Just a day after a well-rounded performance on offense that resulted in 10 runs and a nice win, the lineup had quite the opposite game on Saturday. The Padres failed to score once in their contest against the Diamondbacks and will now play a rubber match on Sunday. While the Padre pitching staff had a respectable game and allowed only 3 runs (Pham double, Walker home run), you cannot win games in which your offense fails to score. This type of inconsistency is what will not work out for the Padres down the stretch, and they need to get into a better groove before its too late.
Here are three takeaways from the loss:
Diamondbacks pitch a nice game from start to finish
The San Diego Padres were completely stumped against Arizona pitching. The Diamondbacks had their ace, Zac Gallen, on the bump in front of the home crowd as he pitched a solid game. Gallen threw 6 innings of scoreless ball and struck out 8 along the way. His control was excellent as he only walked 1 batter during his start. Gallen continued what is an impressive season for him as he brought his record on the year to 12-5. Miguel Castro, Kevin Ginkel, and Paul Sewald followed in Gallen’s footsteps as they tossed one scoreless inning each to take care of the back half of the game for Arizona. As a whole, the Diamondbacks allowed just 5 hits (only 1 off of the bullpen) and held things down for their offense in a big way. San Diego will need to flip the script in the rubber match if they wish to have a shot at a series victory.
Rich Hill sees improvement, Avila pitches strong again
While the Padres took a disappointing loss on Saturday, their pitching was not necessarily to blame. Rich Hill was the man on the mound as he made his second start in a Padre uniform. After what was a very rough start in his San Diego debut against the Dodgers, he was able to bounce back. He pitched the first 3.1 innings of the game and allowed just 3 runs (compared to 6 ER in his previous start). After Hill’s time in the game, he was replaced by Pedro Avila. Avila, who has seen limited innings as a Padre, has certainly played very well in his recent appearances. His work in the loss was just another example of that. He held the Diamondbacks to the 3 runs that they scored off of Hill as he pitched the remaining 4.2 innings in the game. Fans must be happy with the way Avila continues to pitch and could hope to see him even more going forward as he shows off his talent. Avila’s ERA sits at a shiny 0.98 on the season and he continues to roll. The offense needs to avoid wasting solid pitching performances and do their best to back up the team in future games.
Bottom of the lineup fails to deliver
Hitters in the 5-9 slots of the Padres lineup managed to gather a grand total of 0 hits against the Diamondbacks. This comes as a surprise after the team’s showing yesterday and leaves many question marks for fans. While it’s true that most offensive production is expected to come from San Diego’s main stars which sit in the heart of the lineup, it will be critical that others have the ability to step up and deliver hits on days in which the offense needs a boost. Ironically, the Diamondbacks also had struggles in the game from the bottom of their lineup, as even they managed only 2 hits for themselves. The difference in the game ultimately ended up being the early offense provided from Tommy Pham and Christian Walker.
The Padres will face off once more against the Diamondbacks in the rubber match of the series on Sunday afternoon. Both teams are looking for a much-needed series win to get back on track and build some momentum.
First pitch is scheduled for 1:10 p.m. PT.