Pads pitchers Clevinger, Manaea tagged by Phils in NLCS loss

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San Diego Padres starting pitcher Mike Clevinger leaves the game during the first inning in Game 4 of the baseball NL Championship Series between the San Diego Padres and the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2022, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

PHILADELPHIA – San Diego Padres pitchers Mike Clevinger and Sean Manaea had outings they’d quickly like to forget.

Clevinger, San Diego’s starter, didn’t record an out while facing four batters in Game 4 of the NL Championship Series. Manaea was tagged for the loss after giving up five runs in 1 1/3 inning as the Padres fell to Philadelphia 10-6 Saturday, putting them in a 3-1 deficit.

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“Probably one of the worst days of my life,” Clevinger said.

The Padres startled the raucous, sold-out crowd of 45,467 by scoring four runs in the first inning and chasing Phillies starter Bailey Falter after he got just two outs.

But the fans were roaring in the bottom of the frame when Clevinger couldn’t get an out.

“Didn’t execute,” he said. “Just didn’t go my way.”

The 31-year-old right-hander surrendered a leadoff single to Kyle Schwarber and the first of Rhys Hoskins’ two homers. After walking J.T. Realmuto and serving up Bryce Harper’s RBI double, manager Bob Melvin came from the dugout to relieve Clevinger.

“Just middle of the plate and didn’t have his best stuff, obviously,” Melvin said. “I had to take him out pretty quickly.”

Right-hander Nick Martinez came on and pitched three stellar innings, retiring all nine batters he faced, to keep San Diego ahead. But the lead didn't last much longer.

It was the second postseason outing for Clevinger, and his second subpar result. He gave up four earned runs on six hits in 2 2/3 innings while taking the loss in the Padres’ 5-3 defeat to the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 1 of the NL Division Series on Oct. 11.

In 10 career playoff appearances, Clevinger now has a 7.47 ERA.

Even with Clevinger’s struggles, San Diego led 4-3 after Martinez departed and Manaea entered to begin the bottom of the fourth.

It was the first postseason appearance in 2022 for Manaea, who wasn’t exactly in familiar territory. He's made just three relief appearances in 159 regular-season outings, two of which came this season, and was the starter in both of his two previous playoff outings.

Even though he hadn’t taken the mound since Oct. 4, Manaea said he felt good.

“I felt comfortable,” he said. “I was doing stuff in between to knock the rust off. When I got out there, it was like any other game.”

Manaea gave up a leadoff double to Nick Castellanos and, two batters later, a tying single to Bryson Stott.

After Juan Soto’s two-run shot in the fifth put San Diego up 6-4, Manaea was charged with four runs in the bottom of the frame when Philadelphia took the lead for good at 8-6.

Hoskins followed a leadoff walk to Schwarber by driving Manaea’s sinker into the seats in left for his second homer of the contest. The 30-year-old lefty walked Realmuto, who scored on Harper’s RBI double to left-center, and that was it for Manaea.

“They fought off some good pitches and crushed ones they needed to,” he said. “The top four of their lineup is very, very good. Falling behind them, they will make you pay.”

It was the third loss Manaea suffered in as many playoff appearances. While pitching for Oakland, he gave up four runs – including three homers – in two innings in a 5-1 defeat to Tampa Bay in the 2019 wild-card round and surrendered four runs on five hits in a 5-2 loss to Houston in the 2020 AL Division.

This season for the Padres, Manaea’s 6.16 road ERA was the highest among qualifying pitchers.

His line on Saturday was finished when Castellanos drove in Harper with a single off Luis Garcia.

“He had swings and misses when he got into the zone, but he couldn’t locate it,” Melvin said.


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