Machado, Musgrove carry Padres to rubber match win

Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
Manny Machado and Joe Musgrove each had dominant showings on Sunday afternoon as the Padres won their final game before the All-Star break.

The Padres and Mets went to battle in a big game before the conclusion of the first half of the season. Both teams have underperformed thus far and were looking to carry the momentum of a series victory into the second half of the year. Fortunately for San Diego, Joe Musgrove had his best stuff. He pitched 6 shutout innings while striking out 7 batters and walking none. On offense, Manny Machado completely took over for the Padres. He launched 2 different home runs in the game off of Max Scherzer and drove home 5/6 San Diego runs on the day. The bullpen was able to pitch well enough to secure another victory for the second consecutive day and grab the series win.

Here are three takeaways from the victory:

Machado mania at Petco Park

One man who was determined to make sure that the Padres headed into the All-Star break on a positive note was Manny Machado. He got the Padres off to a hot start in the first inning with his three-run blast to left field. Later on in the fifth inning, he would display his power once again by hitting a two-run homer to the opposite field. He finished with 5 RBIs and was certainly the main component for the team’s offensive success.

Machado’s first homer of the day.

Manny finished off the first half of the season hitting .261 with an OBP of .307 and an OPS of .765. He also finished the first half with 15 home runs and 49 RBI. While his average is slightly down compared to his dominant 2022 season, he is still on pace to nearly match his 2022 totals in home runs and RBI. There is no doubt that the team will lean on him in the later months of the season to provide some big games as the Padres look to climb back into contention and avoid a disappointment of a season.

Scherzer’s rough first half capped off with a loss

New York Mets fans cannot be happy with the way that things have gone for their future hall-of-famer Max Scherzer. He, along with the rest of the team, have underperformed thus far and surprised many around baseball. While he finished the first half of the season with a solid record of 8-3, his ERA sits at 4.31. This puts him on pace to finish the season with the worst ERA of his career. Widely thanks to Manny Machado, San Diego tallied 5 runs against him and collected 6/9 hits on the right-hander. They were able to put a big emphasis on one of Scherzer’s bigger issues on the mound, which is his vulnerability to giving up home runs. While Max admits that he doesn’t necessarily mind giving up solo homers if it means that he can continue to pitch aggressively into the strike zone, it becomes an issue for him when the home runs start flying with runners on base. The Padres will head into the break feeling good about their performance against him and will view their 43-47 record with cautious optimism for a turnaround.

Musgrove masterclass tears through the Mets lineup

The Mets, via the 2022 wild card round, have become quite familiar with Joe Musgrove and his ability to take over a game. He proved once again on Sunday that he has the stuff to be one of the best pitchers in the major leagues. He torched through the New York lineup, pitching 6 shoutout innings and allowing only 3 hits. He brought his ERA on the season to 3.29 and has given himself a realistic shot to one-up his career best ERA of 2.93 in 2022. Musgrove was able to strike out 7 hitters along the way before being taken out of the game after only 88 pitches. He was able to do a very nice job getting out of trouble early in the game, with the Mets having multiple chances to score with runners on the basepaths.

Musgrove, who did not get selected to the All-Star team, will take the time to rest up and prepare for the home stretch of the season. Joe and the rest of the Padres will have a few days off before starting the second half of their season with a series against the Philadelphia Phillies.

The series will begin on July 14, with first pitch scheduled for 3:05 p.m.