SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Padres amazing 2022 season has come to an end. The Padres fell to the Philadelphia Phillies Sunday afternoon, 4-3, crowning the Phillies as the National League Champions and sending them to the World Series.
After exciting playoff victories over the NY Mets (101 regular season wins) and the Los Angeles Dodgers (111 regular season wins, most in NL since 1906), the scrappy Padres (89 wins) met their match against another scrappy team in the Phillies (87 wins) in the NLCS series.
While the 2022 season may be over for the Padres, there is a lot of optimism for next year and the future of this team. Plenty of big names should be back as well as an experienced manager in Bob Melvin. San Diego's homegrown starting pitcher, Joe Musgrove will be back along with superstars Manny Machado and Juan Soto.
The team will also get back Fernando Tatis Jr., even earlier than planned due to the extra postseason games counting towards the 80-game suspension he is currently serving after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance. The monster numbers Tatis put up in 2021 (42 home runs, 25 steals) as an All-Star will be a welcome addition back to a 2023 team that was only a few games away from the World Series.
Sunday’s loss may sting now, but the future is bright for our San Diego Padres!
Game 5 recap
Designated hitter Bryce Harper was the hero for Philadelphia, smashing a two-run, go-ahead home run into the left-field bleachers off Padres reliever Robert Suárez in the bottom of the eighth inning.
The Phillies bested San Diego four games-to-one in the National League Championship Series, with the Padres winning only Wednesday's Game 2 in San Diego.
Phillies starter Zack Wheeler limited San Diego to three hits and two runs in six innings while striking out eight but did not factor in the decision. Yu Darvish started for San Diego, pitching six innings and allowing four hits and two earned runs while striking out five. He also did not factor in the decision.
The Phillies scored two runs off Darvish in the third inning on first baseman Rhys Hoskins' two-run homer. San Diego's first run came in the fourth inning on a home run by right fielder Juan Soto.
First baseman Josh Bell tied the game in the seventh, driving in second baseman Jake Cronenworth with a double to right field off Phillies reliever Seranthony Domínguez. San Diego took the lead a few minutes later when pinch runner José Azocar scored on a wild pitch by Domínguez.
Robert Suárez replaced Darvish in the bottom of the seventh and retired the Phillies in that frame despite giving up a hit and a walk, before yielding Harper's opposite-field home run in the eighth. Suárez was charged with the loss.
Jose Alvarado pitched a scoreless eighth inning for Philadelphia and was credited with the win.
Phillies reliever David Robertson started the ninth inning and surrendered two walks while striking out one. He was relieved by Ranger Suarez - - no relation to Robert Suárez -- who retired the final two San Diego batters and was credited with the save.
The Padres made it to their first NLCS since 1998 with the help of two huge midseason acquisitions, trading four players to the Milwaukee Brewers for relief pitcher Josh Hader on Aug. 1, then dealing a bevy of players to the Washington Nationals for the 23-year-old Soto one day later.
The team fizzled for a while after the trades, losing nine of 12 games to the Dodgers and finishing 22 games behind Los Angeles in the National League West.
But San Diego heated up in the postseason, beating the favored New York Mets two games-to-one in the Wild-Card Round and upsetting the favored Dodgers three games-to-one in a National League Division Series.
WATCH: Padres fans keeping their hopes high despite Saturday's loss: