Bullpen collapses again, Padres continue tailspin, swept out of Arizona

Padres Fernando Tatis Jr.

Mandatory Credit: Michael Chow-USA TODAY Sports

Mandatory Credit: Michael Chow-USA TODAY Sports

Phoenix, Arizona 

The Padres came into Sunday’s game having lost four straight and desperate to end the skid. They turned to the most veteran part of their starting rotation in Garrett Richards to get the job done.

Richards and Diamondbacks starter Robbie Ray each came out strong, twirling nearly perfect innings in each of their first two.

Richards got two outs in the third before Kole Calhoun played spoiler again, with a two-run home run to give Arizona an early 2-0 lead.

The Padres squandered chance after chance early on. Ray ended up walking six Padre hitters before leaving in the top of the sixth. The Arizona lefty managed to not allow any hits in his outing, despite the high walk count and also hitting Tatis with a pitch. The Friars were 0-for-3 with five runners left on base despite Ray’s generous offers with base runners.

It wasn’t until the sixth inning that the Padres showed any signs of life at the plate. After Ray left the game following a leadoff walk to Tatis, Eric Hosmer launched a game-tying, two-run home run off of reliever Junior Guerra, his fourth home run of the year.

The Friars would not finish there. Tommy Pham beat out an infield single and a few batters later, pinch-hitter Josh Naylor blooped a single over the infield for the go-ahead RBI, giving San Diego a 3-2 lead.

The Friars were able to add on in the top of the seventh thanks to a throwing error by Arizona shortstop Nick Ahmed, who tried for a force out at third base but the throw sailed into the Diamondbacks’ dugout, giving San Diego a 4-2 lead. Afterward, they had runners on second and third with one out and were unable to capitalize.

Thanks to his economical pitch count, Richards ended up pitching seven innings, allowing just two runs on six hits, two walks, and two strikeouts. Fatigue set in in the seventh as he walked Jon Jay ahead of the top of the order but he was able to induce an inning-ending double play.

Emilio Pagan took over in the eighth and allowed two base runners ahead of Eduardo Escobar, who promptly launched a three-run home run, giving Arizona a 5-4 lead after eight innings. This was yet another blow to a reeling Padres bullpen who cannot seem to have a clean inning.

The Padres’ bullpen ERA was 14.10 for the three-game series.

Once again, it was the Padres’ undoing as Archie Bradley came in the ninth inning to seal the win for the Diamondbacks. The Padres dropped to below .500 for the first time this year and extended their losing streak to five, the longest of the shortened season.

The Friars will attempt to pick up the pieces as they head to Texas to try and right the ship against the Rangers.

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3 thoughts on “Bullpen collapses again, Padres continue tailspin, swept out of Arizona

  1. We had many questions with last years team. Many young pitchers and field players that we just didn’t know how they’d do in the Bigs. The off-season acquisitions certainly carried concerns and more questions. His second base “fixes” have flopped. The bullpen (our strength) has been inconsistent at best. While I’m still NOT a Preller fan, he can’t predict injuries and a complete breakdown of established relievers.

    If Preller can buy the shiny toy for a dollar, he offers two. Then, he’ll get two inferior toys in case the shiny one gets dull. I hope he doesn’t give away the house and farm in an attempt to recover this season.

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