Gausman locks down Padres again in 7-1 loss

Padres Jake Cronenworth

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Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

In all three of the series against the San Francisco Giants this season, the San Diego Padres faced the ace of the Giants’ pitching staff, Kevin Gausman. Like Gausman’s two previous starts against the Padres, he shut them down in the 7-1 loss for the Padres.

“He was good again,” Padres manager Jayce Tingler said. “I was hoping that seeing Desclafani and both Gausman with their back-to-back starts that we’d be able to get to them a little bit more.”

With the loss on Saturday, the Padres will drop the series to the Giants and lost any chance at taking over first place in the National League West. This is the first series the Padres have lost in over two weeks. San Diego will look to avoid the sweep on Sunday.

Offensive woes continued for the Padres, even after Gausman exited after six innings of work. After out-hitting the Giants Friday night, the Padres only mustered six hits. Wil Myers notched the only hit that went for extra-bases with a no-out double in the seventh inning, but he did not score as the Padres failed to drive him.

Scoring runs, particularly cashing in with runners in scoring position, is the biggest problem for the Padres right now. With the new baseball this season, home runs are way down, so more runs need to be scored on singles or doubles. Each time a Padres hitter got a hit on Saturday, it was the first and only hit of the inning.

A combination of a lack of hits and even fewer extra-base hits is making for a stalling offense. On the year, the Padres have scored 128 runs in 34 games. The mark of 128 runs is only in front of the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Washington Nationals, and the New York Mets in the National League. Both the Mets and Nationals are yet to reach the 30-game plateau on the 2021 season, to put the Padres offense into a bit of a perspective.

“It’s just built-up frustration,” Tingler said. “Bottom line, we have to play cleaner and better baseball. We’re capable of doing. We have guys that have done it.”

The reason the Padres are still above .500 is the dominant pitching staff. However, with another sub-optimal start from the rotation, the Padres find themselves scratching their heads following a blowout loss. Joe Musgrove, who started this season on fire, is now looking at a 3.00 ERA after five innings of four-run ball. Following his 13 strikeout performance against the Milwaukee Brewers in mid-April, his ERA was a measly 1.04.

The bullpen also showed some cracks in it following Musgrove’s departure. Tim Hill, who had been lights out of late, surrendered a run in the sixth, and then Nabil Crismatt allowed a run in his second inning of work in the ninth.

If there is any bright spot from Saturday’s loss, it is that Fernando Tatis Jr. recorded two hits batting out of the leadoff spot.

“For whatever reason, he’s been more productive at the top,” Tingler said. “In an ideal world, he’s productive, and we have guys on in front of him. But for now, we need to keep him in that top spot and keep it rolling.”

The Padres will look to avoid the sweep on Sunday, but they are still waiting to decide who to start. There is a chance that Chris Paddack returns from the injured list, but if that is not the case, both Ryan Weathers and Dinelson Lamet are on four days of rest. Johnny Cueto will be on the mound for San Francisco for the 1:05 first pitch.

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