Umpire Alfonso Marquez (72) checks for substances behind the ears of San Diego Padres starting pitcher Joe Musgrove (44) during the sixth inning of Game 3 of a National League wild-card baseball playoff series against the New York Mets, Sunday, Oct. 9, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Padres Defeat Mets, Advance To NLDS

The New York Mets had been floundering for the last month despite having the second-highest payroll in Major League Baseball. Despite having had a 10+ game lead over the Atlanta Braves going into the end of June, the Mets fumbled their lead. New York was ultimately swept by the Braves in the last week of the season, falling from a second place National League bye to a spot in the Wild Card round.

The only Game 3 from Major League Baseball’s Wild Card weekend ended with a shutout, as the San Diego Padres beat the Mets 6-0. The Padres advance to the NLDS, where they will play the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The series came down to consistent hitting. San Diego outscored the Mets 16 to 8 throughout the series. The Padres ran up the score on Mets starter Max Scherzer in Game 1, winning 7-1. The Mets did come back and win Game 2 7-3 to tie the series, but their efforts ultimately proved fruitless.

Starter Joe Musgrove carried San Diego through the game. Musgrove pitched 7 scoreless innings, striking out 5 and only allowing a single hit. Musgrove held a 2.93 ERA this season and looked dominant per usual throughout Sunday night’s victory. Relievers Robert Suarez and Josh Hader closed out the game for the Padres, pitching two more scoreless innings.

The New York crowd chanted “Cheater!” at Musgrove as he was checked for foreign substances after a request from Mets manager Buck Showalter prior to the 6th inning. The umpire had his hands up by the pitchers’ ears as if to pull a quarter out. Ultimately no substances were spotted and a magic coin was nowhere to be found. Musgrove pitched two more scoreless innings following the check.

San Diego’s hitters were also dominant in Sunday’s win. Padres batters recorded 10 hits and 4 walks. Outfielder Trent Grisham was the game’s standout batter. Grisham accounted for two runs scored and a single RBI.

Newly acquired outfielder Juan Soto also had two hits and two RBIs, and South Korean shortstop Ha-Seong Kim accounted for three runs. The Padres lineup was dominant throughout the game.

The Mets meanwhile were not so fruitful. New York’s only hit came in the fifth inning Pete Alonso singled to right field.

New York’s pitching was also abysmal. The Mets struggled to gain traction after starter Chris Bassitt allowed 3 runs through the first four innings. Mets’ relievers would allow a combined 3 more runs, sealing New York’s fate.

The Padres will travel to Los Angeles to face the Dodgers tomorrow night. The Mets return home, heads hung low.

About Connor O'Bryan

Connor O'Bryan is a world soccer reporter for ESPN Gainesville. He also sometimes covers baseball and other sports. He has previously written for WUFT Gainesville and for Atrium Magazine. Connor also cohosts the "Off The Bar Podcast", a student driven podcast that focuses on the global soccer landscape.

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