By Rowan Kavner
FOX Sports activities MLB Author
LOS ANGELES — It was as fired up as Evan Phillips might ever keep in mind being on a mound.
Earlier than the usually cool-headed Dodgers reliever faces a batter, he turns round to examine the place his infielders are positioned. That’s why he nonetheless felt assured when Wil Myers laced a scorching one-hopper 100.1 mph off the bat towards the suitable aspect of the infield with one out and the tying runs on base within the sixth inning Tuesday at Dodger Stadium.
Gavin Lux, completely positioned at second base, ranged to his left, stabbed the grounder and, in a single fast movement, spun and threw to Trea Turner. The Dodgers’ shortstop retrieved the dart, shuffled his ft over the second-base bag, gathered himself and fired to first to remove one of the best menace the Padres would conjure the remainder of the night time in a 5-3 win to start out the Nationwide League Division Collection.
“It is a robust one,” Turner stated. “He has to type of make that 360. I am coming throughout the bag, so he has to make throw to me as nicely. Quite a bit has to go proper to make that play.”
All of it did.
Phillips pumped his fist and set free a yell. From the dugout, starter Julio Urías did the identical earlier than slapping his fingers towards the dugout railing. Within the crowd, 52,407 followers might exhale. The nifty play up the center thwarted all of the momentum San Diego had gathered in a three-run fifth inning, setting the Dodgers again on target.
“They made it look very easy,” third baseman Max Muncy stated. “I can inform you proper now, that’s not a simple play, particularly in that second.”
Trea Turner displays on the Dodgers’ Recreation 1 win
Trea Turner displays on the Dodgers’ victory over the Padres in Recreation 1 of the NLDS in a postgame interview with Tom Verducci.
With each their gloves and their bats, Lux and Turner led the best way Tuesday.
By the point Lux doubled down the right-field line within the third inning, knocking Padres starter Mike Clevinger out of the competition, the sport already felt all however over. It appeared like extra of the identical for the Dodgers, who for years have had the variety of their rivals to the south.
In 2020, the Padres made their first playoff look in 14 years earlier than the Dodgers disposed of them in a three-game sweep within the NLDS. Final 12 months, the Dodgers have been 12-7 towards San Diego, which missed the postseason. This 12 months, the Dodgers outscored the Padres by 62 runs over 19 video games, compiling a 14-5 file towards them within the course of.
Instantly in Recreation 1, Turner continued to do to Clevinger what the Dodgers have carried out all 12 months. Clevinger was 0-2 with a 9.69 ERA in three begins towards the Dodgers coming into Tuesday, when Turner began the scoring by smoking a 419-foot dwelling run to the Left Subject Pavilion.
“It was large for us to get going immediately,” Muncy stated afterward.
Trea Turner’s solo dwelling run places Dodgers up 1-0
Dodgers shortstop Trea Turner launches a solo dwelling run off Mike Clevinger to present L.A. a 1-0 lead over the San Diego Padres.
It was equally large for that particular participant to get going.
Turner hadn’t felt proper on the plate late within the 12 months. His numbers nonetheless popped off the web page by season’s finish — he’s the primary Dodgers shortstop ever to publish 20 homers, 20 stolen bases, 100 runs and 100 RBIs in a season — however he might usually be discovered taking additional batting follow in an effort to really feel proper once more. Too usually, he thought his timing was late, which created dangerous habits.
However one thing appeared to click on within the ultimate recreation of the common season, when Turner mashed a three-run homer towards the Rockies. And regardless of a five-day layoff for the division-winning Dodgers earlier than the beginning of the NLDS, Turner appeared to hold that momentum into Tuesday.
“Simply being earlier and on time cleans up lots of issues,” he stated. “Simply hold speaking it over with the hitting coaches and a few of my teammates, and I believe it simply type of comes right down to timing. That’s type of the small adjustment I’ve made these final six at-bats or so, together with another issues.”
Turner, who registered simply two extra-base hits in 12 postseason video games with the Dodgers final 12 months, mashed an extra-base hit in his first two at-bats towards the Padres. Catcher Will Smith did the identical.
The Dodgers led 5-0 after three innings with Urías cruising. The left-hander hadn’t allowed greater than two runs in any of his ultimate 14 begins of the season, nor had he allowed greater than two runs in any of his 4 begins towards San Diego. However the Padres wouldn’t fold, demonstrating the resilience of a workforce that already overcame the chances as soon as this postseason.
San Diego’s first three batters reached base to start out the fifth inning, and all three scored. An inning later, Dodgers supervisor Dave Roberts deployed his finest high-leverage weapon in Phillips to face the guts of the Padres’ order. Juan Soto walked to start out the inning. Manny Machado adopted with a dribbler single. Phillips received an important strikeout of pinch-hitter Josh Bell earlier than the Dodgers’ center infielders answered the decision with the monumental double-play.
That was the final actual menace posed to the Dodgers, whose bullpen secured the win from there.
“I strive to not present an excessive amount of emotion, however in an enormous spot like that, getting an enormous out, it means lots for the workforce,” Phillips stated. “I do know what it did for us for the remainder of the sport.”
Rowan Kavner covers the Dodgers and NL West for FOX Sports activities. He beforehand was the Dodgers’ editor of digital and print publications. Observe him on Twitter at @RowanKavner.
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