It was certainly a forgettable day for the San Diego Padres as they took a beating in Houston. With Matt Waldron making the start, he had a smooth first two innings before things went south. 3 runs came across for the Astros in the third inning courtesy of a passed ball and a 2-run home run for Jose Altuve. Waldron would eventually see his day come to an end after 5 innings with Houston leading 4-0. San Diego would give up the bulk of the runs with Tim Hill on the mound, who would end up unable to record a single out in his appearance. It was an ugly game all around for the Padres, and things won’t get any easier with their next series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Here are three takeaways from the game:
Waldron and Hill let Houston take over
In limited innings this season, things have not gone well for right-hander Matt Waldron. Through just 5 appearances this year, he has allowed 11 ER and holds a record of 0-3. His start against the Astros showed more of the same struggles, as Houston was able to take control early and take a 4-0 lead through the first 5 innings. Despite allowing just 4 hits, the Astros took advantage of some sloppy play from the Padres through a passed ball and an error. Despite the lack of defensive assistance for Waldron from the San Diego defense, he will still need to do a better job at commanding his pitches and working with more confidence. He has spent the majority of his season at triple-A El Paso but has seen a few call-ups to the major leagues. If he wants to keep getting opportunities to prove his skills on the big stage, he will not be able to afford many more performances such as the one on Sunday against the Astros.
Despite Waldron’s struggles, he was not the pitcher with the poorest performance on the day. Tim Hill, who came into the game to relieve Waldron in the sixth inning, had a nightmare outing. Through just 22 pitches, he allowed 6 hits and 5 runs to come across for the Astros. Kyle Tucker, who had not hit a triple all season long, hit 2 in the sixth inning alone as the Astros ended up with a monster 8-run frame.
Hill’s ERA on the year swelled to a disappointing 5.48, which coincidentally matches right up with the other Hill on the roster, Rich Hill. He was the final pitcher into the game for San Diego and labored through the final 3 innings of the game to get the team across the finish line and help them move on from the blowout. In the end, the Padres were forced to rely on their depth pieces to step up and perform, but they were simply unable to succeed.
Uguy Rosario hits first major league home run
Perhaps the only positive takeaway from the game for the Padres comes with rookie Eguy Rosario. Rosario, who made his season debut, went 1-4 in the loss. He did manage, however, to hit his first major league home run in the 7th inning off of Parker Mushinski. It was a moment that Rosario will never forget, and hopefully, he will be able to build upon it going forward.
Eguy has missed a large chunk of the season with an ankle injury but has been an effective player in the minor leagues when healthy. Through 173 at-bats in the minors this season, he’s hitting .283 with 6 home runs and 32 RBI. He has also proven his ability to be a threat on the basepaths with 4 stolen bases. While he may or may not see too much more action in the big leagues this year, Sunday’s game should serve as a big step in his career and a big confidence boost.
J.P. France stumps the Padre batting order
The difference in quality and experience between the two starting pitchers for the Padres and Astros on Sunday ended up being quite noticeable. Houston starter J.P. France took the mound in his 22nd start of the year looking to secure win number 11. Through 6 innings he was able to make the Padre lineup ineffective for the most part, with the only blemish being a home run from Matt Carpenter in the 6th inning. He struck out 5 and walked 5 along the way, with the lack of control giving the Padres a few chances to score. San Diego was unable to capitalize for the second day in a row, as their 0-5 mark with RISP did not make things any better in a tough loss. France lowered his ERA on the season to 3.61, and more importantly, helped his team to protect their lead in the AL West.
The Padres will stay on the road in their next series as they take on another team leading their division, the Los Angeles Dodgers. With a 13-game lead over the Diamondbacks, it won’t be long before they secure a postseason berth. San Diego will try their best to prevent that celebration for a little bit longer, with game 1 of the series on Monday evening in Los Angeles.
First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. PT.