NEW YORK (AP) — With a magnificent performance on a memorable night in Padres history, Joe Musgrove brought this one home for San Diego and really stuck it to the New York Mets
The big right-hander brushed off chants of “Cheater!” after a bizarre spot check by umpires on the mound, pitching his hometown Padres into the next round of the playoffs Sunday with seven innings of one-hit ball in a 6-0 victory over the listless Mets.
“You could see the resolve in his face and the demeanor he had,” San Diego manager Bob Melvin said. “He was on a mission today.”
Trent Grisham hit an RBI single and made a terrific catch in center field that helped the Padres take the best-of-three National League wild-card series 2-1. Austin Nola and Juan Soto each had a two-run single.
San Diego advanced to face the top-seeded Los Angeles Dodgers in a best-of-five Division Series beginning Tuesday — ensuring the Padres will play in front of their home fans in the postseason for the first time in 16 years when they return to Petco Park for Game 3.
For the Mets, a scintillating season ended with a whimper at home in front of empty seats. Baseball’s biggest spenders won 101 games — second-most in franchise history — but were unable to hold off Atlanta in the NL East after sitting atop the division for all but six days.
Relegated to the wild-card round, New York never fully recovered. Max Scherzer got rocked in Game 1 and, after the Mets won Game 2 behind Jacob deGrom to stave off elimination, they mustered almost nothing against Musgrove and finished with one lonely hit.
No. 3 starter Chris Bassitt lasted just four innings, giving up three runs and three hits with three costly walks to batters near the bottom of the order.
Pete Alonso’s leadoff single in the fifth and Starling Marte’s walk to start the seventh were the only baserunners permitted by Musgrove in his first postseason start. He was 0-5 with a 6.33 ERA in five previous starts against the Mets.
New York Mets manager Buck Showalter, left, watches play from the dugout as Eduardo Escobar (10) prepares to bat against the San Diego Padres during the eighth inning of Game 3 of a National League wild-card baseball playoff series, Sunday, Oct. 9, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)