For anybody that has followed the brief career of Luis Perdomo, it is easy to see that he is a modern adaptation of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
The Padres led off the series against the defending World Champion Houston Astros with a 4-1 victory Friday, but nobody quite knew which Perdomo would show up prior to the matchup.
His first start of the season was anything but promising and, after an ultimatum laid down by his manager Andy Green, the Padres world held their breath as the promising, young right-hander took the hill.
The Houston Astros are the defending champs for a reason, their lineup is stacked with hitters from top to bottom. They make a living off tiring pitchers out by working the count relentlessly. On this night however, Perdomo would prove to be superior.
His command was better, not great, but much improved from the first game against the Milwaukee Brewers where he could not seem to find his mark.
What set him apart on this night was his ability to establish his slider, early and often. A pitch he has become known for, Perdomo used his slider effectively to keep the Houston hitters off-balance for much of the night. His ability to throw it for strikes when he fell behind was the difference, pitching to contact and making a big pitch when the time called for it. He did not try to do too much, but rather relied on his stuff to get outs, and it proved to be the difference when he left the mound in the 5th with a 3-1 lead.
The writing is on the wall and his back may be against it.
For Perdomo to continue to pitch in the rotation, more outings like this need to come. It is no longer a question of if he has the stuff, but more about can he duplicate it? He has shown he can pitch at this level. Tonight once again proved that. It was a step in the right direction, but what’s going to happen next?
Jose Pirela consisted of most of the Padres offense, going 3-5 with a key two-out double in the 5th that gave the Padres a 3-1 lead. Pirela has had a little bit of bad luck this year as he averages over 90 MPH on his exit velocity, but the average does not show the effort efficiently.
— Padres de San Diego (@LosPadres) April 7, 2018
Austin Hedges looked better at the plate, working a walk in his first at-bat and coming up big with a double that set the table for the Padres in the 5th. The impressive part about the double was the adjustment he made on a curveball after looking awful on the same pitch before. Hopefully this proves to be a step in the right direction.
A scary moment occurred in the 7th when Christian Villanueva was hit on the wrist by a fastball from Collin McHugh. Fortunately, it looked worse than it might have been because the third baseman hit an insurance double in the top of the 9th.
Jordan Lyles looked good once again, facing the minimum six batters in his two innings of work. It continues to look like the right move with him in the bullpen. Kirby Yates and Brad Hand were also effective as the three combined for eight strikeouts, allowing only one baserunner.