Padres turn to Joe Musgrove to close out Dodgers

Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Last Sunday in New York, Joe Musgrove blanked the 100-win Mets on one hit over seven innings to lead the San Diego Padres to victory in the National League wild-card round.

Saturday night in his hometown, Musgrove will try to eliminate the 111-win Los Angeles Dodgers in the fourth game of the NL Division Series.

The Dodgers, coming off two straight losses to the Padres, will counter with Tyler Anderson in a bid to get the best-of-five series back to Los Angeles for a winner-take-all game Sunday night.

“It feels like it’s kind of meant to be, right?” Padres manager Bob Melvin said of Musgrove getting the chance to advance the team to the NL Championship Series for the first time since 1998.

“I mean, from getting the opening day assignment this year, the way he pitched, the reception he got coming off the field. It seems like he was the guy when the season started and has even put himself into it more so.

“It’s really cool to watch when you have a hometown guy that embraces and is embraced as he is by the city and his teammates and everybody in the clubhouse. It almost seems like it’s kind of meant for him to be for him to pitch one of these games.”

Musgrove (1-0, 0.00 ERA 2022 postseason) was 10-7 during the regular season with a 2.93 ERA. The Dodgers’ left-hander Anderson (2022 postseason debut) was 15-5 during the regular season with a 2.57 ERA.

“This is where we’re at right now,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said after Friday night’s 2-1 loss. “It was a very good regular season, but as we said before, none of that matters. We’re in a five-game series against a very good ballclub that we’re familiar with.

“The team that plays the best baseball is going to win the series. And up to this point, they’ve played better than we have. It’s interesting, I’m wearing a different uniform, but I can still appreciate the excitement that this city is kind of feeling right now.”

Anderson was 2-0 against the Padres in four starts this season with a 1.88 ERA, a 0.875 WHIP and a .183 opponents’ batting average. He was 0-0 with a 3.38 ERA in two starts in San Diego.

Musgrove was 0-2 against the Dodgers in three starts this season with a 3.63 ERA, a 1.212 WHIP and .231 opponents’ batting average. But he also struck out 23 Dodgers in 17 1/3 innings. He had a 2.86 ERA and a 1.103 WHIP at home.

Including his win in New York last week, Musgrove has allowed one run on 16 hits and nine walks with 32 strikeouts over 29 innings in his last five starts.

“I know there’s going to be a lot of positive cheers and a lot of screaming for me and the team Saturday night,” Musgrove said. “That will be something I have to manage. It’s probably going to be a little more emotional.”

–Field Level Media

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