With a big doubleheader on the schedule for Saturday ahead of what will be a very rainy Sunday, the Padres called upon Matt Waldron to make his second start of the season. Waldron struggled early as the Diamondbacks took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning. The offense would even the score in the bottom of the inning, but Arizona would claim another lead in the third with an RBI groundout. Once again, the Padres would respond in the bottom half of the inning to even the score at 3. Waldron would allow his 4th and 5th runs of the game on a Tommy Pham home run in the fifth, and that would be it for his day. The Padres would be down 6-4 heading into the bottom of the ninth inning and manage to put runners on second and third base with just one out. Unfortunately, Juan Soto flew out to the warning track to end the game on a ball that everyone thought was going to hit the seats for a walk-off grand slam. San Diego will have to put the loss in the rearview mirror quickly and get ready for game 2 of the doubleheader as they look for a split.
Here are three takeaways from the game 1 loss:
Waldron struggles in the spot start
The Padres, who had announced on Friday that Yu Darvish would be starting the second game of the doubleheader, needed to find someone to plug in to pitch game 1. They called upon Matt Waldron, who was added to the roster as the 27th man before the game. Making just his second start of the season, he struggled from the jump. After a decent start against the Nationals on June 24th in which he threw 4.2 innings and allowed 2 ER, things did not go as well for him on Saturday. Waldron managed to get through the first 5 innings of the game but allowed 5 ER on 5 hits and 3 walks. The Padre offense was forced to play from behind for the majority of the game because of this and was unable to do enough to secure a win. While unsuccessful, it was a good effort for Waldron, who tossed 96 pitches and got San Diego through the first 5 innings. This will help the bullpen for the rest of the day and potentially give Bob Melvin more options in game 2 of the doubleheader.
Machado goes deep twice
As the Padres were forced to play from behind for the majority of the game, Manny Machado did his best to help the team get some runs back. He started his day with a solo home run in the first inning to even the score at 2 and hit another solo home run in the 8th inning to bring San Diego within 2 runs. While in a losing effort, his performance kept the game close and helped to keep the offense afloat.
Hopefully, Machado will come into game 2 with the same firepower, as the Padres will need him if they plan on picking up a win and splitting the series with the Diamondbacks. His performance in game 1 helped him to jump into second place on the Padres this season in total home runs with 23 (only one behind Juan Soto).
Juan Soto just misses out on playing hero in the ninth
The Padres found themselves trailing 6-4 heading into the bottom of the ninth and needing a rally to win or force extra innings. They started it off the right way, as Luis Campusano drew a walk and Garrett Cooper was hit by a pitch. A Trent Grisham groundout would advance the runners to second and third before Ha-Seong Kim would pop out and San Diego would be down to its final chance. Fernando Tatis Jr. drew a 2-out walk to load the bases, and the stage was set for Juano Soto to deliver the big moment. On the fifth pitch of the at-bat against Arizona closer Paul Sewald, he drove a pitch deep to left-center that would fall just short and into the glove of Lourdes Gurriel Jr. to end the game. Everyone in the park thought that Soto had hit it far enough, and the collective sigh of disappointment as the ball was caught tells you all you need to know about a heartbreaking failed comeback attempt.
The Padres will face the Diamondbacks once more this evening as they look to split the doubleheader and, as a result, split the 4-game series.
Game 2 is scheduled for 5:40 p.m. PT.