The Padres entered Tuesday night’s contest leaning on the shoulders of Pedro Avila, who was making his first start of the season. He was able to set the tone for the Padres by pitching 4 solid innings and allowing only 1 run. Meanwhile, Juan Soto took care of the majority of the offense for the Padres, as he blasted 2 home runs on the day and tallied 4 RBIs. The bullpen, while shaky, was able to hold things down well enough for the offense as San Diego secured an 8-5 victory to even the series and force a rubber match.
Here are three takeaways from an impressive road win:
Juan Soto does the heavy lifting
On an evening in which Padre fans might expect a need for more offensive production, Juan Soto came through in a big way. He ended up responsible for 4 of the teams 8 runs, as he launched a three-run homer in the 5th inning and a solo homer in the eighth. The home runs combined for a whopping distance of 869 feet in typical Coors Field fashion and propelled the Padres offense to the finish line. For Soto, he brought his home run total on the year to 22 and increased his batting average to .275.
Along with his impressive showing came some additional run support from Fernando Tatis Jr., who had 2 RBIs himself. In the top of the ninth, Trent Grisham and Ha-Seong Kim each provided some further insurance with RBI singles of their own that would push the lead to 8-4. The Padres will most definitely hope for Soto and Tatis to heat up going forward and continue to put runs on the board.
Avila proves solid in first start of season
The Padres were forced to hand the ball to pitcher Pedro Avila on Tuesday, who has not seen many innings in his career with the Padres. Avila made his very first start of the year against the Rockies and was able to calm the storm for the team. He was able to work his way through the first 4 innings of the game while only allowing 1 run on a Ryan McMahon single in the first inning. He struck out a very impressive 7 batters on 88 pitches and perhaps surprised many fans with his solid appearance. While Avila didn’t pitch enough innings to receive credit for the win at the end of the game, he certainly made his case for more innings going forward (even if those innings are from the bullpen). His reliability in spot-start situations for the Padres is definitely something that they will value going forward if they find themselves in need of pitching depth.
Both bullpens come up with shaky performances
In a ballpark such as Coors Field, perhaps it’s expected that teams are going to score more frequently. That was certainly the case for the Padres and Rockies on Tuesday evening as they combined for a total of 13 runs. However, 8 of those runs ended up being put up against the bullpen units of each respective squad. Pedro Avila started the game for the Padres and allowed only 1 run, while Peter Lambert started the game for the Rockies and gave up 4. The rest of the 8 runs came off of a collection of home runs and singles that took advantage of weak bullpen performances. While on one end, the Padres would love to keep cracking into opposing team’s bullpens, they must make sure that they do not continue to let opponents live off of theirs. The Rockies managed to score 4/5 runs on San Diego pitchers not named Pedro Avila and kept the game close for the majority of the contest.
In other news, the Padres had themselves a very busy trade deadline day. Despite rumors regarding the team selling away some of their rental pieces, they proved to be buyers. San Diego brought in the likes of Rich Hill, Ji Man Choi, Scott Barlow, Garrett Cooper, and Sean Reynolds. Meanwhile, they departed with prospects Jackson Wolf and Henry Williams among others. The team was able to address their lack of depth in the bottom of the lineup as well as their need for bullpen and starting pitching. As the so-far underwhelming Padres move forward, they have sent one message to the rest of the league: we are committed to making a run at the playoffs.
The Padres will take on the Rockies in the rubber match of the series tomorrow afternoon, with first pitch scheduled for 12:10 p.m. PT.