After Tuesday night’s loss to the Seattle Mariners (30-30), the Padres (28-33) streak of alternating results continues; San Diego has not won or lost consecutive games since dropping two in-a-row to close out their series at Yankee Stadium last month. When was the last time the Friars won back-to-back games? You’d have to go back to May 25 & 26 when they defeated the Nationals prior to winning the first game in New York. Fast-forward back to the present, and the Padres’ bats once again went dormant Tuesday against the Mariners. San Diego only managed one run on four hits. They also struck out a total of 10 times, six of which came against Seattle starter Logan Gilbert–he was masterful most of the evening.
Here are three takeaways from Tuesday’s 4-1 loss against the Mariners.
Tatis Jr. continues to be the only consistent offensive threat
Fernando Tatis Jr. has largely been the Padres’ best offensive player in 2023. Despite having played about 10 to 15 games less than the rest of San Diego’s starters, “El Nino” leads the ball club in home runs (11), RBI (28) and OPS (.800). It is absolutely a positive to see Tatis Jr. producing in that fashion, but the fact that the rest of the Friars’ hitters have been wildly inconsistent is why he leads the team in those metrics after playing only 41 of 61 total games in 2023. Sure, Juan Soto and Manny Machado have both dealt with ailments as of late, but their production in the middle of the lineup is key for San Diego’s long term success. Worth mentioning: The Padres’ team batting average is .220, which is currently dead-last in the Majors.
Avoid the K
In the old style of baseball, striking out – especially with runners on – was the worst result a hitter could have. I firmly believe this logic still needs to be a cornerstone of the game today, despite the modern swing-and-miss rate. Not to get too deep, but strikeouts are unproductive outs and keep the offense stagnant. In Tuesday’s loss to Seattle, the Padres struck out 10 times (three of which came from Machado) with several coming in crucial moments. In their win over the Cubs on Monday night, they only struck out four times. Alternating back on Sunday, the Padres struck out nine times in a loss–I’m sure you can sense where I’m going with this. Strikeouts are the cancer of any baseball lineup, no matter how often you think you can park one 450 feet.
Another shaky night for the bullpen
I mentioned Seattle’s starter pitcher Logan Gilbert, as he worked well through seven full innings of work to earn the win. Joe Musgrove also threw solidly for his side, surrendering only four hits and a lone run in the third inning. Still, the San Diego bullpen has issues in the middle and late frames. Brent Honeywell entered in the sixth and gave up a mammoth homer to Teoscar Hernandez that gave Seattle a 2-1 lead. Then in the eighth inning, Padre reliever Steven Wilson got hit around, the worst of which was a bomb from superstar Julio Rodriguez. If San Diego hopes to turn this mediocre season around, execution from the bullpen is another aspect that surely needs tightened-up.