Lifeless, listless Padres face plant again vs. Rockies, lose 4-1

Mar 31, 2023; San Diego, California, USA; San Diego Padres starting pitcher Nick Martinez (21) walks to the dugout during the middle of the third inning against the Colorado Rockies at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

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Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

San Diego, CA-Petco Park

The Padres did not get off on the right foot in 2023 in Thursday’s season opener. The vibes were not much better on Friday night. Once again, San Diego struggled against the Rockies.

The stage was set for a rebound night. It was a second straight sellout to begin the season, and the Padres were in their flashy, vibrant City Connect uniforms.

The flashy, vibrant Padres players in those uniforms are yet to appear this season.

At the plate, the Padres look lost and lifeless. For a second straight night, they could not sum up any sort of rally. They fall to the Rockies 4-1. They have now scored just three runs in the first 18 innings of the 2023 season.

Nick Martinez started the game for the Padres and got into trouble immediately. After two singles and a walk, some subpar defense allowed the first Rockies run to score in the first. An off-target throw from Manny Machado at third made Xander Bogaerts come off the second base bag. That cost the Padres a chance at a double play. Martinez then allowed an RBI single by Elehuris Montero. That pushed Colorado’s lead to 2-0 before the Padres could even get to the plate.

Martinez settled in for a while after that, tossing three scoreless innings following that rocky start. That was until Charlie Blackmon continued to absolutely torture all of San Diego. He smacked a two-run homer in the fifth inning, increasing the lead to four. To the credit of the Team USA hurler, Martinez did complete seven innings. He alllowed those four runs with five strikeouts and two walks. It permitted manager Bob Melvin to conserve bullets in the bullpen for a hopeful first victory on Saturday.

The Padres were at risk of being shutout completely by starter Kyle Freeland and company until the bottom of the eighth. The inning got off to a promising start, with Ha-Seong Kim notching his third hit of the night, a single to lead off. Trent Grisham worked a walk.

Then, Jose Azocar laid down a bunt to advance the two runners. That left fans scratching their heads as they were running out of outs to make up the four-run deficit. Xander Bogaerts was able to scratch across one run on a sacrifice fly, but the rally seemed to lose steam after the decision to bunt.

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Juan Soto watched strike three go by to end the inning and the mini-rally to a smattering of boos from the Friar Faithful.

The Padres faced two former Padres relievers back-to-back in the eighth and ninth innings. Brad Hand limited the damage and handed the ball to Pierce Johnson to close the game for the Rockies. After a leadoff single by Manny Machado in the bottom of the ninth, the whiff of a rally was present. It was quickly snuffed out by a pop-out by Nelson Cruz and two strikeouts of Jake Cronenworth and Matt Carpenter, sealing the loss.

This season is off to an uninspiring start. With the massive amount money they spent and amount of expectations and praise the Padres have been getting in the media and among fans, with it comes pressure. As it stands, two games in, the Padres have not been able to rise to the occasion and handle the pressure well.

The season is young, barely out of the embryonic stage. However, it’s off to an inauspicious start.

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