threw 24 pitches. Machado saw nine pitches in his at bat before fending out to the left.
San Diego had only two baserunners until the ninth. Soto walked with one out in the first, but Machado flied out to the left and Bell struckout.
“We need to come out and wave the bats off a little better,” Melvin said. “It doesn’t get much easier.”
Yu Darvish may have struckout seven, but three hits resulted in the only two runs of the night