With Rich Hill on the mound for the Padres as they opened a new series against the Philadelphia Phillies, things did not go well. Hill had gone his previous 4 starts in a row without allowing more than 3 ER but did not follow suit during his start on Labor Day. He quickly let the Phillies take a 3-0 lead in the first inning, and they would only add on in the next inning. By the time Hill was pulled in the top of the second inning, he had put the Padres into a 6-1 hole and killed any chance for the team to control the direction of the game. Slowly but surely the Padres would chip at the Phillies lead, and it would be a 9-7 game heading into the 8th inning. Unfortunately, San Diego could not get over the final hump, and they would take the loss in the first game of the series.
Here are three takeaways from the game:
Hill has his worst start as a Padre
Veteran pitcher Rich Hill has had some struggles this year as signs of his age might finally be affecting his play. The 43-year-old tossed 47 pitches through the first 1.1 innings of the game before being pulled from his start. Things went wrong from the jump for him, as he allowed Alec Bohm to smack a bases-clearing double and put the Phillies up 3-0 in just the 1st inning. The 2nd inning would see similar results, as he would allow the first 4 batters of the inning to reach base including home runs from Edmundo Sosa and Trea Turner. Hill would eventually take loss number 7 on the season, bringing his overall record to 7-14. The 7 hits he allowed in the game were just the beginning for Philadelphia, as they would keep swinging all game long to finish with 16 hits by the end. The disappointing play from Hill this season, who now has a 5.60 ERA, only makes it more likely by the day that San Diego will not entertain a new deal with him after this season. Considering his age, it is also not a given that Hill will even want to play another season of baseball. Regardless, his rough start was a big reason for the Padres loss in game 1 of the series and the team will be forced to try and bounce back in the same fashion that they did against the San Francisco Giants.
Schwarber torches the Padres to reach 40 home runs
Despite Kyle Schwarber’s .193 batting average this season, he has made sure to remain true to the main skillset in his arsenal as a player. His supernatural slugging abilities were on display against the Padres, as he blasted a solo home run that went 440 feet in the top of the fifth inning to help him secure his spot in the 40-home run club.
Schwarber became just the 4th player this season to join the list of players with 40+ home runs, as he sits behind only Pete Alonso, Matt Olson, and Shohei Ohtani. On the day, he managed to go 2-3 with 3 walks and 3 runs scored. His impact was felt by the Phillies, who scraped by after shutting down the Padres rally attempt in the final innings of the game. By now, San Diego should be well aware of Schwarber’s ability to make things happen with his bat. They will need to be much more careful when pitching to him for the rest of the series if they want to avoid another game in which Philadelphia manages to score 9 runs.
Padres make noise in the 9th but come up short
When Edmundo Sosa hit his RBI double in the top of the 3rd inning to make it 8-1 Phillies, it seemed like it was going to be a long and miserable day for the Padres. However, they slowly chipped away at the lead and ended up outscoring Philadelphia 6-1 for the rest of the game. While this did not end up being enough of a differential to help San Diego tie the game or take a lead, they certainly made things interesting with some late-inning drama. Down 2 runs in the bottom of the 9th, Garret Cooper and Gary Sanchez started the inning with back-to-back walks. A fielder’s choice groundout from Matthew Batten would then put runners on the corners with 1 out and set the table for the team to attempt a rally. Unfortunately, Luis Campusano struck out swinging and left it all up to Ha-Seong Kim with 2 outs. Kim, who was hitting from the leadoff spot, struck out swinging to end the game and kill San Diego’s rally. The bottom line going forward will be that allowing 9 runs to your opponent is not a sustainable approach for success. Things will need to be drastically different if the Padres want a chance to take the next 2 games and steal the series from a competitive Philadelphia squad.
The team will be back at it tomorrow, as Pedro Avila will take on Michael Lorenzen. Lorenzen managed to throw a no-hitter in his first start at Citizens Bank Park this season after being acquired from the Detroit Tigers at the trade deadline. San Diego will look to spoil his start as the Phillies look to keep collecting wins and pad their lead in the Wild Card race.
First pitch is scheduled for 6:40 p.m. PT.