After the Cardinals finished up a sweep of the Dodgers, you’d be hard pressed to find the Padres on top of division but there they were. They’ve been quite the surprise early on in the year, of course, when you sign Manny Machado and start your young studs from the get-go, the “baseball gods” tend to reward you. They leaned on another of their young guys tonight, with Pedro Avila making his first career start in the MLB and only his second above AA. If there was any time for the team to tee off, tonight was that night.
Things looked promising for the offense from the start, as Jarrod Dyson leading it off with a single to left. Peralta followed with a single to put runners on the corners and Adam Jones continued his hot start, singling through a shifted infield to score Dyson. Eduardo Escobar walked to load things up with just 1 out, but the team failed to capitalize as Ketel Marte fouled out and Nick Ahmed struck out.
No worries because Zack Godley was great to begin the game, getting the first four batters out before allowing a walk to Franmil Reyes. Fernando Tatis singled, but Reyes strayed too far off the 2nd base bag and was TOOTBLAN’d there. Austin Hedges struck out to end the 2nd.
The Padres threatened again the 3rd, this time on a deep double from Luis Urias to right, which clanked off the wall in front of the pool. Avila moved the runner but Godley made quick work of Myers and Hosmer, needing just 6 pitches to get 2 swinging strikeouts to end another threat.
Godley to this point had escaped all disaster, and was well on his way to another scoreless inning, using just 4 pitches to get the first two outs but a hanging sinker was well within the massive human being otherwise known as Franmil Reyes’ sweet spot, and he clobbered it to the pool, clearing it easily to tie the game at 1-1.
Oh, you noticed the D-backs hadn’t done anything since the first inning? Well besides a bloop single from Godley, he had shut down the D-backs handily. retiring 12 straight D-backs until an Adam Jones HBP in the 6th. Escobar followed with a walk and that would do it for the youngster. The Padres bullpen did well afterward, getting a line out and strike out to end the threat.
Godley’s luck ran out in the Padres’ half of the 6th, as he’d allow a whole bunch of runs and baserunners, to the tune of 5 runs. It went:
Machado RBI single
Renfroe fielder’s choice
Reyes strike out
Tatis sac fly RBI
Hedges absolute mammoth 3 run homer
Wowza. 6-1 Padres.
That did it for Godley, as his ERA ballooned to 7.41 to start the young season. He walked 3 while striking out 8 in his 6 innings of work. Do you see that? Is that Jon Duplantier I see in the distance? Or maybe it’s Taylor Widener? Anyway, it’s starting to become apparent Godley just isn’t going to reproduce that magical 2017 any time soon. And with young arms becoming ripe for MLB time, it might be time to move Godley to a long relief role. He’s an MLB pitcher for sure, but I think he’d do better as a reliever. What do you think?
The offense finally did some good in their half of the 7th after a 1-2-3 top of the inning. With the rookie safely in the dugout, Caleb Joseph reached on an error, and Vargas singled. Dyson grounded out, putting runners on the corners and after a Wilmer Flores walk loaded the bases, David Peralta singled home two. 6-3. Jones lined out, but Escobar stepped up and did this.
His first homer of the year tied things up 6-6. They had a chance for more, with Christian Walker and Nick Ahmed reaching with two outs, but pinch hitter Carson Kelly struck out to end the inning.
Let’s play a game. Below are three different at-bats. Can you point out the difference(s)?
Time’s up. Pencils down.
The correct answer is the last at-bat, when Archie Bradley threw his 9th straight fastball, down the middle of the plate no less, and Manuel Margot clobbered it, giving us our final score 7-6. Sorry, folks. The offense did attempt a rally in the 9th, but the with the winning run on 2nd, Nick Ahmed struck out to end the game.
Kinda sad when you realize the D-backs were favored to win after Escobar’s homer to tie things up. Sure, it wasn’t a large tilt in our favor, but after seeing this team pull out weird wins early on, you kinda just expected it. Oh well.
Stars of the game are as follows:
☆☆☆ - EDUARDO ESCOBAR (1 for 3, 1HR, 3RBI, 2BBs) +.329 WPA
☆☆ - Adam Jones (1 for 3, 1BB, 1HBP +.127 WPA
☆ -Tim Locastro (0 for 0, 1BB) +.73 WPA
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Small group, but it was a Thursday night game. Don’t worry, we have 3 more games for you to stop by and chat a bit. Or don’t I’m not the boss of you.
First pitch tomorrow is at 6:40pm.