The San Diego Padres have lost yet another series, but this wasn’t necessarily a series which the Padres should be wining. Unlike the previous series against the Philadelphia Phillies, the D-backs are a solid team.
This series was going to be a tough one among two teams which really seem to be quite even in this moment in time. The Diamondbacks with their stacked team and their struggles and pressures to be a contender this year, and the Padres whose ownership and management still want to act as contenders, but are really not and seem to create this false sense of identity to fans.
The Diamondbacks just simply do not want to end up being like the 2015 San Diego Padres. The Padres on the other hand just seem to have this mystery, that not many people can figure out. What will be of the 2016 campaign? It is still very unclear. Will we trade everyone and really get the rebuilding process on its way? Or will we just enjoy the ride and see what this 2016 campaign brings to us?
Especially as a fan you see these moments of brilliance from the Padres like the Series at Coors Field or like the walk off home run by Melvin Upton Jr. in the second game of this series and just think to yourself “maybe we can make something of this season”. Enough talking about what the future holds lets talk about this past weekend and see some of the positives and negatives to take from this series.
Game 1: In Proper Friars Fashion
Game one was an absolute heart breaker for Friar Faithful due to the way the game was lost. However there definitely was also some positives to take from Friday nights game as well. To start off James Shields had a very nice outing. In seven innings the old man on the staff struck out six and only allowed two runs. As there is positives there are also negatives to take from Shields start.
Shields walked four D-backs and one of the runs allowed by “Juego G” was a solo shot off the bat of Wellington Castillo. This was the fourth home run allowed by Shields in his last two starts which is definitely a bit worrying. The bullpen also did not look bad, of course Fernando Rodney would be the pitcher on the mound when the run to lose the game would cross the plate but the defense is a lot more responsible for that run than Rodney was.
Now we get into the offense. I mean what else can you say really? This is the reason we lost the game, ninth inning bases loaded is a dream come true but in proper Friars fashion Jon Jay grounds into a double play to end the game. That gives the Snakes the win 3-2. Definitely not a Jackie Robinson day to remember for Padres fans.
Game 2: Who needs Justin, we have his older brother
From a total heart breaker in game one of the series to a total morale booster in game two. The Padres came out on top 5-3 with a walk off home run in the bottom of the 14th inning by Melvin Upton Jr.
There were certainly a lot of positives to take from this game like the start put in by Andrew Cashner. He pulled off his first quality start of 2016, going six innings and only allowing a run. Of course Cashner wouldn’t get the W as he never seems to get the run support, but at least the bullpen was solid and Melvin Upton Jr. saved the day in the 14th inning of course.
The bullpen looked on point for the Padres in game two as they only allowed two runs (one earned) in eight innings of work. The most notable performance of the day had to be Brad Hand who went 2.1 innings and struck out five which is the same amount Cashner had in six innings of work.
The recently acquired pitcher sure proved that he could lend a helping hand in the Padres bullpen. Another notable performance was that of Ryan Buchter who just a day before in game one struck out the only batter he faced. He followed up that performance by striking out the side in the 13th inning of game two. After the solid outing by Cashner and the grind by the Padres bullpen came the bottom of the 14th. After what seemed like an eternity, the game would come to an end by a walk-off two run home run by Melvin Upton Jr. and the Padres would get their first win at Petco Park in 2016. Melvin has looked great so far for the Padres proving that he can be a nice piece to the team in this 2016 campaign.
Game 3:Enough Hitting but not enough Pitching
Three runs should be enough to win you a game at Petco Park, but it was not enough for the Padres this Sunday afternoon. Robbie Erlin who was destined for a great start didn’t look himself. After looking great in his previous outings (away from home) he did not prevail in the rubber match of this series, going six innings and allowing six runs. Yasmany Tomas had quite the day getting two homers, a two run shot off Erlin and a solo shot off Kevin Quackenbush. The Padres would lose 7-3 and now are in last place in the N.L. West with a 4-9 record and only one win at home.
Storylines from the series
Wil Myers broke out of his slump
It can be hard for any player to break out of a slump, let alone do it at a place like Petco Park but that didn’t seem to be a problem for Wil Myers. After only getting a single hit in the four game series against the Phillies, Myers looked real good this series getting seven hits in 14 at bats. Hitting .500 in any series is definitely no easy feat for any ball player and the Padres first baseman looks to be on his way to have a nice campaign especially if he can put up these numbers at Petco Park.
The Bullpen looked sharp
The bullpen is a big question mark for the Padres this year, but they sure looked solid this series. Many people have questioned the signing of Brad Hand but he sure looked excellent in Saturdays game striking out five in 2.1 innings. He is showing he can be a valuable long man out of the Padres bullpen. Another questionable player to have made the Padres team was Ryan Buchter, but man he faced four batters this series and struck them all out.
Perhaps the most questionable player on the entire Padres roster going into the 2016 campaign had to be Luis Perdomo. I was skeptical as well, I mean how can you not be? If the highest level of baseball you’ve pitched in is High-A people are not going to trust you, but he had a nice series going two innings and not allowing a run. The bullpen did not seem to lack confidence this series and did what a Padres bullpen has done year in and year out.
The Padres next series will start this Tuesday against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Petco Park. The team is finally getting a day off Monday after 10 consecutive games played. Look out for the series preview to see whats in store for the Friars against the Buccos, Go Padres!