Mets vs. Padres score: San Diego smacks four homers off Max Scherzer to push New York to brink

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The San Diego Padres defeated the New York Mets by a score of 7-1 in Game 1 of the National League Wild Card Series on Friday night at Citi Field. That outcome gives the Padres 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series that functions as the opening round in MLB's new playoff structure. 

Now for some takeaways from Game 1. 

Bell got to Scherzer early

The Padres didn't need long to do damage against Mets starter and co-ace Max Scherzer, as first baseman Josh Bell in the top of the first hit this booming two-run homer to the opposite field: 

That 95-mph fastball from Scherzer caught too much of the middle, and Bell didn't miss. That homer left the bat at 107.8 mph and traveled 419 feet to deep left-center. That had to be a huge moment for Bell, who's struggled badly since coming over in the Juan Soto blockbuster just prior to the trade deadline. With the Padres in the regular season, Bell slashed .192/.316/.271 with just three home runs in 53 games. That came on the heels of a highly productive 103 games with the Nationals. Perhaps more concerning is that Bell saw his quality-of-contract metrics decline significantly on San Diego's watch. 

Well, there were no such quality-of-contact concerns on that one above, and Bell is now the author of what may be the Padres' biggest home run of the season to date.

Then a bunch of other Padres got to Scherzer

It wasn't just Bell who took Scherzer yard. So did Trent Grisham in the second and Jurickson Profar in the fifth. The very next batter after Profar, Manny Machado, became the fourth Padre to homer off Scherzer in Game 1, and this one sent him to the showers: 

At that point, Trevor May came on, and Scherzer's night was over: 4 2/3 IP, 7 H, 7 R, 4 SO, 0 BB, 4 HR. That comes to a 13.50 ERA for the game. This is just the second time in his career, playoffs or regular season, that he's allowed at least seven runs and four home runs in a game. As for the postseason itself, there's this: 

This disaster outing comes just after Scherzer struggled in a crucial start against the Braves – four runs on nine hits in 5 2/3 innings when the division title hung in the balance. Maybe he's still not fully over his oblique injury, maybe he's suddenly feeling his 38 years, or maybe it's just cruel short-run randomness that can happen to anyone in baseball. 

Scherzer's a three-time Cy Young winner and a future first-ballot Hall of Famer, but he's looked like nothing of the sort recently. 

Darvish was excellent

While Scherzer had a Game 1 to forget, the Padres' Darvish had one to remember. His work for the night: 

Yu Darvish
SD • SP • #11
vs. NYM, 2022 NL Wild Card Series Game 1
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Darvish kept Mets hitters off balance with his usual dizzying array of offerings -- he threw five different pitches on Friday, headlined by his cutter. His velocity ranged from 95.2 mph on a fastball to Francisco Lindor in the fifth to 66.9 mph on a curve to Eduardo Escobar in that same inning. While his strikeout tally wasn't what it typically was, hard contact eluded the Mets for much of the night. The only blemish came on a solo home run by Escobar. Also of note is that Darvish's seven innings of work meant a light night for the Padres' bullpen, particularly by postseason standards. 

DeGrom goes next for New York

We already knew that lefty Blake Snell will start Game 2 for the Padres, but the Mets' decision hinged on how Game 1 went. If they won, the plan seemed to be to hold back ace Jacob deGrom in the hopes that they could close out the Padres in Game 2 and line up deGrom for Game 1 of the NLDS. If they lost Game 1 to San Diego, then deGrom would start Game 2, which would be an elimination game for the Mets. Well, the latter scenario, as you now know, is what unfolded, and deGrom will indeed go Saturday against Snell and Padres. The Padres are now one win away from a matchup with the NL West-rival Dodgers in the NLDS. 

Game 2 on Saturday is scheduled to start at 7:37 p.m. ET. 

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Watch Machado's 110.5-mph blast

Here's a look at Manny Machado's dinger off Scherzer. It left his bat at 110.5 mph and was the hardest hit ball by the Padres off Scherzer.


the  Mets will not be shut out, as Eduardo Escobar just homered. It's 7-1 Padres

October 8, 2022, 1:46 AM

Machado gets in on the fun

And now Manny Machado homers on an absolute rocket line drive to left field. The boo birds are out in Queens and Scherzer is done with 7 earned runs allowed on four homers.

October 8, 2022, 1:36 AM

This escalated really quickly

Kim singles, Nola doubles and Profar hits a three-run home run. It's 6-0 Padres against Max Scherzer. 

October 8, 2022, 1:33 AM

easy third and fourth for both pitchers. It's still 3-0 Padres on the two bombs

October 8, 2022, 1:25 AM

Pete Alonso now 0-2 with two strikeouts in his playoff debut 

October 8, 2022, 1:21 AM

As the Mets look to chip away, it might be worth filing this away: They've now had two at-bats with a runner on third and one out. They struck out both times. 

October 8, 2022, 12:53 AM

and Marte steals third with one out. The Mets already have three stolen bases

October 8, 2022, 12:53 AM

there's the steal. Mets have a runner on second with no out 

October 8, 2022, 12:46 AM

his legs should still work fine ... 

October 8, 2022, 12:44 AM

Starling Marte is playing with what is likely still a broken finger

October 8, 2022, 12:44 AM

Starling Marte hits a single in his first at-bat.


Trent Grisham goes yard. It's 3-0 Padres. 

October 8, 2022, 12:39 AM

the Mets got a rally going after Lindor got on and stole second in front of a Jeff McNeil single, but Yu Darvish struck out Pete Alonso for the big out before getting a Daniel Vogelbach fly out to end the threat. It's 2-0 through one.

October 8, 2022, 12:33 AM

Mets threaten but don't score. It's 2-0 after one. 


I'll add, since I just looked it up, that Bell's average exit velocity dipped by 2 mph with the Padres compared to with the Mets. His groundball percentage was way, way higher, too.


to Dayn's point, Josh Bell hit .192 with a 75 OPS+ with the Padres. Only 3 HR in 53 games with them

October 8, 2022, 12:24 AM

Bell struggled pretty badly after the trade to San Diego, but he just hit the team's biggest home run of the season so far.

October 8, 2022, 12:18 AM

Padres strike first

Josh Bell hit a 3-1 Max Scherzer pitch into the left-field seats for an opposite field shot. It's 2-0 Padres before the Mets get a chance to bat. 

October 8, 2022, 12:17 AM

Worth watching Marte to see how he throws if/when he gets a chance. Could be something the Padres can exploit during the run of play.


Streaming info

With Mets-Padres underway, here's how to watch tonight's ballgame.

Date: Friday, Oct. 7 | Time: 8:07 p.m. ET
Location: Citi Field (Flushing, New York)
TV channel: ESPN | Live streamfuboTV (try for free)


Scherzer gets Soto swinging for the night's first out.


After watching Scherzer pace the dugout in Mad Max fashion, we're underway. Jurickson Profar singled and it's now 2-2 to Juan Soto

October 8, 2022, 12:11 AM
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