In postseason baseball, relief pitching matters even more than during the regular season.
Teams with a strong bullpen may win or lose, but they will be very competitive most of the times.
This is the case with the San Diego Padres: thanks to some superb bullpen innings, they were able to steal a win from the Los Angeles Dodgers and go to San Diego with the NL Division Series tied at one.
Generally speaking, the Padres’ pitching staff bent, but did not break on Wednesday: the Dodgers didn’t take advantage of the traffic on the basepaths they generated, and only scored three runs.
“Tonight the Dodgers: -hit 3 HR -had 15+ baserunners (H/BB/HBP) -had all 9 starters reach base (H/BB/HBP) -had 8+ starters get a hit -had a baserunner in every inning. No other team in MLB history has done all that in a game and only scored 3 runs (regular season or postseason),” OptaSTATS tweeted.
Tonight the Dodgers:
-hit 3 HR
-had 15+ baserunners (H/BB/HBP)
-had all 9 starters reach base (H/BB/HBP)
-had 8+ starters get a hit
-had a baserunner in every inning
No other team in MLB history has done all that in a game and only scored 3 runs (regular season or postseason).
— OptaSTATS (@OptaSTATS) October 13, 2022
Missed Opportunities By The Dodgers
Talk about missed opportunities!
The Dodgers rarely let these chances go, but postseason baseball is definitely harder than regular season baseball, and there is no doubt about that.
Most of that traffic came against starter Yu Darvish, who allowed ten of the 15 baserunners in five innings of work.
He also conceded the three runs.
What happened after he left?
The Padres lost on Tuesday, but their bullpen did cover 5.1 scoreless frames.
San Diego’s relievers haven’t allowed a single run in the series, in 9.1 innings.
If the Dodgers keep wasting scoring chances and the Padres’ bullpen keeps excelling, San Diego may have a path towards the Championship Series.