Padres squander opportunities, lose 3-0 to SF

Credit: AP Photo

Credit: AP Photo

The Padres picked up nine hits but went 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position, and the only hit, an infield single by Eric Hosmer, ended the sixth after Fernando Tatis Jr. was caught in a rundown. The Giants, scrappy as ever, brought their magic number to just one as they beat the Padres 3-0.

The Padres 82nd loss officially means that their season will be another losing season, making it their 10th consecutive full season to end under .500. The Padres played unenthusiastic, uninteresting baseball, which for a team that came into the campaign with so much excitement, is a statement about the dissatisfaction in the clubhouse with the team’s performance. Fernando Tatis Jr., who often plays harder than anyone, gave himself up without the slightest attempt to sneak his way out of the rundown. 

The Padres gave Pedro Avila his second career big league start, nearly two and a half years after his first. After allowing a line-drive home run to Darren Ruf in the first inning, the Giants added a second run in the opening frame as Mike Yastrzemski brought Brandon Crawford home with a single. Crawford reached base on a misplay by Eric Hosmer, though the error was charged to third baseman Ha-Seong Kim, despite the fact that the ball hit the pocket of Hosmer’s glove. With Yastrzemski’s hit coming with two outs, the run did not get charged to Avila. In the final three frames of Avila’s outing, he allowed two singles and a pair of walks, but he got the job done with two outs, keeping the deficit at two. 

The offense got off to a good start, as Trent Grisham put a ball in the left-centerfield gap for a double, and he moved to third after Adam Frazier’s sacrifice bunt. After a seven-pitch battle, Fernando Tatis Jr. struck out on a high fastball, and Jake Cronenworth grounded out to Buster Posey, ending the Padres first of many threats. Victor Caratini smoked a two-out double in the fifth, but Tommy Pham grounded out to end the frame. Pham’s groundout was hit at 92 miles per hour, and it had a 40% chance of getting through, but first baseman Wilmer Flored handled the ground ball.

The sixth inning proved to be the most frustrating, as with two outs, the Padres got back singles from Tatis Jr. and Cronenworth before Eric Hosmer hit a ground ball off the third-base bag. If the ball had bounced over the bag, Tatis easily would’ve gotten home. However, he took an aggressive turn around the base, and Evan Longoria forced Tatis to enter a rundown, which he did not make an effort to win. The Padres hole grew slightly deeper as LaMonte Wade Jr. hit a sacrifice fly to Grisham, bringing home Donovan Solano, who led off the inning with a double off Craig Stammen

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Wil Myers led off the seventh with yet another double, but a strikeout, a groundout, and a pop-out meant that the Padres stayed scoreless. Tatis Jr.’s two-out double in the eighth inning gave the Padres one last at-bat with a runner in scoring position, but Cronenworth stared at three straight pitches, all of which were strikes, and the Padres’ chances ended. Emilio Pagan did get three outs in the eighth, which is somewhat of a miracle after posting a 6.10 ERA since June 1. He’s made major mistakes when it’s counted most, including allowing four runs in the Padres’ two-run loss on Wednesday night. 

The Padres went down in order in the ninth, as the Giants clinched at least a share of the NL West title. Avila pitched relatively well, but the lack of offense meant that it was wasted.

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