ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Fernando Tatis Jr. bent backward from his knees and stared skyward after his wild throw became San Diego’s playoff-high fifth error and gave the Los Angeles Dodgers the tying run.
The 21-year-old budding superstar and the rest of the Padres will have to wait at least another year for the club’s first trip past the NL Division Series since 1998.
Tatis’ throwing error from his knees behind second base after a diving stop on an infield single by Corey Seager came early in a five-run third inning that propelled the Dodgers to a 12-3 victory Thursday night and a sweep of the neutral-site best-of-five NLDS.
“We’re going to remember this all of next year,” the shortstop said after San Diego’s first division series appearance in 14 years. “We’re going to remember this feeling, what it’s about. Trust me. I don’t like it.”
No matter how many pitchers the Padres threw at their NL West rivals — 11 in a postseason record for a game of any length — they never really were in the series except for one bases-loaded chance for Slam Diego at the end of Game 2.
The Padres couldn’t add to their majors-leading seven grand slams from the regular season, although Jake Cronenworth’s walk and Trent Grisham’s infield single with the bases loaded gave the Padres a brief 2-1 lead in the second.
Tatis, whose drive at the home of the Rangers in August started San Diego’s record run of four straight games with a grand slam, ended the second with a bases-loaded strikeout against winner Julio Urías.
The next time the rookie phenom came up, Urias had retired eight more in a row while LA built an 8-2 lead. Tatis grounded weakly to third base and finished the series 2 of 11.
Tatis, Wil Myers and Manny Machado combined for five homers in an 11-9 victory that turned the wild-card series against St. Louis in Game 2 and helped the Padres to their first postseason series victory since they went to the 1998 World Series.
But the trio went deep just once in the NLDS. The solo shot by Machado in Game 2 was immediately followed by one from Eric Hosmer, who grounded out against Joe Kelly with the bases loaded for the final out in LA’s 6-5 victory.
“This is a good season for us,” Myers said. “You can look at the negatives. You can look at how it ended there tonight. From an organizational standpoint, I feel like we took a huge step this year in the right direction.”
A hodgepodge pitching staff missing its top two starters couldn’t hold up either, after San Diego became the first team to send out nine pitchers and win a postseason game with a shutout in the clinching 4-0 victory over the Cardinals.
Four of the first five pitchers used by rookie manager Jayce Tingler in Game 3 allowed runs, including three apiece from starter and losing pitcher Adrián Morejón and his replacement, Craig Stammen.
“We knew we were short-handed, just not being at full throttle with all of our pitchers” Tingler said. “But the one thing our guys did, they laid it out there. They gave it everything they had.”
Trevor Rosenthal gave up a pair of two-run hits in the ninth when he became the Padres’ 11th pitcher. It was the first time at least 10 pitchers were used in a nine-inning postseason game. The 24 players used overall were also a record for a postseason game of any length.