The Departed starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon was a big hit at the box office. Justin Timberlake was bringing “Sexy Back” on the Billboard charts. The United States hit 300 million in population for the first time. Google purchased YouTube for $1.65 billion.
The month was October 2006, and the Padres hosted two National League Division Series games at Petco Park in San Diego. The Padres lost both of those home games, and after a win in St. Louis, they lost Game 4 and were eliminated from the postseason.
They wouldn’t get back to the postseason until 2020, when they hosted three Wild Card Round games at Petco but didn’t get a chance to host any games after that because the pandemic sent the entire NLDS to Globe Life Park in Texas. So tonight, when Game 3 kicks off between the Dodgers and Padres, it will be the first home NLDS game in San Diego in just over 16 years.
In that 2006 NLDS, the star of the show for the Padres was a San Diego boy who had come home to play: outfielder Dave Roberts.
Of course, this Talkin’ Baseball post isn’t right. The 2020 season was weird — heck, 2020 in general was weird — but that postseason happened, and the Padres hosted three games. So it’s not their first home postseason game since 2006, but it is their first home NLDS game since then and their first postseason game in front of the home crowd. And the last time they played in the NLDS in San Diego, Roberts was the star, batting .438 with a 1.033 OPS in a losing cause against the eventual World Series champion Cardinals.
Lots of ways to illustrate how long ago the last playoff game with fans at Petco was. Here's a fun one: the Padres leadoff hitter that afternoon will be managing the Dodgers tonight (0-4, 2k).
— jesse agler (@jesseagler) October 14, 2022
Today, Roberts is managing the Dodgers, having won 698 games since taking over as L.A.’s skipper prior to the 2016 season. Roberts never played for a 100-win team, but he has managed four of them in his seven years at the helm in Los Angeles.
That 2006 Padres team had a few other guys with ties to the Dodgers. Current Dodger analyst Adrian Gonzalez batted .357 in that NLDS, current L.A. bullpen coach Josh Bard went 1-for-7, and Hall of Famer Mike Piazza went 1-for-10.
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