A quick look at the box score tells almost all that needs to be said about this contest between the division rival Arizona Diamondbacks and the San Diego Padres. With both teams running neck and neck in their chase of the Los Angeles Dodgers, there was plenty riding on the outcome.
Neither team was able to get much of anything going in the way of offense. For the Padres, Luis Patino had a terrific start. The young right-hander threw six shutout innings, allowing only three hits. The only real blemish on Patino’s outing is that he walked four batters in addition to giving up a paltry three hits. Those three hits came at all the wrong times to push a run across though. The first two came as back-to-back singles with two out in the first. The final hit came when Christian Walker lined a one-out double into the center in the fourth. Two of the four walks issued y Patino came in his final inning of work. A failed sacrifice bunt and a routine GIDP made short work of those base runners.
On the other side of things, Luke Weaver was almost as stingy. While he allowed a couple of more hits, he also avoided issuing any free passes. The only “hard” hits allowed by Weaver came in the fourth and fifth inning. The first was a lead-off home run off the bat of Jurikson Profar. The second solid hit was a double that was fielded along the left field line off the bat of Abraham Almonte. That hit was more about placement than it was about actual hard contact though.
When both starters were done, each had pitched six full innings, striking out six batters. The difference was, the Padres managed to push one across against Weaver while the Diamondbacks were unable to solve Patino.
As far as the bullpens go, this is where one could see right away what has made the Diamondbacks so successful this season. Andrew Chafin danced around a pair of hits in the seventh and Kevin Ginkel shrugged off a lone walk in the eighth, keeping the Padres at only one run for the game. As for the Padres, they managed to hold serve. They did their own fair share of sweating two hits in the seventh and then allowed another hit in the eighth. This set things up for the fateful ninth inning.
Emilio Pagan came on in relief of Drew Pomeranz. He struck out Christian Walker to start things off. Rojas then shot a grounder through the right side for a single. Carson Kelly followed by hitting a lazy fly to right off a 3-2 pitch. This brought up Nick Ahmed, with Rojas still at first base. Two pitches later, Ahmed was looking at an 0-2 count, having swung through both of the offerings. Four pitches after that, Ahmed was still alive, facing a 1-2 count. That’s when Pagan tried to come inside on Ahmed again. Ahmed was waiting and managed to get just enough of the ball to send it into the seats in left, 382 feet away.
With the lead in hand, the Diamondbacks turned the ball over to Archie Bradley for the ninth. The Arizona closer did his job, pitching a perfect inning and securing the win for the Snakes.
Final Score: AZ 2 - SD 1
The player of the game honors were given to Luke Weaver. Personally, I would have given the game ball to Ahmed. He is the one who hit the game-winner and was also one of the one who drew a walk earlier in the game, meaning he actually reached base twice in a game dominated by pitching.
The same two teams are at it again tomorrow with Mike Leake facing off against MacKenzie Gore.