Padres’ offense fails Waldron in 2-1 loss to Mets

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After taking all three games at home against the Oakland Athletics and sweeping their first series of the 2024 campaign, the San Diego Padres traveled to Citi Field to take on the New York Mets.

The rain cleared, and to open the series against New York, Padres skipper Mike Shildt gave the nod to the white-hot Matt Waldron. In his last six starts, the knuckleballer sports an elite 1.78 ERA. For Carlos Mendoza and the Mets, former Padre Sean Manaea got the start. The southpaw struggled in four games when facing his former team last season, pitching to a 5.11 ERA over 12.1 frames against the Padres in 2023.

Waldron continued to shine, tossed seven brilliant innings, and allowed just two earned runs when New York struck first in the third inning. With two outs, J.D. Martinez doubled on a mislocated fastball to score Jeff McNeil and Brandon Nimmo.

Unfortunately for the Padres, the offense failed to supply Waldron with sufficient run support as Manaea tossed five frames and surrendered just one earned run. As rain fell again in the top of the fifth inning, Jackson Merrill, Wednesday’s walk-off hero, popped his third home run in the past two games. Left-on-left, the rookie crushed a Manaea hanging slider 397 feet to right centerfield and cut the Mets lead in half.

With little offense after Manaea’s departure, San Diego went into the ninth inning trailing New York 2-1 and faced closer Edwin Diaz. Jurickson Profar led off the inning and worked an excellent at-bat, singling on a 2-2 slider to put the tying run on base. José Azocar pinch-ran for Profar and stole second base.

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The Padres needed a ground ball to the right side to advance Azocar to third with less than two outs. However, Manny Machado, who had been 0-for-3 on the day with two strikeouts, punched out for the third time, watching a heater on the outside corner. The tying run came within 90 feet after Donovan Solano grounded out to McNeil at second base. Frustratingly, with two outs in the inning, Jake Cronenworth chased a backfoot slider and struck out to end the game in favor of the Mets 2-1.

Despite Waldron’s gem, the right-hander received the loss and moved to 4-6.

“He was great,” Shildt said of Waldron in an interview post-game. “Waldy (Waldron) gave us more than a chance. Got his 100th career punch out tonight. He did a tremendous job.”

The Padres look to bounce back tomorrow (6/15) with Adam Mazur on the mound.

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