After taking the early 3-0 lead in the first inning, things were looking good for the Padres. Their pitching allowed them to take a 4-2 lead into the bottom of the 7th inning before a pinch-hit, 2-run homer from Lourdes Gurriel Jr. tied the game. One inning later, a sacrifice fly from Alek Thomas would put Arizona in front 5-4 and close out the Padres. The series goes down as their third consecutive series loss and puts them 5.5 games back of a Wild Card spot.
Here are three takeaways from the game:
Offense slows down after hot first inning
The Padres needed to make sure that they did not once again get shut out as they did on Saturday night. They were able to respond nicely to yesterday’s performance with a 3-run first inning that turned the tide in their direction. RBI singles from Fernando Tatis Jr. and Jake Cronenworth along with an RBI double from Manny Machado had San Diego looking good early. Jake Cronenworth had himself an especially nice day, going 3/4 with 2 RBIs.
However, San Diego would only manage to score once more for the remainder of the game. This allowed the Diamondbacks to storm into the lead and secure a come-from-behind victory in front of their home crowd. The Padres continue to display a lack of consistency on the offensive side of things, and it’s starting to make a major impact as the team creeps further and further back from a playoff spot.
Diamondback’s bullpen shuts down the Padres
In a game that Arizona needed to win just as badly as San Diego, their bullpen came through in a big way. After starter Brandon Pfaadt allowed early damage and gave the Padres a lead, the bullpen took over and shut things down. Pitchers Miguel Castro, Kevin Ginkel, Luis Frias, Kyle Nelson (who picked up the victory), and Paul Sewald combined to pitch the final 3.1 innings of the game. They allowed just one more run to come across in the game for the Padres and, most importantly, kept things close enough to give the Arizona offense time to come back and grab a big win for the team. This type of security from the bullpen will be crucial for the Padres to mirror down the stretch if they want to gather a win streak for themselves and make sure that they stay competitive until the season’s end. The bullpen will have its work cut out for them in the Padre’s next series as they battle a top team in baseball, the Baltimore Orioles.
San Diego bullpen gives up the lead
Seth Lugo, who started the game for the Padres, had himself a much-improved start in which he threw 5 innings and allowed 2 ER. This comes just 1 start after allowing 8 runs against the Dodgers in an ugly team loss. Lugo exited the game with the Padres ahead 3-2 and in good shape. In the 6th inning, the team went with reliever Nick Martinez, who pitched 1.1 innings and gave up the game-tying home run to Lourdes Gurriel Jr. in the 7th to even the score at 4. In the eighth inning, it was Robert Suarez who got his first action since August 9th against the Mariners. Suarez would be the one to allow the go-ahead sacrifice fly and take responsibility for a loss. The bullpen ended up allowing 3/5 Arizona runs on the day and left the team searching for answers as another series went by with a lack of success.
With teams such as the Cubs, Reds, and even the Diamondbacks still ahead of the Padres in the Wild Card race, there is much ground to be made up. The Padres will have a big challenge in front of them as they take on the Orioles in their next series back at Petco Park starting on Monday night.
First pitch is scheduled for 6:40 PST.