After not scoring until the ninth inning in Monday’s loss to the Colorado Rockies, the San Diego Padres jumped out to a 4-0 lead after two innings. The Padres then failed to score in the seven remaining innings while Yu Darvish and the bullpen could not survive Coors Field and the Rockies in an 8-4 loss.
San Diego got it going early when Fernando Tatis Jr. belted a home run to right-center field. The Padres added on two more runs by the way of a Victor Caratini groundout and a Darvish single. That was all the Padres provided at Coors Field, the league’s most hitter-friendly ballpark.
— San Diego Padres (@Padres) June 16, 2021
The offense can’t take all of the blame, as Yu Darvish did not look like his best. He allowed four runs in five innings of work while only striking out five batters.
“I thought Yu was good,” Padres manager Jayce Tingler said. “I thought he battled all night. I thought we left a play or two out on the field. The Rockies did a good job of fouling off pitches and driving his pitch count up.”
Taking a look at the numbers, Darvish’s spin rates on all of his pitches were down significantly from his 2021 season averages. With Major League Baseball starting to enforce suspensions against pitchers who are using illegal substances to spin the ball more, it is likely that you will see more pitchers with lower spin rates than you were previously seeing, and slightly worse performances as they adjust to their new ways of pitching.
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You can also contribute Darvish’s lower spin rates on Tuesday to Coors Field. Given the altitude of Coors Field, not only do baseballs travel further when struck in the air, but pitches also tend to spin less, the lesser talked about part of “the Coors effect.”
It did not get much better after Darvish left the game. Craig Stammen relieved Darvish and made quick work of the Rockies by getting three outs with just nine pitches. However, Tim Hill followed Stammen in the seventh inning and only recorded one out while allowing two runs. In the ninth inning, the Padres lost any chance at making a comeback when Emilio Pagan surrendered two additional runs.
Now the Padres will look to avoid another sweep in the series finale Wednesday afternoon. They will send Blake Snell to the mound, who owns a 9.24 ERA on the road this year. Kyle Freeland will get the start for the Rockies. The first pitch is at 12:10 PT.