Yu Darvish and the San Diego Padres defeat the Atlanta Braves 2-1 to salvage a split of the energy-packed four-game series.
After an up-and-down first three games against the Atlanta Braves, the San Diego Padres were looking to win on Sunday afternoon to split their four-game series with the World Champions. A dominant 12-1 victory on Thursday night’s home opener was followed by back-to-back 5-2 losses that seemingly killed the momentum that the team had built after Thursday’s special win.
All of this made Sunday’s game an important one, no matter how early in the season it might be. Without their superstar shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr., this team must find their energy and consistency wherever they can find it. Sunday, that energy was found in San Diego’s best asset, their pitching staff.
Leading the way was starter Yu Darvish, who went 6.2 innings, allowing one run while striking out eight. Darvish was dominant with his command against a really good Braves lineup, allowing zero walks and giving up only one run on a Marcell Ozuna solo home run in the seventh inning.
— San Diego Padres (@Padres) April 18, 2022
Darvish located his fastball really well, which set up his off-speed stuff that kept the Atlanta hitters on their toes.
Steven Wilson followed Darvish out of the bullpen and got a big out to end the seventh inning after Darvish had allowed a double to Adam Duvall, which ended his night. Luis Garcia followed Wilson in the eighth inning, making quick work of Dansby Swanson, Ozzie Albies, and Matt Olson.
Newly acquired Taylor Rogers continued to look good for the Padres, earning his fourth save and closing out the 2-1 Padres victory which included a pair of strikeouts.
The Padres only had three hits on Sunday evening, scoring runs on a hit-by-pitch and a fielder’s choice. Typically, that is a performance that would have everyone asking questions about what went wrong offensively. Instead, the conversation is circled around the dominant pitching the Padres put forward, and rightly so.
— San Diego Padres (@Padres) April 16, 2022
Paired with the great pitching, the Padres continued to play flawless defense. Going into Sunday’s game, the Padres had tied an MLB record of 10 errorless games to start the season. On Sunday, San Diego continued their remarkable glove work and set the record for most games without a defensive error to start a season at 11.
The team’s early success is certainly a testament to their defense and pitching staff. So far in 2022, the pitching has been really good, with Sunday being no exception. The Padres’ staff and defense must continue to have days like Sunday for the Padres to reach their potential, whether Fernando Tatis Jr. is healthy or not.
The Padres host the Cincinnati Reds in a three-game series starting Monday night at 6:40 PST, with Sean Manaea taking the bump.