The San Diego Padres got sucker punched in the series-opener on Monday night. Two nights (and two wins) later, the Mets have been sent reeling after a pair of blowout wins by the Padres.
The offense exploded for 13 runs, the most that the Padres have scored this season. All nine Padres starters picked up hits, as the team had 15 knocks on the day. Jake Cronenworth stayed red-hot, homering, driving in five runs, and going 3-for-4 with a walk on the day.
Sean Manaea made his best start since throwing seven no-hit innings to start his Padres career. He went seven innings, surrendering just three hits and two runs (one earned).
It was a dominant day by the Padres, who comfortably beat the Mets, winning a series over the team with the best record in the NL. It started early when a pair of two-out singles from Luke Voit and Nomar Mazara scored Jurickson Profar, who led off the game with a walk. Manny Machado doubled home Jake Cronenworth in the third inning, part of a two double game for the Padres superstar. Machado came into the game on a season-worst 7-for-43 slump over the past 11 games, but he broke out for a big day, just like the rest of the Padres.
The Padres blew the game open with five runs in the fourth inning, as all nine Padres came to the plate. Profar stayed hot with a two-run single, doubling the Padres’ lead. Cronenworth slapped a double into the right-center field gap, scoring Profar and Ha-Seong Kim. Cronenworth’s double chased Mets’ starter Chris Bassitt from the game, but Manny Machado doubled home Cronenworth on the second pitch from reliever Stephen Nogosek. With the Padres up by seven, they kept the offense coming, rocking Nogosek in the fifth.
After the first two Padres grounded out, Ha-Seong Kim picked up a two-out walk. Sergio Alcantara picked up his first Padre hit, rolling to order back up to the top of the lineup. Profar’s second hit of the night was a 104.9 mile per hour double that scored Kim before Cronenworth sent Padre fans to the “Crone Zone” with a three-run blast. Even with the Padres up seven runs, the eighth and ninth hitters in the order batted, setting up Profar and Cronenworth to do even more damage.
The Mets did pick up a pair of runs off Manaea in the seventh, but he was excellent. Across the first six innings, the only Mets hit was a second-inning bunt single. The Mets walked before back-to-back singles put New York on the board. One of the singles was accompanied with a fielding error by Profar, which is why one of the runs was unearned. Manaea talked about his performance and the success of the Padres starters, saying, “I think this staff is so good, (that) we feed off each other. You want to top that or be very similar to that.”. Manaea battled back, inducing a ground ball double play and a groundout to preserve his gem.
The Padres scraped a pair of unearned runs off of Joely Rodriguez in the seventh, as they continued to add on throughout the game.
It was the MLB leading 33rd quality start for the Padres and the ninth from Manaea, who showed why the Padres traded for him before the season.
Nabil Crismatt finished the game with two scoreless innings, lowering his ERA to an impressive 1.67, striking out two batters in the process.
The Padres won their second consecutive series against the two teams that lead the NL Central and NL East, respectively. They’ve won five out of six and welcome the cellar dwellers of the NL West, the Rockies, to town on Friday.
The Padres are playing like one of the best teams in baseball right now.
The 2021 Padres were 34-23 after 57 games. The current edition of the Friars is one game better, at 35-22. This team has a different feel, and they’re likely within somewhere between a month to two months from getting their best player back.
They feel special.