With a masterful performance on a memorable night in Padres history, Joe Musgrove answered for his native San Diego and tamed the New York Mets.
Musgrove shook off the “cheater” cries from the stands after a bizarre review by umpires on the mound and led the Padres to the next round of the playoffs with a 6-0 victory over the Mets on Sunday. .
He allowed just one hit over seven innings as his hometown team won 2-1 in the best-of-three NL wild-card series.
Trent Grisham had an RBI single and made a sensational catch in center field. Austin Nola and Juan Soto added singles that drove in two runs.
San Diego advanced to face the Los Angeles Dodgers in the best-of-five division series beginning Tuesday. The Padres secured a home game in front of their fans in the postseason for the first time in 16 years when they return to Petco Park for Game 3.
“We know. We’d love for fans to be able to watch some postseason games,” manager Bob Melvin said Sunday afternoon. “To some extent, we feel like they are a part of us.”
With Musgrove dominant in the sixth inning, Mets manager Buck Showalter asked the umpires to check out the right-hander. The rotational speed on all six of his throws had gone up. After Showalter entered the field, Alfonso Marquez — the umpires’ chief — rubbed Musgrove’s ears and also picked at his hat and glove.
Musgrove was given the go-ahead to continue pitching.
“I get it,” Musgrove. “They were dying, they are desperate. They were trying to do everything to get me out of the game at that point. It is what it is”.
“It ended up motivating me,” he added.
It was the fifth time the Padres had won a playoff series. They took a first-round matchup against St. Louis in their own stadium without fans after the coronavirus pandemic-shortened 2020 season before being swept in the Division Series by the eventual World Series champion Dodgers.
For the Mets, an electrifying season ended meekly at home. Major League Baseball’s biggest payroll spender won 101 games — the second-most in franchise history — but couldn’t hold off Atlanta in the NL East after leading the division for just six days.
“Our goal was to win the World Series and we failed,” said Max Scherzer, the ace who joined the Mets’ rotation by signing a three-year, $30 million deal.
Scherzer was thrashed in a Game 1 loss to San Diego and New York won Game 2 with Jacob deGrom on the mound to stay alive. But they couldn’t do anything against Musgrove.
Third starter Chris Bassitt lasted just four innings, allowing three runs on three hits, plus three costly walks to lower-order hitters.
In his first playoff start, Musgrove allowed only two runners to reach base: Pete Alonso on a single leading off the fifth and then a walk to Starling Marte leading off the seventh.
“He completely dominated us,” shortstop Francisco Lindor said.
Robert Suarez and Josh Hader completed the task for the Padres with perfect relief.
For the Padres, Dominican Juan Soto 4-2 with two RBIs.
For the Mets, the Dominican Starling Marte 3-0. Puerto Ricans Francisco Lindor 3-0, Tomás Nido 3-0. The Venezuelan Eduardo Escobar 3-0.
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Padres shut out Mets and advance to division series