Inconsistent bats loom once again, Nationals down Padres 2-0

Credit: AP Photo

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Credit: AP Photo

The Washington Nationals even the series in San Diego at one apiece in Game 2 of the three-game series.

The Padres’ offense, although scoring 23 runs in the past two days, stumbled once again and was unable to muster a run while notching only four hits on the day. 

On the mound, making his MLB debut for the Friars because of Michael Wacha shoulder fatigue, was 26-year-old rookie Matt Waldron. Waldron, drafted in 2019 by the Cleveland Indians (now Guardians) in the 18th round, is the first knuckleballer to pitch in the majors since Mickey Jannis of the Baltimore Orioles in 2021. He looked to help the Padres to a third straight win. 

Waldron started strong, able to get Lane Thomas to strike out with a defensive swing and Luis Garcia to ground out. Then in a 1-1 count to Jeimer Candelario, Waldron lets a fastball leak right down Mainstreet, which was tattooed to the right field stands to put the Nationals up 1-0. Waldron would finish the inning, striking out Joey Meneses on a foul tip into the glove.

The Padres and Nationals would continue scoreless through the top of the third when Waldron made another mistake with a fastball. Although located high and outside, Lane Thomas put a charge into the left-center gap where the ball barely went over the DexCom sign, increasing the Nationals’ lead to now 2-0 in the third. 

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Waldron would continue through 4.2 innings, giving up two runs on four hits with one walk. The right-handed pitcher struck out two batters on 62 pitches. After Waldron, the Padres would continue with their dominant bullpen as of late, sending Tim Hill, Nick Martinez, Steven Wilson, Adrian Morejon, and Luis Garcia all up to the mound. The group allowed no runs on two hits and three walks while striking out three. 

The Padres’ defense also carried weight all night, committing no errors and also having a Gold Glove assist from Juan Soto in left field, throwing out Joey Meneses trying for second base on a hit. That being said, the Padres continued to have missed opportunities and inconsistencies late, with key players like Fernando Tatis Jr. going 1-for-4 with two strikeouts. Ha-Seong Kim who has been hot at the leadoff spot, went 0-for-4 with a strikeout.. 

The Padres’ offense remained scoreless without much of a threat. As a whole, they had 12 strikeouts while going 0-for-2 with RISP and leaving seven men on base. They continue to look for their mojo and consistent offense as they hope to win and close out the series against the Washington Nationals in the finale tomorrow at 1:10 pm.

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