Petco Park- San Diego, California
Blake Snell and Yu Darvish were the two big acquisitions this offseason. Now in back-to-back games, they have dominated the Giants. This is exactly what A.J. Preller had in mind when he paid for them with multiple high-tier prospects.
Snell started out the game by striking out the side in just 11 pitches. This set the tone for an eight-strikeout outing. He only allowed two hits and four walks, and those two hits constituted the only damage that Snell would allow. Evan Longoria led off the inning with a double down the left-field line. Two batters later, Darin Ruff hit a fly ball to the centerfield wall.
“I felt alright. (I) gotta do a better job of not as many walks, free passes. My fastball was good. Second inning got a little carried away with just shaking my head. Yes, with you know, understanding what I want to do, my game plan, and how I want to attack hitters. So that was frustrating,” Snell said after the game.
It makes sense as the four walks this game pushed his pitch count up and shortened his outing.
Jorge Mateo jumped up to make the catch. The ball jumped out of his glove and over the wall. It looked as if the ball would not have been a home run had Mateo not been there. Regardless, those would be the only runs that Snell would give up.
The Padres’ bats never gave him the run support that he needed. The first batter to get a hit in support of Snell was Snell himself. After a career in the AL, he finally got a hit in his 9th career at-bat.
In the 5th inning, Jurickson Profar and Jorge Mateo had two singles to make it a one-run game. Then it was once again a waiting game. The Padres had a season-low five hits all game long, and to add to the lack of baserunners, they only had one walk all game. This lineup had a lack of experience and readiness, with the trio of Luis Campusano, Ha-Seong Kim, and Jorge Mateo tallying a whopping 68 combined at-bats in their careers.
That is a sore spot that needs to be fixed, and thankfully, playing time is the cure. Mateo was once a top prospect and has finally earned playing time in the pros. Campusano wasn’t supposed to be on the team this soon, but Austin Nola’s injury forced him up. Kim has a lot of baseball experience, albeit in a different league altogether.
Ultimately it was the longest-tenured Padre, Wil Myers, that came through in the clutch. In the bottom of the 8th inning, Tyler Roger hung a curveball in the upper part of the zone, and Myers connected for a game-tying home run.
One of the most interesting parts of the home run is the lack of metrics for the hit. Statcast estimated a .130 xBA based on the launch angle and exit velocity. Typically, extra-base hits fall into the “barrel range.” To hit a barrel, the exit velocity typically needs to 98 mph and have a launch between 26-30 degrees. Both Myers’ exit velocity and launch angle fall outside of that range, and that explains why Statcast did not give it a high batting expectancy.
Wil Myers CLUTCHpic.twitter.com/kGks50X31r
— Starting 9 (@Starting9) April 7, 2021
That 2-2 score would bring the Padres into their first extra-inning game of the year. This season the runner starting on second base in extra innings rule is still in effect. According to EVT’s Dominic Stearn, coming into this game, the Padres were 4-0 under this set of rules dating back to last season.
The Giants quickly advanced Alex Dickerson, the runner starting on second to third base with a sacrifice fly. Then Mike Yastrzemski hits a weak grounder down the first baseline, and Tim Hill waits to see if the ball would go foul while eyeing down Dickerson. The ball stayed fair, and Yastrzemski reached base safely. Another sacrifice fly would bring in Dickerson.
In the bottom half of the inning, Kim was able to advance Profar to third on a groundout. Mateo struggled to put the ball in play. Then rookie Tucupita Marcano flew out to end the game.
When talking to the media, Jayce Tingler said he would have liked if Hill had made the out instead of waiting for it to go foul. Then he went on to say, “The bottom line is we need to be in a situation where we put more runs on the board. The pitching has done a great job”.
The Padres will have Thursday off while they fly to Texas. Hopefully, this day off helps them get back to business against the Rangers on Friday.