Fernando Tatis Jr. celebrates with his teammates the move to the division series over the Cardinals. (Gregory Bull)
Craig Stammen and eight relievers combined for four hits in a brilliant record-breaking effort that sent the San Diego Padres into the NL Division Series with a 4-0 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday in the decisive third. wild card series encounter.
The Padres won a postseason series for the first time in 22 years and advanced to face their NL West rival, the Los Angeles Dodgers, in the division series to be played in Arlington, Texas, starting Tuesday.
The number of nine pitchers was the most used in a nine-inning shutout in any major league game since 1901.
With starters Mike Clevinger and Dinelson Lamet unavailable due to injuries sustained late in the regular season, rookie manager Jayce Tingler was forced to take advantage of the Padres' already stressed bullpen and the strategy paid off magnificently. San Diego became the first team in baseball history to use eight or more pitchers in three consecutive postseason games.
Trevor Rosenthal, who started his career with the Cardinals, struck out next door in the ninth and the Padres began celebrating in empty Petco Park.
It is the first postseason series the Padres have won since defeating the Atlanta Braves in the 1998 National League Championship Series and is the second time they have triumphed in a playoff game at Petco Park, which opened in 2004. San Diego lost to San Luis in the division series in 2005 and 2006, the last time the Padres were in the postseason. The Cardinals also eliminated the Padres in 1996.
All four divisional series feature divisional rivals. All seven core teams lost in the first round, with the Cardinals joining Cincinnati, the Chicago Cubs, Milwaukee, Cleveland, the Chicago White Sox and Minnesota.
Fernando Tatis Jr., who hit two home runs and drove in five runs in Thursday's wild 11-9 win, doubled to the left-field corner off losing pitcher Jack Flaherty with one out in the fifth and scored on a double. two-out by Eric Hosmer to center right.
The Padres joined reliever Alex Reyes in the seventh inning with a bases-loaded walk to Hosmer and Manny Machado's pick play and an error by third baseman Tommy Edman. Puerto Rican Emilio Pagán pitched a perfect inning in the seventh and Drew Pomeranz walked a batter in the eighth.
Rookie Jake Cronenworth homered in the eighth.
Veteran Puerto Rican catcher Yadier Molina went 3-1 with a walk.