Taylor Widener was the scheduled starter in this one, but roughly an hour before the game he was scratched, as he stayed at home with cold-like symptoms as a precaution. It’s a shame too, as Widener was working off his best outing since returning from the injured list, with 7 strikeouts against these same Padres in a game last Saturday. Taking his place was Matt Peacock, who is no stranger to extended appearances. Since the start of August, Peacock has pitched 8 2/3rds innings, giving up 2 earned runs with 4 strikeouts.
It looked like it was going to be another one of those games, as the Padres jumped Matt right from the get-go. Tommy Pham doubled, and Adam Frazier tripled to give the Padres a quick 1-0 lead. After a strikeout of Machado, Croneworth singled to right, scoring Frazier and continuing the strong start. But a double-play ball from Eric Hosmer closed up the 1st with just a 2-0 lead.
Pitching for the Padres was Yu Darvish, who has been very good this year for the team in San Diego. He struck out 12 D-backs in his last game, going 7 innings and allowing just 2 runs. But the D-backs pressured him from the first inning on. Two singles in the first, and after a clean 2nd, the floodgates opened.
Caleb Smith, who came on in long relief for Peacock after 1 1/3rd innings, singled to right and Josh Rojas walked. A ground out from Marte moved both runners, and Pavin Smith doubled to right, scoring both runners and tying things up at 2. Carson Kelly hit his second single to right, scoring Smith from 2nd, and Peralta came up with a runner on.
A pool shot, estimated at 411 feet, gave the D-backs a 5-2 lead. After the homer, Yu looked gingerly while pitching, and the Padres had seen enough, pulling him from the game with an apparent back injury.
The D-backs continued to add runs in the 4th against Matt Strahm with a Drew Ellis single leading things off. A fielder’s choice ground ball gave the Padres one out, but Rojas doubled to left, putting both runners in scoring position. An intentional walk to Marte followed, and Pavin Smith singled to left, scoring two more runs. Carson continued his hot streak, with a double to left scoring Marte to give the D-backs a large 8-2 lead.
While the team padded their stats, Caleb Smith was excellent out of the bullpen. He pounded the zone, which was a stark difference after his recent starts. He allowed a single run across his 5 1/3rds innings of work, striking out 5 with the lone walk the only blemish on the evening. Even the run wasn’t his fault, as Marte lollygagged it out in center and dropped a routine flyout to center. A single and force out followed to push the run across, 8-3 Dbacks.
The D-backs continued their assault against the Padres bullpen, this time against Austin Adams, who struggled with his command to the tune of 2 walks and a HBP to load things up for Josh Rojas, and he delivered with another single, scoring two more 10-3.
The 8th gave the D-backs another run, as two singles and three walks, one of those with the bases loaded gave the D-backs our final score of 12-3.
The Smiths were the big contributors on the day, as Pavin (3/5, 4RBI, .175 WPA), and Caleb (5.1IP, 5Ks, 1ER) lead the club. Josh Rojas and Carson Kelly each had 4 hits and 2 RBIs, good for .159 and .137 WPAs respectively.
Tune in tomorrow for the 2nd of this 4-game series against the Padres. Blake Snell and Madison Bumgarner face-off tomorrow at 6:40pm.