Inconsistency hurts the Padres as they lose to Atlanta, 5-2

Padres Nick Martinez

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The San Diego Padres lost to the Atlanta Braves on Saturday afternoon by a score of 5-2.

Ian Anderson outdueled Nick Martinez at Petco, as San Diego didn’t even have a single runner in scoring position all game. Two solo home runs and two two-out singles were all the Padres could muster against a dominant Anderson and Atlanta.

A leadoff home run by Ozzie Albies had Padres starter Nick Martinez sweating early on, as there was a lot of base traffic for Martinez to deal with right out of the gate. In the top of the second, a stellar jump and grab at the wall by Padres Gold-Glove center fielder Trent Grisham robbed a two-run blast off the bat of Manny Pina, and in the bottom half of said second inning, Jurickson Profar continued his hot start of the year with his third home run of the season. Profar got the ball to fly into the sea of San Diegans on the right-field terrace, but other than that, the Padres bats were silenced by Braves pitching.

Braves backstop Pina got some revenge by plating an additional run to retake the lead, with starting pitcher Nick Martinez unable to pitch a 1-2-3 inning all afternoon. It seemed as though the Padres became demoralized once Martinez came out in the fifth and allowed solo shots to Atlanta sluggers Matt Olson and Marcell Ozuna.

Veteran Craig Stammen came into pitch the sixth as Martinez got pulled, but after some small ball and a sac-fly to Padres’ right fielder Matt Beaty in foul ground, the Braves made it a 5-1 ballgame. Beaty caught it down the right-field line and turn and spun a throw towards home plate, but Dansby Swanson had already scored. Perplexingly, if the score had been different, it is speculated that Beaty might have been better off letting the ball drop and giving Stammen another chance to pitch to Pina. The foul out was at such a distance that a fielder who is not known for his arm would usually have a difficult time making the throw, which is exactly what happened to Beaty.

Luke Voit struggled today as a hat-trick of strikeouts left him helpless, and two strikeouts each from Manny Machado and Eric Hosmer didn’t help either.

Clubhouse legend and innings-eater extraordinaire Nabil Crismatt gave the Padres a fighting chance, as he went three innings pitched in relief and didn’t allow a single run in a mop-up role. His skill as a long reliever should not be undervalued, as he has the ability to keep San Diego in games and give his offense a fighting shot. Unfortunately, this would come to no avail, as the Padres would only be able to tack on one additional run on the bat of Trent Grisham, who smacked his first dinger of the year in the bottom of the eighth. Grish has most definitely had a slow start to the season, so it is hoped that this HR will kick him into gear and bring some consistency back into his lumber. Old friend Kenley Jansen closed the door in the ninth as SD loses their second consecutive game to the Braves.

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The Padres look to split the series against Atlanta on Sunday when Yu Darvish takes the rubber before the Cincinnati Reds come to town.

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