Dodgers Exit 2022 MLB Playoffs Early at Hands of Padres

After one of the most impressive regular seasons in recent history, the powerhouse offense of the Los Angeles Dodgers failed to deliver in the playoffs, leading to a quick exit in the NLDS at the hands of the San Diego Padres.

While some may argue the Padres played some of their best baseball of the season, there’s no doubt the Dodgers played their worst. The offense went cold at the most inopportune time, and a late-inning bullpen implosion finally sealed the Dodgers’ fate in a 5-3 defeat.

Trailing two games to one with their backs against the wall, the Dodgers knew Game 4 was a do-or-die contest. Even though they continued to leave runners stranded left and right, there were sparks in the third inning that fans thought might have done enough damage to win the game.

After a Mookie Betts walk and a Trea Turner double, Freddie Freeman delivered a double of his own past the outstretched glove of Wil Myers down the first-base line, putting the Dodgers in front, 2-0.

When San Diego starter Joe Musgrove exited after six innings, it looked like the Dodgers would capitalize on the wildness of righty reliver Steven Wilson. Betts led off with a walk, followed by a TTurner bunt single. Next, Freeman was hit by a pitch, loading the bases with nobody out and putting Los Angeles in an easy position to strike.

Will Smith sacrificed home Betts with a flyball to left in the ensuing at bat, but that’s all the Dodgers would get, as southpaw Tim Hill relieved Wilson to punch out Max Muncy and induce a Justin Turner groundout.

Things looked good for the Dodgers heading into the bottom of the seventh with a 3-0 lead. However, the Los Angeles bullpen imploded worse than it did in any contest this year, including some ugly blown saves from Craig Kimbrel.

Righty Tommy Kahnle took the brunt of the damage in the San Diego five-run seventh, having been credited for three earned runs on two hits and a walk without recording an out. For a moment, it looked like Yency Almonte would contain the damage and let the Dodgers escape the inning with the score tied, but skipper Dave Roberts replaced Almonte mid-count to have Alex Vesia face Jake Cronenworth, who promptly singled to center, scoring Ha-Seong Kim and Juan Soto.

By the time the smoke cleared on the seventh inning, the Dodgers trailed, 5-3. The hard-throwing duo of Robert Suarez and Josh Hader took care of the Dodgers in the eighth and ninth frames to secure the win and the NLDS victory for San Diego.

The Padres will meet the Philadelphia Phillies in the NLCS for the right to advance to the 2022 World Series, a matchup that few baseball fans expected at the onset of the playoffs.

22 thoughts on “Dodgers Exit 2022 MLB Playoffs Early at Hands of Padres

  1. Very disappointing. Changes may have to come from prospects, Vargas, Busch, Outman, but the last two are also candidates for high K percentages. Signing Trea obviously the priority. Not much on the FA market except at SS and OF Judge who will likely stay with yankees.

  2. Top of the 9th in a must win situation Betts, Turner, Freeman all strike out. For the night, 13 strike outs, 2 for 9 WRISP – in an elimination game. Plaschke got it right. They’ve never been humiliated like this.

    This is without any doubt a Stan Kasten built team. 9th time in ten years. The only win in a shortened season played in front of cardboard cutouts. This is your Los Angeles Dodgers. Cardboard cutouts themselves.

  3. End of season comments (If you don’t like long comments, please don’t even start reading. This is a very long one):

    Probably our most disappointing elimination of them all. By the time it happened last night, I had gotten all my anger/disappointment/frustration out of my system when we lost the night before, so that I was ready for anything last night. When it played out as it did, I surprised myself by shrugging my shoulders and moving on.

    For those who say the Giants are our main rivals and not the Padres, I’ve disputed this for the past two years and last night just reinforced my feelings. In my mind, there is much more under-the-surface dislike of SD then there is of SF and emotion is generally at the root of a rivalry.

    Now it’s on to the off-season for the Blue and I’ll be interested to see what AF has in store for us. For those who want Roberts gone, I would say there is no chance of that. I would have thought that non-tendering Bellinger was not going to happen either, but I just wonder if keeping him on the bench the last two nights was a sign that maybe Andrew will explore a trade, knowing he’ll have to kick in some salary. If not, a non-tender is now a possibility in my opinion although certainly not a given.

    Who is next year’s shortstop? Did Trea’s post-season performance influence Andrew’s decision? Has Turner already decided to play back east? We’ll have to wait to find out. If Trea moves on, who takes his place? Lux? Amaya? A free agent? A trade? To me, the team defense revolves around that position, so the final solution will be an important one.

    Other than our own free agents, the biggest names out there will be Judge, Verlander, deGrom and Diaz. I expect each of them to re-sign with their current team but if not, I don’t expect to see any of them in Dodger blue.

    Along with many of you, I’d like to see the Dodgers get some more players with bat to ball skills in order to cut down on strike outs. That’s what I would like to see, but I have no idea how Andrew feels about that. I look forward to seeing Miggy Vargas make his real debut next year and hope he gets off to a fast enough start that he sticks in L.A. instead of getting a fast trip back to OKC.

    I feel that our bullpen really only needs a tweak or two and despite last night’s implosion should be strong next year, even though we have no idea if they plan to go after a closer or name one from the guys we have or do closer by committee. In any case, I don’t view it as a problem.

    Our starting rotation and what the front office does with it over the winter will be interesting. Barring the unexpected trading of any of our current guys we can expect Urias, May and Gonsolin back. I think AF will give Anderson a QO which he will reject, but I would say the odds are at least 50-50 that he’ll be back here on a multi-year contract. He deserves it. Will Clayton pitch next year? I would say the odds are about 80% and if he does pitch I would say the odds that it’s for the Dodgers are also about 80%. If all of the above happens, we have our 5 starters. Stone, Grove, Pepiot, Miller and Jackson will also be available if not traded so I doubt that Andrew will go after a big-name starter, but you never know, and rumor has it that the Brewers and Marlins may be willing to trade a pitcher or two.
    If CK or Anderson leave, Heaney might very well be back, but if not, I expect he’ll move on to a club that will guarantee him a rotation spot.

    Of our position player prospects, the only guys I see with a chance of making the 2023 roster out of spring training are Vargas, Outman, Amaya and Busch. Barring trades, I would expect to see Vargas and Outman here, with Amaya and Busch starting at OKC.

    Well, those are my thoughts this morning after we have once again not reached the promised land. I’m one of those who doesn’t feel we have to win the World Series to have a successful season, but I know lots of you disagree with that. You are certainly entitled to your opinion.

    I’ll be watching the rest of the playoffs with interest, hoping the Guardians can get past the Yankees which would mean that the Astros would be the only “favorite” who survived. I’d like to see the Phillies beat the Padres and then beat the AL team in the WS, but I’ll survive if none of that happens, even if the Astros win it all. Because, as they say, this is definitely a First World problem.

    And, for those of us who love to play GM, the Winter Meetings are in San Diego this year, December 4-7. I look forward to all the hoopla that surrounds that time of year.

    Again, apologies for rambling on, but I needed to get this out of my system. I look forward to your responses.

    1. I would like to see a 5 year plan for the rotation before deciding on next year’s rotation.

      I would include Vargas in a trade if he isn’t the starting third baseman. That said, I want a great defensive third baseman. That’s why I wanted Chapman last year.

      San Diego beat the Dodgers with a backup shortstop. Can the Dodgers win with Amaya? I think they need more offense from shortstop. If the Dodgers could win with Miller, Stone, Urias, Gonsolin, and Pepiot, a huge if, then they could splurge on position player free agents.

      1. When listing your pitchers, you didn’t include May. Was that an oversight or don’t you think he’ll be a factor going forward?

        Vargas – I think he could become a decent (average) left fielder and would play better defense there than at third base. If we have good defensive guys in right and center we can easily put up with an average fielding left fielder who is a good hitting, low strike out batter.

    2. Few people are mentioning Robert Van Scoyoc, the dude who has no playing experience past Babe Ruth League. His “launch angle” hitting philosophy almost contradicts the idea of “contact hitting.” I think Van Scoyoc’s primary principles involve hitting the ball to the deepest part of the park to produce runs. Although my gut tells me he doesn’t mess much with guys like Mookie, TTurner and Fred Freeman, he’s HIGHLY instrumental with CT, Muncy and Bellinger, especially when they were slumping and trying to resurrect their swings.

      I have a feeling that Friedman fully supports his philosophy, but I also think this philosophy has a lot to do with the team’s inability to produce runs at certain times. Hell, even Austin Barnes is swinging for the fence half the time anymore.

      1. I don’t get the idea that RVS’s job is in any danger, but we have no idea how Andrew really feels about things. Is he basically satisfied with the in-season results of winning the division most years and coming very close in the others, while having fair to poor total results in post season? Or is he beginning to feel some real pressure from ownership about not having won more World Series titles? The answer to that may well determine how he reacts this winter.

      2. …or how they feel about their team payroll budget, since that target number seems to change about every third year or so. They always seem to spend when you least expect it.

  4. Pretty sure the lack of disappointment was because your baseball (head) knew what your baseball (heart ) couldn’t except. This was not a world series team. Too many holes in the lineup. Should have listened to gordon and taxmaster. Lol.

    1. Holes? Not in the lineup. In the starting rotation maybe. After securing home field, the team had opportunity to rest the starting rotation, but it didn’t do any good. There were no 7 inning starters on this staff, only 5 inning < 90 pitches old looking or injury prone guys, and that put a strain on an overworked bullpen. The stars in our lineup flat out didn’t perform. The team that outscored the league by a few hundred runs couldn’t outscore a team they ran away from in the regular season. This was just a colossal failure. Another in a long series of post season failures, but this one is the biggest on field dump I’ve ever seen and I’ve been a fan since since ‘71.

      Getting younger seems like a good idea. The Dodgers looked old and slow in their 3 game season ending collapse. What’s the answer? Well, that’s to be decided. But it will be decided by the team of rich dudes and nerds that put this historical debacle together in the first place. Do we trust them to fix it? Gotta admit, I don’t.

      1. Holes. Not in this lineup. Your sarcasm kills me. I said last winter we need at least 2 outfielders, a second baseman ( now probably solved) a 3rd baseman , 3 bench pieces and 2 starters with nothing on the farm. Nothing has changed except we now need 3 starters or more and have less on the farm. I’ve pretty much said the same thing for 3 years.I just hope I live long enough to see things change

    2. We played horrifically for 3 games. The holes in our lineup weren’t any worse than the holes in the Padre lineup. Our pitching staff wasn’t any worse than the Padre pitching staff. Except the Padres have a much better sense of timing.

      1. Has nothing to do with how good the padres are (they are horrible)’ it’s about how bad the dodgers were for the past 3 weeks.

      2. I don’t know what your definition of horrible is, but they sure don’t fit my definition of that word.
        Are they the greatest team of all time, of course not. Are they even the best team in MLB, again no.
        But horrible?

        I guess this is the time we all repeat what our points have been all year, so here’s the point I’ve been making forever. This team needs somebody on the roster (a position player starter) with in-your-face attitude. The team is simply too business like and when they go into funks like they did during the last 3 games, there is nobody to motivate them to get out of that. A Gibson-type, even a Lasorda-type. Who is that player? I have no idea, but I really hope Andrew can find him. If no such player is available, even though I’m not saying these failures are Doc’s fault, I would consider replacing him with a different personality. But I’d rather have that guy be a player.

      3. Agree. Had the Dodgers managed to edge the Padres the Padres fans would be saying what we are saying about the Dodgers because their wasn’t much difference between the pitching or hitting is this series.

      4. The Padres have played 7 games this post season. They have won 5 of them.
        I believe that’s a .714 winning percentage.

    1. Maybe we need to sign Correa to stir things up a little. 🙂

      I don’t expect AF to do that but I’ll bet you a bundle that he’ll at least give it 30 seconds worth of thought.

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