The San Diego Padres have just lost two out of three games against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The series which took place at Chase Field was quite a disappointing one to say the least. The Padres have actually struggled against the Dbacks this year. They are now 2-4 against them in two series this season.
It’s amazing how the Padres have been against certain teams this season. The team has been the epitome of inconsistency throughout the MLB. The same team that beat the Cubs two times in a day has just lost two out of three games in the desert. The same team that drew a four game series against the Mets did the same against the Brewers.
The Padres have had many problems this season. But it is the plague of inconsistency which has sunk this team into the shallow depths of the N.L. West. This series was really not a positive one. Sure game one was quite the spectacle. But we also saw our two best pitchers have their worst outings of the season.
Game 1: Yangervis Goes Yard
The Padres would start off this series quite nicely as they would win this game 10-3. First we start with the pitching. Christian Friedrich would have an amazing start on the mound in this one. The lefty would throw seven shutout innings and show great control as he would only walk one batter. The relievers would really not look on point, but that wouldn’t come into play with such a huge lead. Keith Hessler would allow a two-run shot off of Brandon Drury. Luis Perdomo would also allow a dinger as he would give up a solo shot to Jake Lamb. Now from the pitching we move on to the big plus in this one, the bats.
The Padres offense would go off in this one as they would hit four home runs and score 10 runs in the game. The main star in this show would be, Yangervis Solarte. Solarte would have a killer game as he would blast two home runs and get four RBI in the game. Derek Norris would also have a really nice game as he would go 2-3 with a home run and three RBI. The whole Padres lineup would actually have a nice day. Everyone in the starting lineup (including Friedrich) would mange to at least get a hit. Travis Jankowski who would come on later in the game would even get himself a couple of hits. The offense would just explode in this one. This of course created false expectations which the Padres would not live up to in the rest of the series.
Game 2: Down Goes Cesar
The Padres offense would surprisingly stay consistent in this game as they would score seven runs. Unfortunately the Diamondbacks would mange to score eight in this one. Cesar Vargas would be the starter in this one. It all seemed perfect. Something felt right like this would be the day that Vargas would finally get his first win. Well not exactly. Cesar would have a rough start in this one. In fact he would go on to have the worst start of his brief MLB career. Cesar would only pitch one and two-thirds innings and allow seven runs to cross the plate. Cesar just did not look sharp in this one. The Cutter would not cut, something was wrong. Among the players to get on the board off Vargas would be Paul Goldschmidt with a two run home run. The bullpen would look nice in this one as they would only a run to cross the plate in six and a third. Among the notables was Matt Thornton. He would make his Padres debut with a scoreless frame. Fernando Rodney would also throw a scoreless frame and keep his ERA of 0.00. Rodney who has looked spectacular this season is now at 19 scoreless frames on the year. The Padres offense would look decent in this one. Matt Kemp would start things early as he would homer in the top of the first off of Zack Greinke. With that home run Kemp now joins Alexei Ramirez as the only other current Friar to have hit a home run off of Greinke.
The Padres offense would then be pretty much nonexistent until the sixth inning. Jon Jay and Yangervis Solarte would get themselves RBI doubles to make the score 8-3. Then Melvin Upton Jr. would get an RBI off a sac-fly. Greinke would then be done for the night after the sixth. The Padres would not do bad against him as they would score four runs off of him. All hope seemed to be lost entering the ninth inning. The score was still at 8-4 in the Dbacks favor. However the Padres would come real close to making a comeback. Brad Ziegler would be on the mound to try to shut things down in the desert. An error would allow Solarte to score and make the game 8-5. Then with runners on third and second, Hector Sanchez would be at the plate. He would get himself a two RBI single and make things interesting at 8-7. Alexi Amarista would then come to the plate. What would he do? End the game by grounding into a double play of course. The Padres would lose an exciting one here. There were some positives to take from this game. But Vargas’s bad start would definitely turn out to be the overwhelming negative in this one.
Game 3: Down Goes Drew
Speaking of Padres Pitchers who had their worst start of the season we now go into Drew Pomeranz in game three of the series. The Padres would need Pomeranz to go a few innings in this one as the bullpen would be fatigued after pitching six and a third on Saturday. Pomeranz would do his job somewhat in that perspective. Pomeranz should have been pulled out of the game long before the fifth inning. But he would take one for the team and provide five innings of work. He would not have a nice go of things as he would allow six runs to cross the plate. Those six runs would come in just an inning and a third of work. Drew would hang in there for five innings and provide the bullpen some rest. Carlos Villanueva and Leonel Campos would be the ones who would do the work for the pen. They would throw three scoreless frames and get five strikeouts.
The Padres offense would then show inconsistency in this one. The Padres yet again would not be able to capitalize on a struggling starting pitcher. In this case that would be Archie Bradley. He would put in a nice start against the Friars. Archie would go seven and third, strike out nine, allow three earned runs and only allow a walk. The bullpen would then shut it down as Daniel Hudson and Brad Ziegler would end the series for the Padres. The game would finish 6-3. Among the standouts offensively for the Pads would be, Alexei Ramirez. “The Cuban Missile” would “put it on the board” as he would get his first home run of the 2016 season. Ramirez has had decent seasons with the bat in the past. So it comes as a surprise that it would take him this long to get his first homer in a Padres uniform. There really wasn’t many Positives to take from this game. The start turned in by the starting pitcher (In this case Pomeranz) would again be the big negative to take from this game.
Cesar Vargas, Injured!
As mentioned before, Cesar Vargas would have the worst start of his MLB career. Vargas would look completely off in this game. Now “El Calmado” would still look calm and poised out there. But there seemed to be a mechanical problem with him. We would especially see it in his cutter which would look really off. The way Vargas pitches it seemed like he was never going to suffer from any sort of injury. But of course this is the game of baseball. There are curve balls which will come your way. The next day we would find out that Vargas would now be on the disabled list. The exact problem is still unknown.
However it has been disclosed that the issue does have to do with soreness in his elbow. That of course is never a good sign. We will just have to see how it goes. It is no time to panic yet. The Padres have shown that they do have quite a bit of depth. Especially in terms of pitching. Let’s not forget that Vargas himself was put in the spotlight due to injuries. Christian Friedrich has also emerged as a nice option to have on the staff. We also still have guys in El Paso who are just a phone call away. Guys like Colin Rea and Jeremy Guthrie. Let’s see how it goes and hope for the best for Cesar Vargas.