Mediocre Musgrove, Padres fall to Phillies

Credit: AP Photo

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Credit: AP Photo

Joe Musgrove finally had a bad outing, and the absence of the Padres superstars finally seemed to make a difference to San Diego’s offense. It was a frustrating night for the Padres, as a crucial sixth inning cost the Friars. 

The Padres started quickly, as Eric Hosmer’s sixth home run of the season put San Diego ahead. Hosmer’s 106.5 mile per hour blast proved to be his second home run in as many games. Both homers came on curveballs that were outside of the zone, but Hosmer found a way to turn on the pitch. 

While the home run proved to be the only Padres run in the first seven innings, they put a lot of balls in play. The Padres struck out just four times, setting up chances to score. In the fourth inning, a bloop single, an infield single, and a full-count walk set up CJ Abrams for a huge at-bat. With the bases loaded and two outs, Abrams rolled into an inning-ending groundout. The groundout seemed to murder the Padres momentum, kickstarting a three-inning streak in which the Padres did not record a hit. The offensive struggles meant that Phillies starter Ranger Suarez worked into the eighth inning for the first time since September 2021. San Diego finally began to break through in the eighth, when Trent Grisham singled and Austin Nola doubled just inside the left-field line. Jorge Alfaro’s RBI groundout brought a run home, but Seranthony Dominguez got the Phillies out of trouble. 

Joe Musgrove looked like his usual self early, starting out with four hitless innings, surrendering just a walk to Rhys Hoskins. Musgrove struck out just one batter as his defense made big plays behind him. Jose Azocar fired a dart from right field to retire Hoskins, stealing a base-hit from Bryce Harper. However, Musgrove began to falter in the fifth inning. A pair of singles with a wild pitch in the middle meant that Odubel Herrera scored Didi Gregorius to tie the game. 

The dam finally broke in the sixth, as Musgrove was knocked around for the first time all season. He surrendered two home runs, a double, and two more singles as the Phillies scored five times. Manager Bob Melvin said that Musgrove struggled with “a couple of breaking balls that usually he locates a little bit better.”. Musgrove’s tough outing ended a stretch of 12 consecutive quality starts to open the campaign. It also resulted in Musgrove’s first loss of the season in a frustrating outing. Philadelphia had just eight hits in the entire game, but five of them came in the disastrous sixth inning, resulting in the comfortable win for the Phillies.

Craig Stammen worked two solid innings in relief before Tim Hill finished the game with a scoreless inning. Stammen and Hill managed to at least eat the remaining frames, meaning that the best pitchers in the Padres bullpen will be available for Friday’s game. 

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Former Padre Brad Hand closed out the bottom of the Padres order, ending a three-game winning streak for San Diego. 

The Dodgers win over Cincinnati ensured that the Padres fell to a game behind Los Angeles atop the NL West.

While the performance on the field was lacking, the Padres picked up their 11th shutout of the season, as 40,355 were in attendance for the Thursday night game. 

MacKenzie Gore, who has struggled in his last two outings, will get the start on Friday night.

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