The Padres came into their series riding a three-game winning streak after sweeping the Los Angeles Angels. They looked to carry their momentum forward in hopes of gathering a nice win streak heading into the All-Star break. Unfortunately, extra innings did not fare well for them tonight. The game started nicely for San Diego, as they jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the second inning. However, they would allow the Mets to get even at 3 courtesy of Francisco Lindor (solo home run) and and Daniel Vogelbach (RBI single). The game would remain tied at 3 until the end of the ninth and force extra innings. Both starters, Justin Verlander and Yu Darvish, had respectful outings. Verlander pitched 6 innings and allowed 2 runs while Darvish pitched 5 innings and allowed 3 runs. It would be the Padre bullpen that collapsed in the 10th as they allowed 4 runs to come across and bury any hopes of a comeback in the bottom half of the inning.
Here are three takeaways from the series opener:
Padre bullpen can’t hold strong
In what was a respectable pitching performance from the Padres through the first 9 innings, the team unfortunately could not get the job done. They were forced to rely on their bullpen arms for extra innings of work after neither team could break the tie of 3 through the first 9 frames. San Diego sent out Tom Cosgrove initially, who gave up RBI hits to Jeff McNeil and Francisco Alvarez. Then, it was Brent Honeywell who gave up 2 more runs on an RBI single to Francisco Lindor. Together they allowed the Mets to grab a 7-3 lead and provide themselves with enough breathing room to secure a dramatic win. If the Padres want to see themselves playing meaningful baseball down the home stretch of the season, they are going to need to look for clutch pitching from the bullpen in tight games. Contrary to tonight’s outcome, their bullpen boasts a 10th best total bullpen ERA of 3.81. They will need to show that that’s the case for a reason from now on and stop making the job harder on themselves by allowing excessive runs in extra innings.
Machado provides the offense
The Padres got most of their offensive production on Friday night from Manny Machado. He was able to collect a pair of hits and drive in 3/5 San Diego runs. His biggest knock of the night came in the bottom of the tenth, where he smacked his 13th home run of the year to cut the Padre deficit to 7-5. Unfortunately, the rally would end there, and the team would fall short.
While the team was able to tally a respectable 9 hits on the evening, the Mets were simply able to edge them with 13 of their own. Star players such as Machado will be leaned on more and more as the season progresses, and the team will be poised for success in such games as long as their pitching staff is able to limit excessive damage, which they were unable to do tonight. Padre fans can hope for Machado and the rest of the team to keep their bats hot after the All-Star break, with a lot of ground to make up to get back into the playoff conversation.
Verlander keeps his momentum rolling
In what started as a very rough season for Justin Verlander, he has quietly brought himself back up to the level of play than fans across baseball have come to know. Since the month of June, Verlander has held a 2.70 ERA, and a 2.03 ERA throughout his last 5 starts. He was able to keep his momentum rolling against the Padres and help New York come through with their season-high 6th consecutive victory.
While it was clear that Verlander didn’t have his best stuff against the Padres, he did have enough to get through 6 innings of 2-run baseball and deliver the Mets a quality start. He was able to bounce back nicely in the last 4 innings of his start after giving up 3 runs (only 2 earned) in the first 2 innings. His ERA on the season is down to 3.60, and most importantly he helped keep the win streak alive for the Mets. The Padres struck out only twice against him but were unable to string enough contact together to bring across any other runs.
The Padres will have an opportunity to face a less successful pitcher tomorrow evening in David Peterson, who has struggled so far this season. Peterson holds a disappointing 2-6 record and a 6.61 ERA. The Padres will have a prime chance to avoid a series loss and put the Mets winning streak to a halt at 6.
First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PST.