Joe Musgrove’s dominant outing and the San Diego Padres’ timely hitting led to a 6-0 win in a do-or-die Game 3 against the New York Mets at Citi Field on Sunday.
The Padres avoided elimination and will move on to the National League Division Series against their National League West rival, the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Mets, a team that won 100 games this season but dropped their division lead to the Atlanta Braves late in the regular season, will have to wait until next season to fulfill their World Series aspirations.
The story of the game was Musgrove, who had his best outing of the season when the Padres needed it most. He took a no-hitter against the Mets in front of a loud opposing crowd and ended up becoming the first pitcher ever to go seven or more innings of one-hit ball or less in a winner-take-all game.
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Musgrove’s final line read seven innings, one hit and five strikeouts over 86 pitches, 59 of which went for strikes.
He was dealing so well that Mets manager Buck Showalter had umpires check Musgrove for a sticky substance on his ear, as social media showed it to be shiny while he consistently touched his ear. His spin rates on all of his pitches were up as well, but umpires found nothing on him.
On offense, the Padres collected 10 hits and came through with runners in scoring position, going 4-for-11 in those situations.
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First, it was Austin Nola, who shortened up on an 0-2 count with two runners in scoring position and two outs and slapped a single to left field to give the early lead to the Padres.
Then, the man that has lit up Citi Field since coming to Queens, Trent Grisham, singled to center field with two outs in the top of the fourth to bring home Ha-Seong Kim to make it 3-0.
The Mets, still struggling to get anything over on Musgrove, couldn’t stop Manny Machado in the top of the fifth inning, as he singled home Jurickson Profar to take a commanding 4-0 lead.
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Juan Soto, the team’s prized trade deadline acquisition would single in Kim and Grisham in the top of the eighth to make it 6-0 and effectively kill any spirit the Mets had left.
New York finished the game with just two baserunners, as Pete Alonso had the lone hit for the blue and orange.
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The Padres will head to Los Angeles now to face a team that has dominated them this season, going 14-5 this season. Game 1 of the NLDS will be on Tuesday night.
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