With wins in 3 of his last 4 starts coming into Houston, Seth Lugo was ready to keep his momentum rolling. His start was somewhat smooth through the first four innings of the game as San Diego was able to grab an early lead, but a tough fifth inning sent him back to the dugout with the Astros in the lead. The team trailed 7-4 after five innings and was unable to rally and make the game interesting. It was a tough loss for the Padres after a promising start, and they will play in the rubber match on Sunday.
Here are three takeaways from the loss:
Lugo’s hot streak comes to an end
Before his start against the Astros, Seth Lugo had been on a roll. With wins in 3 of his previous 4 starts coming into the game and only 2 ER given up in his last five games, the team was optimistic of their chances. The Astros took the lead against him in the third to open the scoring on a home run from slugger Yordan Alvarez and Lugo allowed another run to score in the fourth. The real trouble came in the fifth inning for Lugo, where he allowed 4 more runs to score on a pair of doubles and a single. The Padres 4-1 lead was evaporated and they trailed 7-4 after 5 innings. The disappointing start helped the Astros to extend their division lead back to 1.5 games and brought Lugo’s record to 6-7. He will need to do a better job with his control in his next start if he wants to get back into the groove that he had been in previously and help the Padres grab some wins to close out the final month of the season.
Padre batting order squanders some big chances
While San Diego was able to jump out to an early lead thanks to some quick offense, the momentum shifted very quickly. It seemed as if the Padre offense was unable to provide any form of response to Houston’s wave of runs, with some big chances to get back in the game going wrong. The team ended up finishing the night with a 3-12 performance in RISP situations. Perhaps their biggest chances came in the top of the 6th inning, as they had the bases loaded with one out and failed to capitalize. Pop-outs from Ha-Seong Kim and Fernando Tatis Jr. spoiled a golden opportunity and were a big reason for the loss.
Star players Manny Machado and Fernando Tatis Jr. went a combined 0-10 from the plate, including an 0-2 mark with RISP. The lack of team success with runners on the basepaths is a crucial element contributing to the Padres’ lack of success, and they cannot expect to grab wins against competitive teams if they keep on failing to deliver in clutch moments.
Profar homers in solid return game with the Padres
Jurickson Profar was back in action with his old team after being released from the Rockies on August 27th and getting picked up by the Padres (he spent his first 4 games back in the minor leagues before being called up). Despite the team’s loss, Profar will feel good going forward after a very solid game. Profar went 3-4 on the night, with his main highlight being a 2-run home run in the fourth inning.
Profar’s return to the team came as one of a few recent moves by San Diego. Gary Sanchez was placed on the injured list with a wrist fracture while Ben Gamel was designated for assignment. Sanchez’s injury will open up an opportunity for Luis Campusano to get some everyday reps and take over the majority of the action at the catcher position for the rest of the season. As for Profar, he will look to use a solid first game back in the major leagues as some momentum going forward with an impending free agency looming this winter. Fans will certainly be happy to have him along for the rest of the season after he spent 2020-2022 with the team. Profar is certainly well-known within the organization and his efforts will be appreciated.
The Padres will be back at it on Sunday in the rubber match of the series as they look to hand the Astros a series loss and minimize their lead in the AL West. Matt Waldron will step up for San Diego to get the start as he takes on J.P. France.
First pitch is scheduled for 11:10 a.m. PT.