43-year-old Rich Hill took the mound as the starting pitcher for the Padres in the rubber match of the series. He ended up pitching very well for the majority of his start, but ultimately allowed a 3-run 4th inning before being taken out of the game. The next 4 innings would be handled well by the San Diego bullpen, who would not allow a run to score in innings 5-8. With a 4-3 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth, Josh Hader would allow Tommy Edman to deliver his second walk-off hit in just as many days to sink the Padres and leave them with a devastating loss.
Here are three takeaways from the game:
Soto bounces back with a nice game
After being mostly ineffective in the first 2 games of the series (2-8 combined with 0 RBI), Juan Soto did his best to try and lift the team to a win. He helped the Padres to extend their early lead in the second inning with an RBI single and once again delivered in the 7th with a big go-ahead RBI single to put San Diego up 4-3.
He finished the game 2/3 and ended up responsible for 2 of the 4 runs that the Padres would score. Soto is certainly a valuable piece of the roster, and his name has come up in rumors recently. Some executives across baseball believe that the Padres will ultimately be forced to trade Soto this winter, with many huge contracts already on the roster. Soto will be due for a big payday soon, and San Diego will have to make an important decision regarding their willingness to pay him or send him elsewhere and stock up on future assets.
Rich Hill pitches well, but gives up one major hit
Ever since allowing 6 ER against the Dodgers in his first start as a Padre, Rich Hill has improved in each start from that point on. He started things off the right way again on Wednesday, getting through the first 3 innings without allowing a run and setting up the Padres to jump out to a 3-0 lead. Unfortunately, things would take a turn for the worse in his 4th and final inning of work. Rookie Jordan Walker would blast a 3-run home run to left field that would even the game at 3.
The home run would end what was otherwise a solid start on an unfortunate note. Nonetheless, Hill has still allowed no more than 3 ER in 4 straight starts and is showing signs of consistency. With Hill on just a one-year deal at 43 years old, it’s hard to determine what his fate will see beyond the 2023 season. In the meantime, he will look to continue serving as a veteran pitcher who can get the team through the first few innings of a game and give them a chance to end a rough season with a better month of September.
Hader allows rare blown save with devastating 2-out rally
With the series on the line, the Padres were feeling good in the ninth and sent out their lockdown closer Josh Hader to take care of business. He did just that through the first 2 batters, as he struck out Taylor Motter and got Luken Baker to fly out. Just one out away from a San Diego win, rookie and recent St. Louis call-up Masyn Wynn doubled to keep the game alive. Next up was Tuesday’s hero Tommy Edman, who took care of the rest and stunned the Padres once again.
Edman sent the home fans happy with his second walk-off in 24 hours and left Josh Hader with his 3rd loss of the year (second in 2 days). The rare blown save came on his third consecutive day pitching, which is something that Hader had only done one time all season prior to the series against the Cardinals. As for Tommy Edman, he has seemingly been able to hit Hader well throughout his career so far. Edman, who debuted in 2019, is tied for the second-most extra-base hits in the MLB off of Josh Hader with 3 (2 HR). His big hit gave the Cardinals the victory in a battle of 2 teams who have not met expectations this season.
The Padres, who have perhaps reached a new low point on the season, will have to take the loss on the chin with a new series starting tomorrow against the San Francisco Giants. San Francisco sits at 69-63 and currently remains a half-game above the Arizona Diamondbacks for the third and final Wild Card spot in the National League.
First pitch is scheduled for 6:40 PST.