Friday night’s game had both pitching staffs at their best. Starters Seth Lugo and Brandon Pfaadt both pitched scoreless outings for 6 and 7 innings respectively, and the game ended up scoreless heading into the bottom of the 8th. The Padres had their rally caps on as Ha-Seong Kim broke the ice with a 2-RBI single to give San Diego the lead. Fernando Tatis Jr. would provide the insurance with a 2-run blast that would make it 4-0. The Padre bullpen would have no issues closing out the Diamondbacks as the team grabbed a big win to bring their record on the home stand thus far to 3-2.
Here are three takeaways from the game:
Both starting pitchers bring their best
Seth Lugo, coming off of a loss to the Diamondbacks in his last start, was looking for some revenge on Friday night. He played very well and held Arizona scoreless through 6 innings. He struck out 9 hitters along the way and allowed just 5 hits. His 104-pitch performance helped him lower his ERA back to under 4 and kept the Padres even at 0 to help the team avoid a come-from-behind situation. As for Arizona starter Brandon Pfaadt, he was able to one-up Lugo’s performance by an inning. He tossed 7 innings of scoreless baseball while striking out 5 batters of his own. Pfaadt, who has had a rough season thus far, will look at the the start as a big improvement.
Lugo’s performance was certainly much needed for the Padres, who were not able to put any runs on the board until inning number 8. He helped to set the tone in what turned out to be a pitcher’s duel, and the bullpen made sure to follow his lead as they finished off a shutout of the Diamondbacks. Fans can only hope that the performance will inspire many more of the same to come in the future.
Tatis Jr. delivers the dagger, bat flips all over Arizona
With the Padres rocking the City Connect uniforms on a Friday night in front of the sold-out home crowd, the energy at Petco Park was nothing short of electric. As San Diego finally broke through in the 8th, Fernando Tatis Jr. made sure that there was not going to be any chance of a rally in the 9th for the Diamondbacks. With a runner on first base and one out in the bottom of the 8th, he blasted a clutch 2-run home run that had the stadium rocking. He finished the moment off with a perfect bat flip to put the exclamation point on the game’s biggest moment.
After being held hitless for more than 6 innings in the contest, this type of moment was definitely huge for the team’s momentum and overall morale. As the days go by, each game becomes more and more important, and players like Fernando Tatis Jr. will need to bring their energy every day for the Padres to keep on winning.
Josh Hader continues electrifying season
This season, Padres closer Josh Hader has been nothing short of automatic. The left-handed pitcher boasts a 0.82 ERA, as well as 68 strikeouts and a WHIP of 0.92. After being acquired from the Brewers at the trade deadline last season, Hader struggled initially. However, he has come back this season better than ever and proven that he still has the ability to be an anchor at the back end of the bullpen for the Padres. While he didn’t get credit for the save against the Diamondbacks because the Padres were winning by more than 3 runs, his outing still served as the latest example of his dominance. The team will only look to be able to use him more going forward, as it would mean more opportunities to close games out for wins. In the meantime, Hader will continue to be great when called upon and make himself an even bigger priority for the Padres to resign this winter when he hits free agency.
Saturday will bring forth a doubleheader against Arizona as the teams battle in the last 2 games of their 4-game series. The game 1 starter for San Diego is still TBA, while the team has announced that Yu Darvish will start the second game. It would be huge for the Padres to sweep a doubleheader and establish a groove before beginning their final series of the homestand against the Miami Marlins.
The first game is scheduled for 12:10 p.m. PT, while the second is scheduled for 5:40 p.m. PT.