It would be a pitchers’ duel in the second game of three between the Toronto Blue Jays and the visiting Padres on Wednesday night. For the Padres, Yu Darvish was lights-out with seven strikeouts in six strong innings. The Blue Jays had Jose Berrios on the mound and he gave up the game’s only two runs in the fifth inning on a Manny Machado single. The Padres bullpen closed the door with Josh Hader striking out two out of three batters in the ninth.
Here are three takeaways from the game:
Getting it done
While it wasn’t pretty for the offense, the Padres managed to do just enough to get the job done. While it had been the pitching staff letting the team down lately, the staff came together for one of its best performances of the season. Most nights, a two-run lead might have been lost, so it is a great sign the pitchers were able to close things out. The offense was patient early in taking pitches and working the count, drawing four walks.
Efficient night from the pitching staff
The Padres pitchers made the most out of every pitch tonight, which hasn’t been the case for most of the season. After Darvish’s exit, the bullpen didn’t issue any walks nor did get itself into much trouble on the basepaths. Every reliever had a pitch count below 16, which is good from an efficiency standpoint, considering the kind of season it has been. Hader did what was expected of him, earning his 23rd save and lowering his ERA to 1.00.
A sign of things to come
If the Padres manage to sweep the Blue Jays on Friday, they could be hopefully be building some momentum for a second-half push. Even though they were swept in Philadelphia last weekend, the offense did score 14 runs in three games. If the bullpen can continue to trend in the right direction, it might even make the Padres buyers at the trade deadline at the end of the month. It will take sustained success given the hole they have dug themselves as the team is still 6 1/2 games out of a wild-card spot.
The Padres will go for a series sweep Friday at 10:07 a.m. PT.