Anemic offense, struggling bullpen cost Padres

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Credit: USA Today Sports

The San Diego Padres wasted a spectacular start from Blake Snell, scoring just one run for the second straight day. The Padres bullpen struggled tremendously, allowing four runs, which proved to be the difference. The Los Angeles Dodgers won their eighth straight home game against the Padres, 5-1.

Snell was stunning but, unfortunately for the Padres, inefficient. He struck out 12 Dodgers in just five innings, tying him with Sean Manaea for the most punch-outs by a Padres starter in a game this season. He also dealt with numerous missed calls from home plate umpire Scott Barry, extending multiple at-bats, which was a major reason that Snell needed 107 pitches to work through the five innings.

Max Muncy’s second-inning home run was the only time the Dodgers got to Snell, but he wriggled his way out of trouble for much of the game. Los Angeles left seven runners on base in the final three innings against Snell, including five runners in scoring position. Bob Melvin praised Snell for getting out of trouble, saying, “The fact he got strikeouts when he needed to was encouraging.”. Snell’s issues with walks continued, as he surrendered four free passes in his outing, but it was a truly special night for the southpaw. He looked the best he has this season, but it was not enough for the Padres to lead after his performance. 

The Padres got three extra-base hits, a home run, and two multi-hit days from Trent Grisham and Jurickson Profar. Outside of that, the other eight hitters that San Diego sent to the plate went hitless against Tony Gonsolin. Gonsolin did not come into the game with enough innings to lead any rate-based category, but if he did, he would have had the lowest ERA and WHIP of any National League pitcher. He showed exactly how good he was, putting together 7.2 spectacular innings. He struck out eight Padres, with the only damage being done on Trent Grisham’s 428-foot fifth-inning home run, which tied the game at one. Jurickson Profar hit a pair of doubles that hit the wall, but both stayed in the yard, and the Padres stranded him at second base both times. 

Gonsolin was mercifully lifted from the game after just 92 pitches, leaving with two outs in the eighth and Grisham on first base. However, Profar chopped a grounder directly to first baseman Freddie Freeman, as the Padres could not cash in with Gonsolin finally gone. His 7.2 innings gave him enough innings pitched to qualify for the NL lead, putting him in the lead in many categories.

After Snell, Padres manager Bob Melvin turned to Craig Stammen, as Stammen had not pitched in six days. Stammen showed his rust immediately, allowing a tie-breaking home run to Cody Bellinger, which proved to put the Dodgers ahead for good. Despite giving up a run, Stammen came out for the seventh inning, in which he allowed Trea Turner to score on Freddie Freeman’s RBI single. 

Stammen was lifted for Tim Hill, who limited the damage in the seventh to just one, but struggled in his second inning of work. A lead-off single from Chris Taylor was followed by former Padre Trayce Thompson’s second double of the game. Both Taylor and Thompson scored on a pair of productive outs, putting the Dodgers ahead by four runs. 

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Despite it not being a save situation, Dodgers closer Craig Kimbrel closed out the win for Los Angeles. Luke Voit sent one to the warning track in center-field, but the Padres went down in order.

The Padres pitchers combined to strike out 17 batters, despite recording just 24 outs. However, the Dodgers still mustered ten hits, including two home runs. 

San Diego has scored just eight runs in 46 innings against the Dodgers in 2022. 

Yu Darvish will take the mound on Saturday as the Padres seek to regain momentum. 

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