A day after the San Diego Padres had one of their only scoring outbursts in their recent stretch of games, their offense once again found itself struggling to compete. Following Sunday’s finale against the New York Mets in which the Padres scored seven runs – four of which were courtesy of a 7th inning grand slam by Fernando Tatis Jr. – they looked to keep the momentum going in a series against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field.
Unfortunately, the offense for San Diego fell right back into the same lull that has been a very familiar state of being of late.
Though obviously struggling, the Padres’ offense certainly ran into a tough opponent on the mound for the Rockies, who has been hot. Lefty Austin Gomber, who had not allowed more than two runs in a start since May 7, continued the trend on Monday on a toasty evening in Denver.
In eight innings of work, Gomber allowed zero runs on only three hits, including retiring the last nine Padres batters faced. Throwing 70 of his 95 pitches for strikes and getting first-pitch strikes on 20 of 26 batters faced kept Gomber in command all night against the Padres’ bats.
“I think you do have to give Gomber credit. If you look at what he’s done in his last three or four outings, he’s been as good as anyone in the the league,” said Padres’ manager Jayce Tingler when asked about the offensive woes and facing a streaking Gomber.
With center fielder Trent Grisham back in the starting lineup for San Diego after coming off the bench in Sunday’s win against the Mets, things seemed to be setting up well for an offensive burst in Colorado. Unfortunately for the Padres, they were only able to put up a pair of runs on five hits thanks to a 9th inning rally that fell short.
Through eight innings against Gomber, they only came close to scoring once, when catcher Victor Caratini off the top of the wall in center field that bounced back onto the field of play, giving Caratini a double instead of a would-be home run. The Padres would fail to get Caratini home after the lead-off double. Once Gomber was taken out of the game, the Padres were able to make things interesting, hitting two well-hit shots against Rockies’ closer Daniel Bard.
With one out in the top of the 9th, down 3-0, the Padres would get a double to left field by Tommy Pham, followed by a two-run home run to right field by Grisham, cutting the score to 3-2. With still just one out and the Padres’ two best hitters coming up, there was a small glimmer of hope.
Two uneventful at-bats from Manny Machado and Tatis Jr. later, the Padres had come up short, losing by that same score of 3-2.
Padres’ batters three through six finished a combined one for 14, with the one hit being a single by Wil Myers. Pham was the only Padre with multiple hits, which included the 9th inning double that helped spark the failed rally.
On the mound for San Diego, Dinelson Lamet pitched well, though he would struggle with his pitch count, only lasting four innings. In all, Lamet would allow four hits and one run while walking two and only striking out three.
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Ryan Weathers pitched well in relief of Lamet, his first appearance out of the bullpen since being taken out of the starting rotation for San Diego. In three innings of relief, Weathers gave up one run and three hits, leaving with the score 2-0 in favor of Colorado.
When asked about the offensive struggles while Lamet and Weathers held the Rockies’ offense in check, Tingler explained lamented “giving up two runs in their seven innings of work should give you a chance, especially at Coors Field, for sure.”
The Padres will look to get their bats going against in game two against the Rockies Tuesday evening, with Yu Darvish taking the mound for the Padres.
Kevin is a San Diego Native covering the San Diego Padres and their affiliates