Blake Snell continued a dominant stretch on the mound on Tuesday night that ultimately saw him give up a seventh-inning hit that broke up a streak of 44 consecutive batters faced without allowing a hit.
Amazingly, Snell went 14 consecutive innings without giving up a hit, but the hit that ended the streak happened to be a back-breaker for the Padres. On one swing, Snell lost his no-hitter, and the scoreless tie turned into a 2-0 Angels lead.
While Snell had cruised through six perfect innings on Tuesday night at Petco Park against the Angels, the Padres’ offense was not holding up its end of the bargain. The Padres were being held scoreless on only three hits, including five scoreless innings by Angels’ starter Packy Naughton who was making only his second career start.
The poor offensive performance never changed for the Padres, as the Angels took game one of a short two-game series 4-0. Even more gut-wrenching for San Diego, the loss Tuesday night was paired with a victory for the Cincinnati Reds, which put the teams in a tie for the second Wild Card spot. With only 24 games remaining after Tuesday’s loss, every game is magnified, making the loss even more of a bitter pill to swallow.
Though he took the loss, Snell continues to be exactly what Padres’ fans hoped for when San Diego traded for the lefty in the offseason. Snell became only the third pitcher since 1900 to strike out at least 30 hitters while allowing less than five hits in a three-game stretch. Going back even further, Snell now has a 1.85 ERA with an opponents’ batting average of .136 and a strikeout percentage of 39.9% in his last seven starts.
“He’s on an unbelievable roll right now. He’s had some dominant performances throughout the year, but he’s on a really good, really strong run now. Tonight was as sharp, as good as we’ve seen him all year,” said manager Jayce Tingler about his starting pitcher’s performance Tuesday night.
The offense just couldn’t match Snell’s firepower Tuesday. The Padres were held to only four hits on the night, two of which were courtesy of shortstop Jake Cronenworth. While they were able to get a pair of runners on in the ninth inning with less than two outs, including one of Cronenworth’s two singles, they were unable to capitalize. After scoring 17 runs in their series against the Astros over the weekend, the Padres chose an unfortunate time to let their bats go cold.
“It’s disappointing to not get any runs on the board. You feel like you throw a dominant performance away from Blake tonight,” said a disappointed Tingler about his team’s offense on a night that saw the pitching from Snell put the team in a great position to win.
San Diego will look to avoid being swept by the Angels on Wednesday night, with Yu Darvish set to take the mound. An off-day Thursday precedes a huge stretch for San Diego, with a three-game weekend series in Los Angeles against the Dodgers followed by a four-game series in San Francisco against the NL West-leading Giants.