Ryan Weathers has been figured out.
The San Diego Padres don’t have any other options except hope that the young southpaw can figure it out. He allowed five runs in four innings, the fourth straight outing where he’s allowed at least five runs, putting up an 11.44 ERA in those outings.
Despite late heroics from Trent Grisham, the normally solid Padres bullpen allowed their second walk-off home run in four days. The Padres, who now find themselves just a game and a half ahead of the surging Reds, need to hit the panic button.
Weathers’ outing got off to a dreadful start, allowing a leadoff home run to Connor Joe. Weathers let a four-seam fastball go right down broadway, and Joe deposited the ball 415 feet into the right-center field seats. Weathers induced a double play to get out of a jam in the second, but four straight hits by Rockies in the third, including a Charlie Blackmon home run, gave the Rockies a four-run lead. Weathers induced another double play in the fourth, and after having allowed eight hits in just four innings, his night ended.
For the first four innings, the bullpen worked. They were wonderful. The Rockies reached base exactly once, a C.J. Cron walk. The effectively wild Austin Adams threw a quick inning before the surprising Nabil Crismatt mowed through Rockies hitters in two frames of work. Crismatt, who spent eight years in the minor leagues before appearing in just six games last season with the Cardinals, has pitched well enough to earn himself a consistent place in the Padres bullpen. His above-average rates in both home run and walk prevention have aided him tremendously. Miguel Diaz got three outs on four pitches. He, like Crismatt, has been an unexpected success. Both of the two relievers have FIPs (Fielding Independent Pitching) that are over four, suggesting that they are fortunate to have ERAs of 2.61 for Diaz and 3.14 for Crismatt. Still, they have both been very valuable for the Padres bullpen.
At the plate, the Padres continued to struggle, being fortunate to score the five runs they did. In the second inning, Jake Cronenworth led off with a double before advancing on an Austin Nola groundout. He scored a wild pitch strike three to Eric Hosmer, tying the game at one. Manny Machado drove home Fernando Tatis Jr. on a shift-beating ground ball single to cut the deficit to three, where it remained until the ninth. Grisham’s two out-three run shot, which epitomized the word clutch, was only possible thanks to two infield singles. Jake Cronenworth and Austin Nola’s knocks had a .180 and .210 expected batting average, respectively. The probability that both resulted in base hits, a meager 3.78%. Wil Myers and Eric Hosmer both were retired, and the Padres were down to their last out. Grisham’s heroics ensued, but in the end, it was meaningless.
Daniel Hudson, who struggled in his Padres debut, continued to perform poorly in a Padres uniform. C.J. Cron’s opposite-field blast ballooned his ERA to 7.71 since his acquisition from Washington. Hudson’s slider hung up for too long, and Cron, sitting on the pitch, stayed back on it to send it out of the yard.
The Padres, who’ve lost five of their last six and 12 of their last 23, are entering a tailspin. They signed Jake Arrieta, a former Cy Young winner, but he’s got a 6.68 ERA and -2.1 WAR in 2021. He’s not going to fix the issues. Fernando Tatis Jr. appeared to have fixed the collapse with a two home run performance in his return on Sunday. Trent Grisham looked to have done the same with his three-run shot. The Padres are in the throes of a collapse. The Death Star is about to explode. The Padres need to slap together wins to make the playoffs, let alone be contenders. The Padres have one of the best teams in baseball on paper. They need to find out how to turn that into wins on the field.