Darvish returns; Padres lose 4-0

Credit: AP Photo

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The San Diego Padres are lost right now. Everyone in the game of baseball knows it.

A month ago, they seemed like a lock to play in October. Now they look like a longshot.

The Padres are 2-8 in their last 10 games and just got swept by a division rival and wildcard contender. The whole team is slumping. In the last week, the highest OPS’ are Wil Myers 1.212, Eric Hosmer .850, Jake Cronenworth .638. Then it plummets to Austin Nola with a .516 and only gets worse from there. Keep in mind that a .700 OPS is considered league average. Only two players are hitting above that level, and both players have been platooned.

Due to those glaring numbers, things had to change. Jayce Tingler did just that. Adam Frazier has performed as a Padre, so he benched for the game. Wil Myers was back in the lineup. Jurickson Profar was in the starting lineup. He had 1.933 OPS in that period, although in too small a sample size. The only issue with Profar starting is that he replaced Hosmer, who is swinging one of the hottest bats on the team.

On the mound for the Padres was Yu Darvish. He returned after taking a trip to the injured list with lower back tightness. That trip to the IL was necessary. Clearly, something way off after he raised his ERA by one run in July and another 0.5 runs after two starts in August.

This start would be a challenge for him. It was clear he wouldn’t get any run support from the offense. On top of that, he had to face the Dodgers, featuring an offense that just got Mookie Betts back. To say the least, it didn’t go well for Darvish.

In the third inning, he threw a cutter down the middle to Austin Barnes. Barnes then launched the ball to left-center, scoring two runs in the process. Later in the inning, Corey Seager hit a double off the wall that scored Trea Turner. In the fourth inning, a sacrifice fly would score the fourth and final run of the game. In total, Darvish would pitch six innings, allow five hits, four runs, walk just one, and strike out six.

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The offense, like it has all series, was not a factor in this game. Max Scherzer, who almost became a Padre at the trade deadline, was locked in. Victor Caratini and Trent Grisham both managed to double off of him, but those were the only two hits he would allow. Scherzer issued only one walk while striking out ten Padres.

After all the struggles, fingers start to get pointed. Larry Rothschild was already fired. Yesterday’s loss had people pointing their finger at Tingler for his management decisions. “Our heads are up. We are confident. We are gonna move forward. We are gonna get this thing going,” Tingler said after the game. He would go on to say, “We work too hard and have too much talent.”

The Padres certainly hope to turn things around when they travel to Anaheim to play the Angels.

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