Nick Martinez took the mound for the Padres as he looked to make the most of his 8th start on the season. Martinez did a great job, shutting the Cardinals out during his time in the game. He was also able to accomplish a personal feat, gathering his career-high strikeout total for a season so far in his career. San Diego would remain quiet on the offensive side of things for most of the game, scoring just once in the first and once in the ninth as they rallied to force extra innings. However, the Cardinals would use some clutch pitching and timely hitting to outlast the Padres and hand them a 5-2 loss to put an end to the winning streak at 8.
Here are three takeaways from the extra-innings loss:
Nick Martinez opens the game nicely for San Diego
Despite most of his action coming from the bullpen this year, Nick Martinez came into his start against the Cardinals feeling confident. He had pitched nicely in a start against the Athletics earlier in the month to help the team in a blowout win and had only allowed 1 run in the whole month of September. He kept his hot streak going as St. Louis failed to put a run on the board against him. Martinez would pitch the first 4 innings of the game while allowing just 2 hits and striking out 3. He was able to grab his 96th strikeout on the year, helping him reach a new single-season career high.
It was a nice personal achievement that helped him to keep the Padres in the game throughout the early innings. Martinez how holds a 3.59 ERA on the season through 105.1 innings pitched and is only 2 strikeouts away from 100. He should get there without an issue and will look to keep making an impact for San Diego, whether it comes as a starter or from the bullpen.
Padres fail to finish the job in the ninth inning
The Padres found themselves heading into the bottom of the ninth inning down 2-1 and just three outs away from a loss. They responded well to the pressure, opening the frame with back-to-back walks from Garrett Cooper and Matthew Batten. A critical wild pitch would advance the runners to 2nd and 3rd with leadoff hitter Xander Bogaerts coming to the plate. Bogaerts would deliver to tie the game, as he hit a soft ground ball to third that would result in a fielder’s choice and put runners on the corners with one out in a 2-2 game.
With runners on the corners and one out, fans at Petco Park excitedly watched on waiting for the team to deliver the walk-off hit and complete the rally. Unfortunately, Ryan Helsley would come up clutch for the Cardinals with 2 huge strikeouts of Fernando Tatis Jr. and Juan Soto to force extra innings. The extra innings curse for San Diego would live on, as they later fell in 11 innings to bring their record in extra-inning games on the season to a dreadful 0-12.
Barlow fails to hold it down in the 11th
Heading into Saturday’s game, Scott Barlow had been on an impressive scoreless streak. Barlow had gone 8 consecutive innings without allowing a run and had only allowed 2 ER in his past 18 appearances. With the game tied at 2 heading into the 10th inning, the team called on Barlow to take care of the St. Louis batting order. He would strike out 2/3 as he did not allow a run to score in the top of the 10th before the Padres would also be unable to put a run on the board. Barlow came back out once again to pitch the 11th but did not see the same fortune. The Cardinals brought the “free runner” home with a sacrifice fly and would add on later in the inning with an RBI single and another sacrifice fly.
It would quickly become a 5-2 game before Barlow would be removed after 1.2 innings of work. The lead would be too much to overcome as San Diego went down 1-2-3 in the bottom half of the inning to take a tough loss. It was Barlow’s first time allowing more than one run in an appearance since August 7th, as he also took his 6th loss on the season. While it was an unfortunate moment for him to slip up and let St. Louis secure some big runs, he should remain optimistic about his success since being acquired by the Padres. He will have some more opportunities to redeem himself before the season ends and help the squad gather some more victories.
The Padres and Cardinals will square off one more time in the rubber match of the series on Sunday afternoon as Michael Wacha is slated to get the start.
First pitch is scheduled for 1:10 p.m. PT.