The Padres headed into their new series against the Cardinals with some big momentum and a nice win streak on the line. Matt Waldron got the start as he looked to deliver his second solid start in a row. He was able to come through as he limited the St. Louis lineup from putting up any big innings and kept the Padres in the game. On offense, Manny Machado took care of most of the work, with 2 big home runs including the go-ahead shot in the 8th inning. San Diego would manage to squeak by with a 4-2 win and keep the good times rolling.
Here are three takeaways from the game:
Waldron delivers another solid performance
After a tough start against the Astros earlier in the month, Matt Waldron did a nice job to bounce back in his next start against the Athletics. He kept his momentum rolling once again as he was able to keep the Cardinals in check throughout the entirety of his start. Waldron would end up pitching 5.2 innings while striking out 9 and allowing just 3 hits. It was a dominant performance that ensured the Padre offense would have some more breathing room as they tried to get ahead of St. Louis. With San Diego quietly staying alive in the wild card race despite low odds, his start went a long way in helping to keep the pressure on teams like the Giants, Marlins, and Reds. Hopefully, Waldron has figured something out among his mechanics that will allow him to keep pitching successfully and contribute on a major level to team wins. He should get a couple more starts to showcase his stuff before the season comes to an end.
Bullpen stays solid behind Waldron
The Cardinals and Padres had each done a nice job pitching-wise for the majority of the game, and it looked like a pitcher’s duel was in full effect. Heading into the 8th inning, only 3 total runs had been scored and San Diego found themselves clinging to a 2-1 lead. They would go on to secure the win with the help of an impressive performance from the bullpen to keep St. Louis from coming back or making a rally. Scott Barlow would be first out of the bullpen as he came in to replace Matt Waldron and pitch 0.2 scoreless innings. Tom Cosgrove would do the same before passing it off to Luis Garcia, who got the first out of the 8th inning, but also allowed the tying run to come across on a clutch triple from Jordan Walker. Manny Machado would help the Padres regain the lead as he opened the door for Ranger Suarez to pitch the rest of the game and help secure the win. In total, the bullpen managed to pitch 3.1 innings while allowing just 1 run and gathering 3 combined strikeouts. They did a nice job for the third straight game and have been a huge piece of the win streak so far.
Manny Machado lifts the Padres to victory with 2 homers
There is no doubt that the Padres would have found themselves in the loss column on Friday night if it were not for the performance displayed by Manny Machado. He erupted in a big way when the team needed him, going 4-4 with 2 home runs and 3 RBI. His first home run came in the top of the sixth inning to put San Diego up 2-1 before the Cardinals would eventually tie the game. He then had his clutch moment as he stepped up to hit in the bottom of the 8th inning with one out and a runner on second base. Machado took a 2-2 breaking ball to deep left field that found the seats and sent Petco Park into a frenzy.
It was a great moment for Machado and the team, as he received a much-earned curtain call in front of the home crowd. His 2-homer day helped him to reach the 30 home run mark on the season, putting him even with Nolan Arenado for the most 30+ home run seasons since 2015 (7). Machado has been a big part of the lineup since he signed with San Diego back in 2019. Friday night’s showing was just the latest example of the ability he has to make a major impact, and he was critical in another big win.
Machado and the Padres will take on St. Louis once again on Saturday evening as they look to extend their win streak to 9 and keep creeping up the standings.
First pitch is scheduled for 5:40 p.m. PT.