Everything happens for a reason. On Wednesday, the San Diego Padres won in a six-inning matchup against the Cincinnati Reds.
Early Wednesday morning Blake Snell was placed on the 10-day IL. On Tuesday, he missed his start due to an illness. As a result, a bullpen game took place, taxing said pen. The Padres would need Joe Musgrove to have a quality start to help rest the relievers. This was not the case.
In the first inning, the Reds got their way. It started with two blown calls on the same pitch to Jonathan India. The leadoff hitter worked a 3-2 count, and on the payoff pitch, checked his swing. The first base umpire said he didn’t offer, and he took first base. The only problem was that replays showed he did indeed swing. In another bad call, the actual pitch was a clear strike.
This got Musgrove out on a bad foot with two of the best hitters in the MLB coming up. Jesse Winker would get jammed on an inside cutter yet manage to bloop it to centerfield. Nick Castellanos would then take a mistake by Musgrove and launch the ball into the stands. That home run would give the Reds an early 3-0 lead. That wasn’t the end of it. Future Hall-of-Fame candidate Joey Votto would double and later score for the Red Stalkings.
After the first inning, Musgrove threw 37 pitches and gave up four runs. Very quickly, it looked like the bullpen would be busy for a second straight game.
Despite the rain and overall bad conditions, the ball was flying out of the Great American Ballpark. In the second, the Padres would chip away at the four-run lead just a little bit. Trent Grisham and Wil Myers would hit back-to-back home runs. They couldn’t have all the fun, though. Fernando Tatis Jr., perhaps the most talented player in MLB, hit his 26th home run of the season. That broke the tie with Kyle Schwarber and gave Tatis the lead in the National League home run race.
Still, the offense wasn’t done there. Votto would homer in the bottom of the third to make it a two-run game once again. Tommy Pham, Tatis, and Manny Machado all managed to reach base in the fifth inning. This set up Grisham to hit his first career grand slam and second home run of the night. The Padres now held a 7-5 lead as the weather continued to get worse.
The Slam Diego Padres are on the road in Cincinnati!
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“Lot of resilience out of the guys tonight. Down early, and no one batted an eye. Came out swinging and ready to go,” Grisham said after the game. This looked like the 2020 Padres, who were never out of a game. Even Grisham is starting to return to his usual self. He struggled after coming back from a heel injury. Now the center fielder has seven extra-base hits in the last seven games.
Remember the first line of the article, “everything happens for a reason.” Well, Joe Musgrove got pulled after four innings of work. He had thrown 85 pitches and given up five runs. The bullpen was going to get stretched really thin to fill in the remaining five innings of play. As luck would have it, they only needed one inning.
Tim Hill came in to pitch in the fifth inning and would work a scoreless inning to get the save (Musgrove would get the win).
The game’s results were not something you see every day. The Padres walk away without taxing their bullpen despite a slow start from their starting pitcher. Game three is set for Thursday afternoon in Cincinnati.