Musgrove, Padres’ bats struggle in series finale vs. Giants

Credit: Padres

Credit: AP Photo

Petco Park- San Diego, California

Looking to sweep the San Francisco Giants, the San Diego Padres sent 2021 standout Joe Musgrove to the mound. Musgrove entered the game with a 1.24 ERA and a .655 WHIP. Unfortunately for San Diego, Musgrove only lasted five innings while surrendering six runs, five of which were earned, in the 7-1 loss.

With the rough start on Sunday for Musgrove, that makes it back-to-back rough outings for the righty after being dominant and working deep into the game in three out of his four previous starts. His ERA is now up to 2.38 on the season.

“I didn’t think he was as sharp,” Padres manager Jayce Tingler said. “I thought he competed well. He had Casali with two strike before losing him to walk. Then we were ready for the bunt, and Joe, he is our best fielding pitcher, just got sped up a little too quick there. Gausman reached, and then La Stella flared a ball down the line, and Tauchman hit the home run, and we’re down four.”

Following Musgrove, the Padres bullpen locked it down once again. Relievers combined for 3 2/3 scoreless innings before Aaron Northcraft walked in a run with two outs in the ninth inning. The bullpen continues to undoubtedly be the strength of the 2021 Padres.

Despite the strong performance from the bullpen, the Padres offense only scraped across one run Sunday afternoon when Fernando Tatis Jr. took advantage of the “Petco Porch” in the right-field corner in the first inning.

It is hard to say the Padres struggled at the plate Sunday, but they did struggle to push runs across. San Diego out-hit San Francisco by three and had a higher expected batting average(XBA) than the Giants.

The Padres hit the ball with an exit velocity over 100 MPH eight times but only received four hits when they did so. Unlucky, sure, but the problem facing the Padres lineup all year showed up again, struggling to hit runners on base.

In only three innings did the Padres put multiple baserunners on, and San Diego only drew one walk on the day. Also, each time a second baserunner reached in the inning for the Padres, there were already two outs, which makes starting a rally difficult.

To end the week, the Padres find themselves in third place in the National League West standings and just a game and a half behind the Giants for first place. If the Padres defeated San Francisco Sunday, they would have been in first place.

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The Pittsburgh Pirates come to town for a three-game series against the Padres starting Monday. The first pitch for Monday will be at 7:10 PT.

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