As Matt Waldron took the mound in his 4th start of the year, he looked to rebound from what has been a rough stretch of starts. He was able to set the tone on the day, as he kept the Athletics from gathering any serious momentum. By the time he was removed from the game, Waldron had helped the Padres gain the 5-2 lead that they needed. Both teams would go scoreless for the rest of the contest as the Padres took their second game in a row and clinched their second consecutive series victory.
Here are three takeaways from the game:
Athletics rough defense helps the Padres out
With Oakland looking to pick up a win to even the series and force a rubber match, their poor defensive showing did not help. It was an overall sloppy game for the Athletics, as they allowed 2 runs to score on 2 errors while another run came across for the Padres on a walk. The lack of defense and pitching success helped San Diego to plate crucial runs in a game that kept a slow overall pace. First-baseman Ryan Noda’s pair of errors on a play in the sixth inning helped to seal Oakland’s fate, as 2 more runs would come home to score for the Padres and allow them to double the lead.
It was not Noda’s proudest moment, as he followed up a failed attempt at fielding the ground ball with a throw towards home plate that missed badly down the third base line. Trent Grisham and Luis Campusano would score easily as San Diego could do nothing but sit back and take the easy runs. These are just some of the types of moments that have contributed to the Athletics’ 102-loss season so far as fans watch on waiting to see if the team will officially make a move to Las Vegas.
Waldron pitches well, grabs first MLB win
In every single game that Matt Waldron has appeared in for the Padres this season, the team has ended up on the losing side of things. While he has succeeded at providing length in his starts, with every single one of them lasting at least 4.2 innings, the run support and overall success have not led to putting wins on the board. His latest start was especially rough, as he allowed 4 ER while the team took a 12-2 loss against the Astros. However, he made sure to make the most out of his newest start in Oakland and finally got into the win column. Through 5.1 innings, Waldron allowed just 2 ER and struck out 5 batters. He did a particularly nice job working around dangerous situations, as the Athletics tallied 7 hits but scored only twice on a sacrifice fly and a solo home run. San Diego would make sure to back him up on offense while the bullpen took care of the later innings to seal the game.
The start will go down as one that has to feel good for Waldron, who earned the first win of his major league career. Hopefully, he is able to use the milestone as some inspiration going forward so that he can continue to deliver when the team leans on him. Perhaps Waldron will see a couple more opportunities before the end of the season to keep working and improve upon his 1-3 record.
Padre bullpen puts the game on ice
As Matt Waldron looked on hoping for the bullpen to help him secure his first major-league win, they made sure not to let him down. The first man into the game from the bullpen was Scott Barlow, who relieved Waldron and pitched 1.1 innings of scoreless baseball to calm things down and set a nice tone. Robert Suarez would also pitch a scoreless 1.1 innings, as he pitched extremely efficiently and completed his outing in only 12 pitches. Finally, it was lockdown closer Josh Hader who stepped up in the ninth and sealed the deal with save number 29 on the season. For Hader, the save put him even with Kenley Jansen for 11th place on the MLB save leaders list. He will most certainly look to use the last couple weeks of the season to boost up that list and further impress during his 2023 campaign. Depending on his performance for the rest of the season, he could end up topping his 2021 ERA of 1.23 to secure his best year in the major leagues. With every single strikeout and save appearance, Hader makes himself more and more desirable for teams this winter as he enters the free-agent market at the conclusion of the season. The Padres will certainly look into retaining him, as he’s been a crucial piece of the bullpen that is almost constantly reliable.
San Diego will look to finish off the series with a clean sweep on Sunday afternoon, as Nick Martinez will get the start against Ken Waldichuk.
First pitch is scheduled for 1:07 p.m. PT.