Padres’ offense and Chris Paddack shine in electric 12-2 victory over Cardinals

Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

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Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Petco Park- San Diego, California

The fastball was precise. The changeup was dancing in and out of the strike zone. Even the curveball was dropping off the table like an anchor.

Chris Paddack was back in town, and The Sherrif was looking just as dangerous as he was at the beginning of the season. It also helps that the San Diego Padres drove in eleven runs in support of him, including two home runs from both Manny Machado and Franmil Reyes on the day that saw many Padres alumni in the house.

The St. Loius Cardinals jumped on Paddack in the very first inning as Tommy Edman, the first batter of the game, roped a solo home run to right center field to give the Cardinals the lead. It was the last hit surrendered by Paddack until the sixth inning as the Cardinals had no answers for Paddack.

Unlike yesterday’s game where the Padres used the power of the home run to tie and take the lead, small ball was the way to go in the second inning. A wild Dakota Hudson plunked Francisco Mejia in the elbow to begin the inning, then walked Josh Naylor and allowed Manny Margot to reach on a self-committed throwing error. Paddack helped his cause by slapping a ground ball out to tie the game.

With two outs, Hudson got a ground ball from Fernando Tatis Jr., but the shortstop beat out the throw at first base to score Naylor. Eric Hosmer blooped an RBI single to center field to bring up Machado. After nothing but small ball, Machado decided it was time to break the game wide open with a display of power, demolishing a hanging sinker to deep center field for a three-run home run. A rattled Hudson wasn’t allowed a moment’s respite as a hanging slider was hammered to left field for a home run courtesy of Reyes. The back-to-back jacks were more than manager Mike Schildt could handle as he yanked Hudson from the game.

The Cardinals couldn’t muster up any kind of opposition against Paddack, who had his entire arsenal on display. The temporary demotion to the minors helped out, as Paddack’s rematch with St. Loius went the rookie’s way. After only pitching 3.2 innings and walking four against the Redbirds on April 6th, Paddack carved the Cardinals’ lineup like a Thanksgiving turkey, punching out eight batters while walking just one through six innings. Everything was working in The Sheriff’s favor, as the Cardinals whiffed straight through his changeup while helplessly watching him paint the corners with his fastball.

San Diego wasn’t done piling up the runs. Machado hit his nineteenth home run of the year in the fourth inning, Hosmer continued his reputation of clutch hitting with runners in scoring position in the sixth inning, scoring Tatis from second base with an RBI single. The first baseman continues to be a threat with RISP with two outs, as he is now hitting over .450 in situations like the one in the sixth inning. Machado, on the other hand, has been scorching hot since a slow April as he is hitting .406/.457/.828 with seven home runs over the last 15 games.

The early preview of the Home Run Derby continued when “The Franimal” poked his second home run of the night and 24th on the season with a solo shot to right field. Believe it or not, but Reyes still has a lot more potential to grow this season, as a low .247 BABIP and .354 xWOBA indicate that Reyes’ numbers will continue to rise as the season goes on. Tatis’ third hit of the night, another solo home run, put the Padres at 12 runs for the game. This is the seventh time this season that the Padres have scored double-digit runs in a game.

Despite adding another run in the eighth inning off of Brad Wieck, St. Loius couldn’t stage a comeback as San Diego won their fourth game in a row. San Diego is now two games out of a Wild Card spot heading as they head into the All-Star break and, for the first time in what seems like years, San Diego has a legitimate baseball team that is very fun to watch.

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