Coming off of a nice series win over the Orioles, the Padres looked to keep their momentum rolling. After a quiet game through the first 3 innings, the Diamondbacks would eventually strike first with home runs from Tommy Pham and Gabriel Moreno to take a 3-0 lead. Trent Grisham would get one run back for San Diego in the fifth with an RBI single, but that would be the last score of the game for either side. The offense did not come to play and were unable to help the squad set a tone for the rest of the series.
Here are three takeaways from the loss:
Rich Hill and Pedro Avila have respectable games
Although the Padres lost the game, fans should not be blaming the loss on the pitching staff. Rich Hill got the start for San Diego as he was able to muster through 5 innings of work with 3 ER and 3 strikeouts. While he did allow 3 runs, they came on just 2 hits allowed which both happened to be home runs. If it were not for those, Hill’s stat line for the game would have looked much cleaner. Nonetheless, he was replaced after 5 innings with the Padres trailing and left Pedro Avila to get to work. Avila, who has been fantastic for San Diego when he has pitched this season, left his mark once again. He did not allow the Diamondbacks to score once in his 4 innings of relief work and gave up just 1 hit. Avila’s ERA on the year now stands at 0.81, and he continues to put fans on notice as he tears through opposing lineups. His shutdown work thus far into the season is much appreciated and has given the offense plenty of opportunities to get back into games. Unfortunately, Thursday night was not one of those nights.
San Diego offense records just 3 hits
Just a day after securing an impressive series win, the Padre offense sputtered out. They managed to score just 1 run and did it on a mere 3 hits. Zac Gallen had his best stuff going during his start as he threw 6.1 innings of work and allowed 1 ER. He struck out 3 and walked just 1 batter as he left the Arizona bullpen in good hands. Kyle Nelson would pitch 1.1 innings of relief work and allow 0 hits while striking out 3. Finally, it was Justin Martinez who came in to shut the door on the Padres and secure his 1st save of the season. For San Diego, the game will go down as one that was a missed opportunity. The pitching staff was able to keep the game close, yet the lineup was unable to capitalize and rally for a win. Things will need to operate in a much smoother fashion for the Padres if they wish to come back and win the next 3 over Arizona to take the series. A pivotal home stand is certainly not the time for things to go south.
Inconsistency at catcher continues
The Padres have had trouble this season finding a consistent answer at the catcher position. Recently, they have platooned between Luis Campusano and Gary Sanchez. Sanchez, who San Diego grabbed off of waivers earlier this season from the Mets, is hitting just .217 this year over 198 at-bats. His power has brought some upside to the lineup, however, as he proved with a grand slam against the Baltimore Orioles. As for Campusano, he is hitting at an impressive mark of .305 (although at a smaller sample size of 82 at-bats). The lack of consistency from the catcher position makes it more difficult for San Diego to see production come from the bottom of the lineup and puts even more pressure on the big-name players to perform well every night. The Padres can only hope going forward that Campusano and Sanchez will find a groove and be able to contribute at a high level each and every game.
San Diego will battle once again versus Arizona in the second game of the series on Friday night as they look to avoid consecutive losses.
First pitch is scheduled for 6:40 p.m. PT.