Petco Park- San Diego, California
For a short period, the San Diego Padres were the final undefeated team in the nation.
Unfortunately, the prestigious honor didn’t last long.
Despite six hits and nine walks, San Diego mustered up only three runs while the Arizona Diamondbacks scored four runs in the final two innings to defeat the Padres 4-3 and pick up their first win of the season.
Starter Garrett Richards got the Padres off on the right foot but had moments where he had to tiptoe out of danger. Arizona nearly took the first lead of the game after a Ketel Marte double and a David Peralta walk, but Richards got Starling Marte to fish at a curveball to escape the danger.
However, the Padres had their issues with leaving runners on base. A wild Zac Gallen loaded the bases with three walks in the first inning, but a Wil Myers ground out ended the threat. An inning later, a diving play by Jake Lamb denied Trent Grisham of an RBI with runners on first and second.
Eric Hosmer, who has been prone to hitting baseballs in the dirt, did anything but groundout today. Along with taking two walks, Hosmer roped his first home run of the season 409 feet to right-center field as the ball exploded 98.7 MPH off of his bat.
.@TheRealHos305 IS COOKING 🔥🚀
— FOX Sports San Diego (@FOXSportsSD) July 26, 2020
While the sample size is incredibly small, Hosmer has looked like a different player than last year. Along with seeing more pitches, Hosmer has taken two walks while three of his four hits have been for extra bases. Each extra-base hit has been either to or over the outfield wall.
The game remained locked at 1-0 as both teams failed to capitalize with runners in scoring position.
For Arizona, it was Kole Calhoun striking out on a Tim Hill fastball with runners on first and third in the top of the sixth inning. For San Diego, it was Tommy Pham’s flyout to right field after Fernando Tatis Jr. and Manny Machado executed a double steal.
Arizona finally cashed in with runners on, this time against Emilio Pagan. A leadoff walk and a single brought up Marte (Starling), who brought home Marte (Ketel) to tie the game at one run each. Eduardo Escobar’s double-play brought the go-ahead run home.
This was also the moment when San Diego cashed in with runners on and continued the theme of Padres hitters having quality at-bats.
Back-to-back walks and a flyball moved Jake Cronenworth (pinch-running for Hosmer) to third base. Greg Garcia (pinch-hitting for Austin Hedges) fouled a pitch off before slapping a base hit to center field to tie the ballgame.
Unfortunately for San Diego, Kirby Yates allowed two runs to score in the ninth inning and, while Cronenworth’s RBI double (and first big-league hit) brought the deficit to one, another Myers groundout ended any chance at a come-from-behind win.
The decision to bring in Yates was undoubtedly a questionable one. In a save situation during the 2019 season, Yates pitched to a sparkling 0.59 ERA while limiting batters to a .422 OPS.
In non save situations? Those numbers jump to a 3.00 ERA and a .762 OPS.
It is highly unlikely that the San Diego closer will be available tomorrow after throwing 28 pitches and pitching in the ninth inning of Saturday’s win.