Framing the Friars: Padres Squander More Chances to Sink Champs

Credit: AP Photo

Credit: AP Photo

The Padres started this game how each of the three games in Houston started, stifling the bats of the defending champs. Before the fifth inning of Sunday’s game, the Padres had a stretch of allowing just two runs in the first 23 innings of this series (0.78 ERA) against perhaps the best lineup in baseball. 

Tyson Ross took the rock to the bump for the Friars today. He turned in a good day’s work, throwing six innings with seven strikeouts and no walks and allowed four runs. 

The theme of this series was squandering chances with runners on base. It’s not like the Astros befuddled Padre hitters all weekend– the Friars had chances. They were 4-23 during the first two games with runners in scoring position and were even worse on Sunday, going 0-6.

It was much of the same on Sunday. Austin Hedges, who still has an average below .100, struck out with runners on first and third in the second inning. 

Hedges then struck out again with a runner in scoring position in the fourth. 

Poor base running decisions cost the Padres a run in the fifth, when Manuel Margot got to second on a stolen base and was moved over to third. Then on a ground ball from Eric Hosmer, Margot darted home and was thrown out. 

The Astros finally got on the board in the fifth when Ross hung a slider to Max Stassi for a three-run homer. 

The Padres finally scored in the sixth. After a hit by pitch, a fielding error, and a walk, Hedges once again found himself up to bat with a scoring opportunity. He didn’t strike out this time. Instead he put the ball in play, and on a fielder’s choice, Chase Headley scored from third, cutting the lead to 3-1. 

Unfortunately, the Padres stranded the rest, and Hedges by himself stranded six base runners. 

Josh Reddick got the lead back to three with a solo homer. 

After 6 innings, Adam Cimber came in for Ross on the mound and shut the party down. He made quick work of two innings, striking out three. 

The score would remain thus until Brad Peacock came in the ninth and pitched a perfect inning for his first save of 2018 as the Padres lost 4-1. The Padres drop to 2-8, their worst start since 2013, when the Friars started 2-10. 

Some bright spots were Chase Headley getting on base twice, as he has struggled in limited playing time. 

Freddy Galvis had two hits and a walk, boosting his OPS to .960, the highest on the team. 

Cimber worked the rest of the game after Ross’ six innings, which spared the bullpen. That’s important considering the Padres have 10 straight games until their next off day. 

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