RAFU STAFF AND WIRE REPORTS
The San Diego Padres came into Tuesday’s Game 1 of the NL Division Series on an emotional high, after outlasting the New York Mets in the Wild Card round.
However, their destination was Chavez Ravine, where the Dodgers were rested, relaxed and confident after dominating the Padres during the regular season, winning 14 of their 19 matchups and outscoring the Padres 109-47.
As if to prove no rust had formed during the days off, L.A. jumped out to an early 5-0 lead in Game 1, en route to 5-3 victory in the best-of-five series.
San Diego regrouped after starter Mike Clevinger left the game, however. The Dodgers started left-hander Julio Urias (1-0), who sailed along until the fifth inning, when Will Myers hit a possibly fan-aided home run over the outstretched glove of fielder Trayce Thompson. A review of play let the home run decision stand, and San Diego plated two more runs in the inning.
The defense bailed the Dodgers out of a jam the following inning and they held on for the win.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts was encouraged by the all-around solid performance of his team, but said they face a daunting challenge in Game 2 against Yu Darvish, who has been the Padres’ most consistent starter in 2022.
“We’ve got to be prepared for You tomorrow,” Roberts said. “There’s going to be a lot of spin [on the ball], so we’ll have our work cut out for us.”
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Toronto Blue Jays left-hander Yusei Kikuchi’s 2022 campaign ended without a postseason mound appearance Saturday as his team was eliminated by the Seattle Mariners in the American League Wild Card Series.
Kikuchi watched the end of the game from the bullpen at Rogers Centre in Toronto after his former team overcame a seven-run deficit to beat the Blue Jays 10-9 in Game 2 of the best-of-three series.
In his fourth year in the major leagues and his first with the Blue Jays, the 31-year-old from Japan was moved to the bullpen in August after struggling to a 4-7 record with a 5.25 ERA in 20 starts.
“It’s disappointing,” Kikuchi said. “I didn’t expect my team would be done here. The team was looking to advance deep into the playoffs.”
Photos by MIKEY HIRANO CULROSS/Rafu Shimpo