The San Diego Padres could not seem to beat the Milwaukee Brewers this season. Yesterday marked the fourth loss to them. With Corbin Burnes on the mound today, the chances of finally beating the Brewers looked dim.
The Padres took this challenge and found a way to win. Specifically, they found a way to manufacture runs with the minimal production that they had. The first thing they did was put Tommy Pham and Jurickson Profar at the top of the lineup.
Both of them have been hot lately; Pham with a .979 OPS in the last week and Profar with a .856 OPS. Another benefit of having them in the top of the order is the number of pitches they see per plate appearance. Pham at 4.433 pitches/plate appearance and Profar with 4.352 both rank near the top in the MLB. This patience at the plate paid off. In the 6th inning, both of them would walk off of Burnes, who had just two walks all season coming into this game. Both of them would come around to score.
On top of the patience against elite pitching, the team was extremely aggressive on the base paths. According to AJ Cassavell, this was the first game in Padre history in which they had six different players steal a base and the first time in the MLB since 2013.
One of the biggest examples of this is in the third inning. With Victor Caratini at third and Ha-Seong Kim at first, Kim attempts to steal second and is safe. On the throw to second base, Caratini broke from home and became the first Padre catcher to steal home.
In the 6th inning, Pham and Profar both stole after their walks. The steals didn’t stop there. Later in the inning, Eric Hosmer would steal second after knocking in Profar. The sixth Padre to steal this game would come by one of the usual suspects, Fernando Tatis Jr.
“You are facing an ace, and at some point, you got to roll the dice. That’s what our guys did—being able to take 90 feet, being able to get up and go. With Burnes on the mound, you are probably not banking on 10/12/14 hits. When you can get on being able to do some things and create some opportunities, and that is what our guys did tonight. I felt the baserunning was one of the separators in the game. And our guys were outstanding tonight in being aggressive and going for some things,” Tingler said about his baserunning after the game.
On the for the Padres was Joe Musgrove. Right away, he got bogged down with a nine-pitch battle with Kolten Wong to start the game. His pitch count would always be higher than the Padres would like because of that long start.
In the 5th inning, he got in trouble when he lost his ability to find the strike zone. Lorenzo Cain singled, Travis Shaw was hit by a pitch, and opposing pitcher Corbin Burnes had a four-pitch walk. At that point, Tingler pulled Musgrove and used Tim Hill to escape the bases-loaded jam.
On the day, Padres pitching was elite despite being threatened at times. Cain’s single represented one of two hits the Brewers got. The other hit came when Travis Shaw hit a home run off Craig Stammen. Burnes’ walk was the only one allowed by the Padres. They would end the day with 13 strikeouts.
The Padres are a team that can do it all. The bats will find a way to score. The pitching can shut down opposing offenses. Today was a perfect example of that. Tomorrow Chris Paddack and Adrian Houser will take the mound tomorrow.