Less than Snellar night for Padres in loss to Mets

Credit: Padres

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Credit: Padres

Eduardo Escobar hit for the cycle and drove in six runs. The Padres scored five times. It was that kind of night for the Padres, who lost by more than five runs for the first time in nearly a month.

The Padres fell behind early after Blake Snell struggled, and the back end of their bullpen fell apart in the final innings. On a rare day where the Padres pitching staff struggled, allowing 11 runs. It was the second most runs the Padres allowed this season in a disappointing series opener.

Blake Snell made his fourth start of the season as he attempts to return to the spectacular form he showed late in 2021. He did the exact opposite. He looked like the same Blake Snell that had posted a 4.80 ERA in his first three starts. He did not seem to trust his pitches, as a catastrophic 43 pitch first inning put the Mets ahead by three. “The first inning took a lot out of him,” manager Bob Melvin said after the game about Snell. Melvin even admitted that Snell was one batter away from being pulled in the first inning.

Snell needed 95 pitches to get just 12 outs, allowing five runs (four earned.) He retired two of the first three Mets batters he faced, but he then walked three consecutive batters, walking in a run. With the bases loaded, Snell allowed a single to Eduardo Escobar, scoring two more runs for the Mets.

In the second and third innings, the Mets reached base just once, as Snell appeared to settle in, but that changed in the fourth. Escobar hit a leadoff double before a two-out single from Brandon Nimmo added to the Mets’ lead. Snell then appeared in the fifth but did not retire any batters. Pete Alonso reached on a throwing error before Mark Canha’s double-ended Snell’s evening. Steven Wilson allowed Alonso to score but did not allow Canha to cross the plate, meaning Snell was charged with just four earned runs. It was a very disappointing start for Snell, who allowed seven hits and walked three batters while striking out just four. He did not appear to fix any of the issues that have plagued his Padres career.

After a strong series in Milwaukee, the Padres bats were quieted by Carlos Carrasco. “He is a pretty tough customer,” Melvin said about Carrasco. 

Jurickson Profar led off the game with a double, but the Padres could not bring him across. Profar scored Jorge Alfaro in the third after Alfaro led off the inning with a double, but Profar was out as he attempted to reach second when the Mets threw to home plate. The out cost the Padres the opportunity to add on in the inning. The two hits by Profar, as well as Alfaro’s double, were the only three hits the Padres picked up in the first six innings. With two outs in the seventh, Ha-Seong Kim ran out an infield single, using his speed to keep the inning alive. Nomar Mazara took advantage of a hanging change-up, hitting a wall-ball double, scoring Kim to cut the deficit to three. Unfortunately for the Padres, Alfaro struck out, ending a chance to close the gap even more.

After Blake Snell, manager Bob Melvin turned to rookie Steven Wilson out of the bullpen. Wilson was absolutely stellar, posting three shutout innings in which he allowed just one hit. He worked efficiently, needing just 39 pitches to get through the three frames, keeping the Padres offense within touching distance. The only hit that New York managed off of Wilson was a single in the sixth by Jeff McNeil. However, Wilson set down the next three batters, helping to put together the best major league outing of his major league career. 

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After Wilson, Craig Stammen came into the game, and he had significantly less success than Wilson. He allowed a two-run home run to Escobar before another single, and a hit batter meant that he’d allowed four of the first five batters to reach. Stammen picked up a double play to stem the bleeding, but the Mets still managed to extend their lead, which proved crucial in the bottom of the eighth. 

Trent Grisham struck out to begin the inning before Jurickson Profar picked up his third hit of the night. Jake Cronenworth drew a full count walk, but Manny Machado flew out to right field, meaning the Padres were down to their final four outs. Luke Voit blasted a ball to deep left-center field, which after a lengthy review, was confirmed to be a three-run home run. Voit’s blast made Escobar’s two-run shot in the top of the frame crucial while also giving the Padres a chance as the game headed into the ninth.

Stammen stayed in the game for the top of the ninth, striking out Francisco Lindor to lead off the frame. However, back-to-back ground ball singles chased Stammen from the game. The second single, which came from Mark Canha, was just out of the reach of the diving Ha-Seong Kim. Tim Hill, who picked up the win on Sunday, came into the game to try and hold the deficit at the two. Hill retired the first batter he faced, but Escobar came up to do even more damage. He tripled down the right field line with a ball that bounced just outside the reach of Nomar Mazara. It took an awkward bounce off the Petco Porch, setting Escobar up for a cycle. It was the first cycle in the history of Petco Park, capping a six RBI day for Escobar. The Mets scored two more runs off Tim Hill, giving them a six-run lead heading into the bottom of the ninth inning.

In the bottom of the ninth, the Padres went down in order, as they lost all their momentum from the bottom of the eighth.

The Padres’ loss ended a three-game winning streak, despite the best efforts of Luke Voit, Jurickson Profar, and Steven Wilson. 

Yu Darvish will attempt to right the ship on Tuesday.

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