The San Diego Padres offense is getting hot at the right time.
In three straight games against the San Francisco Giant, the Padres’ offense has scored at least four runs. That’s more like the team that ranks third in total runs with 320 on the year.
The Padres have just one remaining regular-season game until they are in playoff baseball for the first time since 2006. They are locked into the four seed, which will give them home-field advantage for the Wild Card series. With that in mind, the focus is on staying healthy and preparing for October.
Wil Myers stayed out of this game after experiencing some tightness in his quad on Friday. Manager Jayce Tingler put in defensive replacements for Fernando Tatis Jr. and Manny Machado in the 6th inning. Jorge Mateo, Tatis’ replacement, made an outstanding play in the bottom of the 6th.
On the mound, Zach Davies started the game with a short leash. He threw 51 pitches to cover three innings. The right-hander needs to be ready for the Wild Card Series. Depending on how Dinelson Lamet and Mike Clevinger are, Davies could find himself anywhere in the top three starting pitcher spots.
The offense is heating up as Fernando Tatis Jr. is starting to break out of his slump. Johnny Cueto let a first-pitch curveball catch too much of the zone, and Tatis made him pay. He belted the ball over the left-center wall to make it back to back days with a home run. That 17th home run ties Marcell Ozuna for the most in the NL this year.
The Friars weren’t done. Manny Machado and Eric Hosmer each singled right after the Tatis’ hit. Moreland recorded a third single that scored Machado. Then Austin Nola hit a sacrifice fly to score Hosmer. This gave the Padres a 3-0 lead in the top of the fourth.
With the potential injuries of Lamet and Clevinger, the bullpen will be of even more significant importance for the Padres. Craig Stammen got the win by pitching two innings in one of his better outings of the year. He struck out two and surrendered a hit to get his ERA back below 6.00. Tingler announced that in playoffs, Richards would be used out of the bullpen. He has started to find his groove in relief. He went two innings in which he struck out three batters and gave up a hit. His command was there today, throwing strikes for 75% of his pitches.
In the 8th inning, the Giants mounted a comeback against Tim Hill.
Unlike Richards, Hill struggled to find the strike zone. He allowed one hit and issued two singles to load the bases. He managed to strikeout Donovan Solano. Then he induced a grounder back to him. He got the out at second, but Brandon Belt barely beat out the throw to first to allow one runner to score. Dan Altavilla came in to clean up the mess. Before closing out the inning, he allowed a single, which scored the runner from third.
Heading into the top of the 9th with a 3-2 lead, the Padres offense was ready to get some insurance runs. Eric Hosmer led off the inning with a single. Tommy Pham then drilled a ball that left the yard by just a few feet, to give him his third home run of the year. Mitch Moreland wasn’t content with a 5-2 lead. He followed Pham’s home run with one of his own. This time to the deepest part in right-center.
The Padres had 12 total balls that were considered hard hit, meaning they had an exit velocity of 95mph or higher. Two of which belong to Jake Cronenworth, who was held hitless in four at-bats today. On the flip side, the Giants managed to have just four hard-hit balls. This is the type of baseball the Padres want to be playing before entering the playoffs.