Musgrove, Padres blank Mets, prevail in Game 3

    Previously a Staff Writer at Bleacher Report
    Cornell University graduate

NEW YORK — The San Diego Padres knocked the New York Mets out of the NL Wild Card Series, navigating past the superstar pitching duo of Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom.

San Diego won the winner-take-all Game 3 on Sunday, 6-0, advancing to the division round against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

San Diego took Game 1 of the series against New York, teeing off against Scherzer to the tune of four homers in the 7-1 win but struggled to muster much of an attack in Game 2 against deGrom, who allowed only two runs in six innings in a 7-3 loss.

On Sunday, the Padres rode a standout performance from starter Joe Musgrove while the offense played small ball, adding runs here and there with the help of the bottom of the order.

The Padres will make their second appearance in the division series since 2006, with the only other appearance coming in 2020 when they lost to the eventual World Series champion Dodgers.

Los Angeles went 14-5 against the Padres in the regular season. The Dodgers ranked as the top offense in baseball in 2022, scoring 847 runs, while San Diego ranked 13th among all teams, scoring 705 runs. The Dodgers also had the lowest team ERA in baseball while the Padres ranked 11th.

The stakes are high for the Padres, who made blockbuster moves at the trade deadline for superstar outfielder Juan Soto and reliever Josh Hader. San Diego also dealt with the fallout following the 80-game suspension in August of superstar shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr., who tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug.

The Padres have made significant financial investments in Tatis, Manny Machado, Yu Darvish, Wil Myers and Blake Snell, expecting to contend for a World Series title.

Since the Padres hired president of baseball operations A.J. Preller in 2014, San Diego has only made the playoffs in 2020 and this season.

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