Padres win ugly game in Atlanta to take series

Credit: AP Photo

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Credit: AP Photo

This game was an early first pitch — 8:35 am back in San Diego, and it was the first game on Peacock for the San Diego Padres.

If you didn’t feel like waking up early or paying the $4.99 for the Peacock paywall, we’ve got you covered.

Joe Musgrove has thrown the second-lowest percentage of fastballs thus far this season. In the first inning, Musgrove was using his fastball more. He struck out Matt Olson on the fastball and set up a nasty slider to Austin Riley with three fastballs to open the at-bat. 

The second inning started with a Marcel Ozuna strikeout on another heater from Musgrove for his third consecutive strikeout. The second hitter Ozzie Albies walked on a long 11-pitch at-bat. Dansby Swanson hit a slow-developing ball to Robinson Cano for his first action but was not hit hard enough to roll two, which proved costly. With the inning extended and a runner on first, the next batter Adam Duvall blooped a single into right field. The ball fell in front of Wil Myers, who mishandled it for a moment before casually getting it into the infield. The throw short hoped Cano, who could not make the scoop. Swanson noticed the ball scoot away and made his way home for a frustrating opening run of the game.

The third inning started with another two strikeouts from Musgrove, who bounced back from the unearned run nicely to retire the side in order and get the Padres back on offense. 

In the bottom of the fourth, Dansby Swanson, with a runner aboard, took a 3-0 backup cutter over the left-center field fence to extend the Atlanta lead to 3-0.

Kyle Wright had it rolling in this one, particularly with strikeouts. It took until the fifth inning for the Padres to get their first hit. Austin Nola hit a ground ball to the left side of the infield, a ball which Austin Riley nearly made the diving play on, to break through the hit column finally. While the next batter was up, William Contreras, the Braves catcher, decided to throw behind Nola, who had drifted away from first base. The throw got away from first basemen Matt Olson into right field, allowing the lead runner Jurickson Profar to gallop home for the Padres’ first run of the game. 

In typical Joe Musgrove fashion, he finished his day with six innings and three runs (two of them earned), turning in his seventh quality start of the season. A typical for Joe was the number of balls thrown (41) with six full counts and a season-high three walks. Credit the Braves for working deep counts, and also credit Joe for being extremely sharp in his time in San Diego, that we’ve come to expect greatness every time out.

In the top of the sixth inning, the Padres saw the ball better off Kyle Wright. Luke Voit opened the inning with a hard line out to short, followed by a wringing double from Jurickson Profar. Wil Myers was the next and, with the weakest contact of the inning, socked a liner off the end of the bat that brought home Profar to cut the Atlanta lead to one, at 3-2. The next hitter, Cano, hit a grounder to the left side, seemingly ticketed for an inning-ending double play, but Austin Riley could not come up with the ball. The error put runners on the corners with one out and chased Kyle Wright from his strong outing. The Braves called upon Collin McHugh to face Austin Nola in the sticky situation. Nola worked a full count before hitting a fly ball to medium-deep right field, which proved just deep enough to allow Myers to hustle home to tie the game at three.

Craig Stammen worked a clean seventh, striking out the first two Braves he faced. 

Credit: AP Photo

AJ Minter took over in the eighth. After retiring the first batter, Ha-Seong Kim cleaned out a slider down and in for a one-out double. The liner was just a few feet short of a go-ahead solo home run— he then inexplicably tried to steal third base with Eric Hosmer up. Though not as egregious to make an out at third with one out in the inning (Golden Rule: never make the first or third out at third base), it was still a frustrating decision with the hottest Padres hitter up in an RBI situation. Hosmer would strike out a few pitches later to end the inning.

The Padres called upon hard-throwing right-hander Luis Garcia for their half of the eighth. He got Olson and Riley to strike out on breaking balls for the first two outs of the inning. A walk to Marcel Ozuna brought up the dangerous Ozzie Albies. Initially not a particularly scary situation, a runner at first base with two outs. A few pitches into the at-bat, Ozuna set off to steal second base, and Nola boxed a breaking ball which took away the shot at throwing out the runner. The next pitch was wild and advanced Ozuna to third, making the situation a little scarier. Thankfully, Garcia was able to get Albies to pop up and end the threat. 

Kenley Jansen worked a clean ninth for Atlanta, and the Padres turned to soft-tossing Nabil Crismatt to get the game to extras.

Crismatt worked his way back from a 3-0 count to strikeout Dansby Swanson. He then punched out the next batter Adam Duvall, pitching backward, with a rare challenge fastball. William Contreras could not connect with the familiar Crismatt changeup to strike out the side and send the game to extras.

In the top of the 10th, Atlanta went with Jackson Stephens to face Robinson Cano with Wil Myers at second as the ghost runner to start the extra frame.

Cano did the job, grounding out to the middle of the infield and moving Myers over to third. Ryan Christenson sent Manny Machado to pinch-hit for Austin Nola. Atlanta opted not to pitch to Manny, sending him to first with an intentional walk. The next batter, Trent Grisham, could not connect with the challenge fastball ball, bringing up Jake Cronenworth with two outs and runners on the corners. Jake could not come through with the two-out RBI, grounding out to the shortstop. 

Now in a pinch, with the runner at second to start the bottom of the 10th, the Padres asked Nabil Crismatt to go a second frame and keep their hopes alive. The inning started fantastically for San Diego, Orlando Arcia bunted a pitch back to the mound, and Crismatt fired a strike over to the third base to cut down the runner in scoring position. It was an awkward tag from Kim, but after review, it was confirmed that he made the tag before the baserunner made it to third. Crismatt struck out the next batter Travis Demeritte on a changeup bringing up the slugging first baseman Matt Olson. Olson lined a single into center field, the first hit for the Braves was in the fifth inning; a role reversal from the start of the game. With runners on the corners and two down, up came Austin Riley. Crismatt got him to line out to Cronenworth at short to end the Atlanta threat.

In their half of the 11th, Atlanta stuck with Jackson Stephens. The first hitter he faced in his second inning of work was Ha-Seong Kim. For the second consecutive at-bat, Kim ripped a double into left field to change places with Cronenworth and give the Padres the 4-3 lead. Kim moved to third on what should have been a ground out, but a fried egg thrown by Dansby Swanson, allowed Eric Hosmer to reach base safely.

With runners on the corners, Luke Voit ripped a ground ball to a drawn-in infield. Kim drew just enough attention from third baseman Austin Riley to force him to take the sure out at first rather than try for the double play. With runners at second and third, Hosmer hit an RBI fielder’s choice. Kim made it home with a fantastic slide and stuck his hand in before the tag to extend the lead two, at 5-3. With the infielders drawn in, Wil Myers hit a flair just over the outstretched glove of second baseman Ozzie Albies to bring home two more runs, stretching the lead to 7-3. Robinson Cano flew out to left for the second out, and Jorge Alfaro hit an infield single to the middle infield– Myers, perhaps being a little too aggressive, tried to score and was thrown out by a comfortable margin. Regardless of the latest baserunning mistake, then the damage had been done. 

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With a newly minted four-run lead, the Padres turned to closer Taylor Rogers in a non-save situation. The bigger lead did not bother Rogers as he shut down the Braves, striking out two along the way.

The Padres (22-13) are off tomorrow and send Mike Clevinger (0-0, 5.00 ERA) to take on the Philidelphia Phillies in Philidelphia against Zack Wheeler (1-3, 4.26 ERA) in the second stop of the three-city road trip.

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