In a game that featured elite starting pitching talent between Blake Snell and Logan Webb, things went just as expected. In a low-scoring battle, Blake Snell pitched excellently to keep pace with Webb. However, Snell would be pulled after 6 innings and leave the bullpen to carry the load. Clinging to a 1-0 lead, San Diego could not hang on as a clutch hit in the bottom of the 8th put the Giants on top 2-1. The Padres came up short with their ninth-inning rally attempt and took a tough loss to open up the series against their division rival.
Here are three takeaways from the loss:
Snell shines once again despite the loss
In what was perhaps Blake Snell’s final start of the 2023 season, he had one last chance to put the dagger in the NL Cy Young race. Snell did not disappoint, as he got to work against the San Francisco lineup and left them struggling to put together any offense whatsoever. Through 100 pitches even, he would toss 6 innings and allow just 4 hits. The Giants would not score against him as they struck out 7 times and failed to gather any momentum. It was a great performance to bring his ERA over his last 23 starts to an astonishing 1.20.
If the start goes down as his last of the season, he will have finished off the season with a record of 14-9 and an ERA of 2.25. Snell holds the lowest ERA in all of baseball as well as the 4th most strikeouts with 234. It was his best season in a Padres uniform, and perhaps the second-best statistical season of his career. He will look to see his hard work pay off this offseason by adding his 2nd career Cy Young award. With a free agency looming, Snell will have important decisions to make regarding his future in San Diego and what he wants to do with the rest of his career. The Padres will, without a doubt, try and do everything they can to make sure that he is back representing the squad next season.
Padres see no production from the 5-9 spots in the lineup
The Padres did Blake Snell and the rest of the pitching staff no favors as they finished the night with just 1 run scored and a 1-7 mark with runners in scoring position. More specifically, not one player in the 5-9 spots of the San Diego lineup was able to come up with a hit except for catcher Ben Sullivan. In total, the 5-9 spots combined for a 2-17 day (including pinch hitters) and left the team struggling to keep up. Xander Bogaerts, Fernando Tatis Jr., Juan Soto, and Manny Machado hit for a combined 7-16 as they represented the vast majority of the offensive production on the day. The team’s one run came in the very first frame of the game, with Manny Machado hitting an RBI single. San Diego will need to do a better job in the rest of the series at providing more well-rounded performances and lifting some of the pressure off of the pitching staff to perform at a flawless level.
Logan Webb spins complete game shutout despite sickness
Unfortunately for the Padres, Logan Webb picked his start against them on Monday night to have a “flu game” moment. Webb battled toe to toe with Blake Snell as the pair carved through their respective lineups. Runs became a rarity for San Diego as they ended up getting shutout through the final 8 innings of the game. Webb would end up going the distance on 110 pitches as he struck out 7 and navigated around 9 Padre hits.
Following the conclusion of the game, he would reveal to reporters that he battled through being sick as he fought his way through the contest. He would be rewarded with the win in the end, as Michael Conforto delivered a clutch bases-loaded, 2-out single to score a pair and give the Giants a 2-1 lead. The Padres will be lucky that they do not have to deal with him again, and need to make sure that they can capitalize in the final 2 games of the series against some less competitive pitching.
Game 2 of the series will take place on Tuesday night as Seth Lugo is scheduled to take the bump and help the Padres even things up.
First pitch is scheduled for 6:45 p.m. PT.