Sunday was certainly a day of rest for the San Diego Padres following four straight days of extra-inning baseball.
Following Saturday night’s magical victory over the Houston Astros in 12 innings, the Padres had played 43 high-intensity innings that led Jayce Tingler and the Padres’ decision-makers to figure out a way to get their guys some rest.
Though the lineup for Sunday’s game was not far removed from normal for San Diego, the bullpen was the obvious group that needed to be relieved as much as possible; even at the expense of a late May victory.
Blake Snell took the hill for the Friars out of the gate, hoping to flip the script on what has been a disappointing start to the season. Going into Sunday’s series finale with the Astros, Snell had a 4.50 ERA with 28 walks over 44 innings. He was not any better on Sunday, lasting only three innings while surrendering seven runs on five hits.
The brief outing put pressure on baseball’s best pitching staff that needed help in order to recharge their batteries. Down 7-0 after three innings, the Padres called on their number three starting pitcher Joe Musgrove to take over for Snell and ensure his relievers’ rest.
“What he did for this team, he reset that group of bullpen guys that had been laying it out. He gave us a chance,” Said a proud Tingler when speaking on Musgrove’s performance.
Musgrove, who was scheduled to start Monday’s series opener in Chicago, answered the call by finishing the game for San Diego in impressive fashion. In five innings of work, Musgrove held Houston’s potent offense scoreless without allowing a hit. The performance was the first time in franchise history in which a Padres’ reliever went five or more innings without allowing a hit or walk.
Unfortunately for Musgrove and San Diego, the gutsy relief performance did not do much for the Padre offense. A solo home run by Webster Rivas, his first in the big leagues, was the only run for the Padres until the top half of the 9th inning.
Though the comeback attempt for San Diego was valiant (home runs by Wil Myers and Ha-Seong Kim made the score 7-4), they were unable to repeat Saturday’s comeback. In the 7-4 loss in the series finale with the Astros, the Padres missed a chance to sweep a good team.
More importantly, however, the Padres’ bullpen was spared being used during a rough stretch that has the Padres halfway through 20 games without an off day. With the usage of Musgrove Sunday instead of Monday against the Cubs, the rotation will move up a spot, with Chris Paddack taking the hill for Monday’s opener in Chicago. Ryan Weathers will start for San Diego on Tuesday, and Dinelson Lamet will close out the series on Wednesday.