Offense sputters again, Padres drop fifth game in a row

Credit: AP Photo

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(Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)

The San Diego Padres have been in an absolute free-fall for the past month and yet are still within a game of the second National League Wild Card spot. The biggest issue for this team has been their inconsistent offense, which remained ice-cold on Tuesday night in a 6-1 loss against the San Francisco Giants for the team’s fifth straight loss. 

After being shut out in three of their last six games, the Padres’ offense did not do much more on Tuesday. The majority of the lineup has been ineffective at the plate, and that remained constant in the second game of this series as the offense only totaled one run on three hits throughout the game. 

The Padres have gone 6-12 since they fired Larry Rothschild, but the main problem has been the lineup. In the past few weeks, their offense has been ranked near the bottom of the league in most offensive categories. 

“It can happen in a couple of different ways,” Jayce Tingler said about how to turn the season around. “A tremendous starting pitcher going the distance, going deep. It can be a comeback win. It can be anything to spark us. Obviously, if the offense gets going, it’s contagious here the last 18, but we need some type of spark to get this thing turned.”

The Padres have not won more than two games in a row since August 7-10, when they won four straight. 

Anthony DeSclafani, who owned a 3.33 ERA entering the game, pitched very efficiently for the Giants, throwing 6.2 innings of one-run ball while allowing only three hits. He struck out three batters, walked one, and threw 66 of 88 pitches for strikes. The San Diego lineup was unable to get anything going against DeSclafani as he forced nine ground balls and nine fly balls.  

Profar led off the third frame with a double to right-center, advanced to third on a Jake Arrieta sacrifice bunt, then was safe at the plate after Trent Grisham grounded out to second base for the Padres’ only run of the game. 

The top five in the lineup combined to go 0-for-20 in the loss, as the only hits came from Jurickson Profar, Adam Frazier, and Jake Marisnick (who came off the bench). The Padres offense ranks 23rd in slugging percentage on the season, owns the highest infield fly ball rate in the league, and has the sixth-highest soft contact percentage. 

The defense did not look good either as San Diego totaled two errors, with a run being scored on each –– Arrieta’s pickoff attempt in the third frame and a Manny Machado throwing error in the eighth. 

Arrieta’s third start with the Padres did not go well as he allowed three earned runs and five hits over 3.2 innings, adding three strikeouts and two walks. Arrieta allowed a solo home run to Buster Posey in the first inning on the fourth sinker of the at-bat, which Posey drove 390 feet to left field. 

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Arrieta was able to get out of the second inning by forcing a ground ball with the bases loaded. He allowed another run in the third, and Tim Hill allowed his inherited runner to score in the fourth. It looked like the Padres might still be in reach going into the late innings, but the Giants added another run in the seventh and two in the eighth. 

Over the last four games, the Padres’ starting pitchers have allowed 15 earned runs in 13 innings. Even after firing Rothschild, the pitching staff has not made a huge improvement. Padres pitchers struck out 10 batters tonight but also walked six and allowed 10 hits. 

Once again, out of the playoff picture, the Padres will need to win games sooner than later if they want to make the postseason. Wednesday’s game will feature Joe Musgrove (10-9, 2.93 ERA) for the Padres and a TBD starter for the Giants. The first pitch will be at 6:45 PT.

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