San Diego Padres Play in NLCS for the First Time Since 1998

As an October rainstorm drenched Petco Park on Saturday, the fans watched as the Padres toppled their biggest rivals, booking a place in the NLCS. 

The Los Angeles Dodgers arrived confidently in San Diego as the favorites, with a 111 regular season win streak. Yet, the Padres stayed strong and delivered a 5-3 knockout punch, advancing them to the League Championship Series for the first time since 1998. 

juan soto celebrates padres victory
Oct 15, 2022; San Diego, California, USA; Juan Soto (22), Ha-Seong Kim (7) and Manny Machado (13) celebrate after scoring in the seventh inning to go up 5-3 against the LA Dodgers in game four of the NLDS. (Harry How/Getty Images)

LA fans and players watched in shock as the Padres rallied past them with a 5-3 comeback. In doing so, they won the NLDS series 3-1, in upset fashion. The Dodgers had dominated the game up until the end, with Tyler Anderson keeping the Padres to two hits through five innings. Catcher Will Smith also hit a sacrifice fly in the to give the Dodgers a 3-0 lead.

That all changed in the seventh inning, when Jurickson Profar beat three Dodgers and scored. Kim Ha-seong’s double, followed by Juan Soto’s single tied the game 3-3, putting the crowd of 45,000 on their feet. 

Jake Croneworth then hit a tie-breaking two-run singles with two outs, giving the Padres a 5-3 lead. Soto slid home, and the underdogs wielded off in celebration.

The Friars are scheduled to play the next series against the Philadelphia Phillies, who eliminated the defending World Series champions Atlanta Braves last Saturday. 

Padres celebrate NLDS victory
Oct 15, 2022; San Diego, California, USA; The Padres pose for a team photo after advancing to the NLCS. (Orlando Ramirez/USA Today Sports)

This unexpected victory has excited the city, including the students and staff at Canyon Hills. Athletic director and Padres fan Jonn Pisapia remarked on the game last Saturday. “The Padres got a great win against their rivals, putting them in such a high position for the first time in over 20 years. It is a historic day that the people of San Diego, including myself, will remember forever.” 

However, not everyone on campus supported the victors. In fact, some backed the opposing team coming into the series. Biomedical Science instructor and Dodgers fan Roberto Ramirez Jr. stated, “I’m disappointed, of course, that the Dodgers weren’t able to make it through. In the end, though, the Padres just played better baseball. I wish them the best of luck in the championship.”

The game has impacted the students on campus, too. Especially those who play baseball on the school team. Freshman team player Nathan Grinblat had this to say about the surprising victory: “It was great seeing the Friars overtake such a skilled team. The Dodgers’ impressive record this season definitely made them a formidable opponent.”

 “Ever since I was a little kid, I watched the Padres. I’ve always been sad about losing each round in the playoffs. Now that they have made it very far in the NLCS I am hoping that they can win it all,” he added. 

Prior to the game, the Dodgers had beaten the Friars in nine straight series dating to 2021. Yet, the Padres won the series that mattered most. And even if their Cinderella run ends this week against the Phillies, it will still be remembered as one of the greatest victories in MLB history; one that the city will never forget.