The Padres were able to successfully welcome the Marlins to “Slam Diego” on Monday night. Coming off of a series loss, Manny Machado gave the team some early support with an RBI sacrifice fly. An inning later, He-Seong Kim blasted a grand slam to put the Padres up 5-0 and in total control. Machado would strike again in the 5th with a solo homer and put San Diego up 6-0. It was too little too late for Miami, as they scored twice in the 6th for their only runs of the game.
Here are three takeaways from the win:
Wacha gathers 10th win of the season
Once again, Michael Wacha looked sharp as he toed the rubber in the opening game of the series. Wacha, in his second start since coming off of the injured list, threw 5.1 innings and allowed just 1 ER. He struck out 7 along the way and set the bullpen up nicely for the rest of the game. Wacha’s record now sits at an elite 10-2, and he proved once again that he can make a major difference for the Padre pitching staff. His 2.63 ERA is right up there with another well-known San Diego arm in Blake Snell, who has arguably been the best pitcher in the NL this season. If Wacha and Snell continue to roll, the team will have a much easier time on offense and endure much less pressure to keep up with opponents. They continue to prove the importance of veteran presence in a pitching staff and hopefully, the W’s will keep on coming with Wacha on the bump.
Ha-Seong Kim delivers in grand fashion
The Padres were in control from the jump against the Marlins, widely thanks to Ha-Seong Kim. With the bases loaded in the 2nd inning, he stepped up to the plate and drove a pitch from Ryan Weathers into the left field seats for a grand slam. “Slam Diego” was in full effect as the crowd went wild and the team jumped out to a 5-0 lead.
Weathers, who spent time with the Padres earlier this season before being acquired by Miami, is having a very rough season. His 1-8 record along with a 7.32 ERA leave him searching for any sort of answer as to where the struggles could be coming from. The Padres, however, took full advantage and tagged him for 5 runs in his appearance. Ha-Seong Kim, whose grand slam was his 17th home run of the year, continues to he a bright spot for San Diego. He’s hitting .280 with a .820 OPS and has provided the team with valuable at-bats from the leadoff spot all season long.
San Diego bullpen looks good through 3.2 innings
After Michael Wacha allowed a solo home run to Josh Bell in the 6th and was taken out of the game, the Padre bullpen was forced into action with the task of holding a 5-run lead. Pedro Avila, who has been excellent this season, was first out of the bullpen. He pitched the last 2 outs of the 6th inning and ended up being the only man out of the bullpen to allow a run for the rest of the game. Pitchers Steven Wilson, Robert Suarez, and Tim Cosgrove each threw an inning of shutout baseball and tallied a combined 4 strikeouts. The bullpen did an excellent job holding down the lead and made sure that the Marlins never gathered any momentum towards a comeback. Avila and Cosgrove have been especially successful this season, rocking sub-2 ERA’s respectively. Meanwhile, Wilson holds a solid 3.31 ERA himself. These types of bullpen outings will continue to serve as a big help for the team down the stretch as they can continue to rely on their arms to hold down the fort in close games.
The Padres will be back at it tomorrow in game 2 of the series as they look to grab their second win in a row with the home stand coming to an end at the conclusion of the series.
First pitch is scheduled for 6:40 PST.