Clevinger, Tingler out early for wild Padres in 5-1 loss
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Mike Clevinger barely pitched into the second inning after missing the first round of the playoffs with an elbow injury, and Padres rookie manager Jayce Tingler wasn’t around to see the end of his first Division Series game.
It was a strange and wild night for San Diego during a 5-1 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the opener of their neutral-site matchup Tuesday in Texas.
The Padres tied an NLDS record for a nine-inning game by issuing 10 walks, and 10 LA runners reached base without a hit — including a hit batter and an error — before Mookie Betts sparked a four-run sixth with a double.
San Diego also set an NLDS record for a nine-inning game by using nine pitchers. This after the Padres won the deciding Game 3 of their wild-card series against St. Louis by becoming the first team to win a postseason game by shutout while using nine pitchers.
Even with the wildness on the mound, San Diego still had a no-hitter going in a 1-1 game after second baseman Jake Cronenworth’s two-out throwing error gave the Dodgers the tying run in the fifth.
“I think maybe we just weren’t as sharp,” Tingler said. “We were really good up to the fifth, sixth inning. With that being said, this team, the Dodgers, are one of the best if not the best, at controlling the strike zone.”
Clevinger, battling an elbow impingement, walked two in the first inning before leaving halfway through what became his third walk leading off the second. The Padres didn’t announce why the right-hander exited.
Tingler was making his sixth pitching change in the sixth, immediately after Betts’ double, when he was tossed by home plate umpire Lance Barrett for arguing balls and strikes.
“I didn’t know I got tossed,” Tingler said. “When we went and talked, he said he warned me three times. I can’t hear. You can’t hear. I like Lance. Lance is good. We disagreed on the strike zone. Simple as that.”
Tingler might have been glad he wasn’t around to see what happened next.
Matt Strahm gave up Corey Seager’s tiebreaking sacrifice fly before the next four batters reached against the lefty reliever. The record-tying 10th walk was an intentional pass to Will Smith, following by Cody Bellinger’s infield single with the bases loaded.
The eighth San Diego pitcher, Craig Stammen, threw a wild pitch to bring home Max Muncy, who had doubled, and finish off LA’s four-run inning.
Clevinger, who joined San Diego in a nine-player trade with Cleveland on Aug. 31, said he started feeling discomfort facing his second batter. He got out of the inning when shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. snared a liner, then went to the tunnel to try several ways to loosen up the elbow.
“It was like a NASCAR pit stop almost,” said Clevinger, who didn’t rule out the possibility of pitching later in the series. “It wasn’t there.”
Ryan Weathers became the second pitcher to make his major league debut in the playoffs — one day after Tampa Bay reliever Shane McClanahan was the first in Game 1 of the ALDS against the Yankees.
Weathers, a 20-year-old lefty, is the second-youngest among the five players whose big league debuts have come in the postseason. He walked two and struck out one in 1 1/3 scoreless innings.
“How he performed was everything we could ask for,” Tingler said. “He was confident. He was throwing strikes. He was using all his pitches. It was very impressive.”
Tingler said he hadn’t decided on a starter for Game 2 in the best-of-five series on Wednesday night.