The San Diego Padres bounced back on Saturday with a 7-4 victory, after an embarrassing showing Friday in which they were no-hit by the Los Angeles Dodgers in Mexico, and on national television.
What does it take for the San Diego Padres to kick-start their slumbering offense?
The answer, apparently, is to get no-hit. The Padres broke out the bats today and strung together quality at-bats against the Los Angeles Dodgers in a game where their starter, Bryan Mitchell, failed to last three innings. Despite this, the Padres stood strong and posted seven runs to defeat their rivals 7-4. Let’s take a look at some takeaways from the game:
Bryan Mitchell is skating on thin ice
Bryan Mitchell has been, to say the least, vastly under performing as a Padre, and today’s start was no different. In what was his shortest outing of the season, Mitchell went two and a third innings while allowing three runs to cross the plate on five hits. He walked three batters and struck out two while throwing 28 of his 55 pitches for strikes.
After the game, Green gave an ominous message when asked about Mitchell, hinting that a decision would soon be made “for the good of the team.” These are words similar to what he said about Luis Perdomo shortly before the latter was booked on a flight to El Paso in favor of Eric Lauer.
Mitchell’s numbers certainly don’t help his case, as he carries a gaudy 6.47 ERA and a 1.84 WHIP across 32 innings pitched. The fact that he has walked more men (26) than he has struck out (16) also don’t support him in his case to stay on the Major League roster.
Andy Green on quick hook to Bryan Mitchell "you're given faith and latitude at the beginning…you get to a point you have to make a decision for the good of the team." pic.twitter.com/6Zrp7wwJOT
— Marty Caswell (@MartyCaswell) May 6, 2018
Mitchell was spared from being the pitcher of record, thanks in part to his bullpen and offense. However, do not be surprised if Mitchell is soon demoted in favor of a Walker Lockett or Brett Kennedy.
Bullpen stellar again
After the quick exit of Mitchell, the Padres’ bullpen was pressed into early action again and didn’t disappoint. First, it was Erlin getting an immediate double play out of Joc Pederson to get out of trouble in the third inning. He would last two and two-thirds innings before handing the ball off to Adam Cimber in the sixth inning. Cimber, however, got only one out before having to pass the baton to Kirby Yates. After loading the bases with a walk, a questionable call on a hit batter allowed a run to score, with a Padres challenge failing to change the outcome of the at-bat.
Yates would eventually get out of the inning via a groundout. Craig Stammen breezed through two innings of work and the Padres were finally able to call out Brad Hand for a save opportunity. Hand would face four batters in the inning, consisting of Chris Taylor, Kike Hernandez, Yasmani Grandal and Cody Bellinger. Taylor got a base hit, Hernandez was caught gaping at strike three, Grandal whiffed at a high strike, and Bellinger went down in the same fashion, allowing Hand to collect his eighth save of the year.
The bullpen was again clutch, tossing six and two-thirds innings of one-run ball, striking out eight, and walking two. Green was clever in the use of his bullpen, letting his reliever go an inning longer, or just one more batter, when he could’ve pulled them out early, and set his team up for a Hand save.
Offense back on track
After getting no-hit the day before, the Padres wanted to do one thing and one thing only; get some hits. After Travis Jankowski ensured that another no-hitter wouldn’t happen with a leadoff triple, Eric Hosmer turned on the first pitch Kenta Maeda offered him and scalded it into the right field seats for a two-run home run, his fourth of the season.
After the Dodgers took the lead, the Padres were swift in tying the ballgame back up. With runners on the corners thanks to a Franchy Cordero walk and Jose Pirela single, Freddy Galvis hit a popup that forced left fielder Alex Verdugo to make a sliding catch in foul territory. The speed of Cordero would allow him to easily score and the Padres tied it up again.
The Dodgers would retake the lead, but those pesky Padres just kept on coming. Raffy Lopez got his first hit as a San Diego Padre by blasting a go-ahead home run off of Josh Fields. Insurance runs would come after the Padres pounced on reliever Daniel Hudson, with RBI singles by Chase Headley and Carlos Asuaje tacking on two more runs for the San Diego squad. This lead would hold thanks to Hand, and the Padres would win the game.
The Padres will look to take the series against the Dodgers as Los Angeles sends out Ross Stripling to take the mound. The Padres will raise them an Eric Lauer, making his third Major League start in hopefully better weather conditions.