Petco Park- San Diego, California
There was once a time when the San Francisco Giants were behind the San Diego Padres in the National League West standings. Then the Giants caught fire en route to a scorching hot July while the Padres did something akin to the opposite.
Jeff Samardzija and Joey Lucchesi stymied the offenses of both San Diego and San Francisco, respectively, but after 11 innings of baseball, it was the San Francisco Giants who pulled ahead to a 2-1 victory. San Diego has now lost 14 games in July and have dropped every game they have played at Petco Park this month.
After allowing six runs on ten hits in just 4.1 innings in his previous outing against the Cubs, Lucchesi bounced back to pitch one of his sharpest games this season. His signature churve pitch was like an anchor, dropping out of the strike zone and generating weak swings-and-misses out of the Giants hitters. His only mistake came in the third inning when Donovan Solano ripped a hanging churve into center field to drive in the first run of the game,
Despite the blemish, Joey Fuego still pitched six innings and allowed just the run on two hits, walking four and striking out eight batters. Today’s outing was also his first outing since July 7th where he hasn’t allowed a home run, a streak that dogged him for three games.
While Giants hitters struggled to get adjusted to Lucchesi, the same could be said for Padres hitter against the pitcher they call “The Shark”. Samardzija cruised against a struggling Padres offense, pitching six innings and allowing just a run while striking out six Friars. Samardzija has dominated the Padres in every outing as he came into today’s game with a 1.38 ERA in 13 innings pitched against San Diego this season.
The only blemish that bit The Shark came from an unlikely source. Austin Hedges redirected a 2-0 fastball 419 feet into left field, banging it off the Western Metal Building for his eighth home run of the season. Counting today’s game, Hedges has gone 5-for-15 in his last five games played with two home runs and six RBIs.
AUSTIN HEDGES GOES BOOM!
— FOX Sports San Diego (@FOXSportsSD) July 27, 2019
When both pitchers inevitably made their exit, the ballgame turned into a battle of the bullpens. Matt Strahm, Craig Stammen, Kirby Yates, and Andres Munoz combined to pitch four scoreless innings while striking out six Giants, but the San Francisco bullpen was just as stalwart. With Yates closing down the ninth inning, both teams headed into extra innings.
With the bullpens locked in an intense staring contest, someone has to blink first. Unfortunately for the Padres, it was Logan Allen who blinked. After getting the first two outs in the eleventh inning, Allen served up a 1-2 fastball that Pablo Sandoval yanked into left field for the go-ahead home run. Will Smith pitched a 1-2-3 inning, and San Francisco took the first game of the series against San Diego.
It is pretty obvious that San Diego needs something to go right for them to try and break out of this cold streak. Cal Quantrill will try to be the cure to the Padres’ ailment when he takes the hill tomorrow.
I am currently attending San Diego State University while working on achieving a major in journalism. At SDSU, I write for The Daily Aztec while also hosting the sports radio show “Picked Off”, for KCR Radio. A loyal fan of San Diego sports, I hope to bring content that you will enjoy reading.