Petco Park- San Diego, California
The San Diego Padres had no hits through the first six innings of Monday night’s series opener against the Pittsburgh Pirates and their left-handed starter Tyler Anderson, showing few signs of life offensively. The confidence in the team’s chances at somehow finding a way to win, however, never faded throughout the six no-hit innings thanks to another stellar outing from Padres’ pitchers.
After newly promoted starter Miguel Diaz survived three scoreless innings for San Diego, the bullpen took over and kept the Padres in the game while they tried to find a pulse. Following Diaz, Craig Stammen, Austin Adams, and Tim Hill has scoreless appearances that allowed the game to stay tied into the seventh-inning stretch.
Leading off the bottom half of the seventh, Manny Machado walked and would be followed by the struggling Wil Myers. Myers had been 0-13 in the team’s last six games and was 0-2 for the night. Myers took an outside pitch from Anderson and poked it to right field, signifying a breakthrough for Myers’ and the Padres.
“Any bloop hit is the best,” said a bubbly Myers regarding his single that broke up the no-hitter. “In that scenario, with the game close like that, it’s finding ways to get on base, shortening up your swing, shortening up your approach.”
Gone was the no-hitter being thrown against them while sapping any offensive energy, giving way to a clear boost of confidence to the lineup that took shape right away. Tommy Pham followed Myers with a sacrifice fly, putting the Padres ahead 1-0.
Austin Nola would double home Myers before the inning finished, giving San Diego a 2-0 lead on Nola’s first hit and RBI of the season.
The bullpen would continue its dominance against the Pittsburgh lineup, with Drew Pomeranz and Mark Melancon throwing scoreless innings in the eighth and ninth to close out the game. Melancon earned his 10th save of 2021 on a day where he was named National League reliever of the month for April.
It was Myers and Nola that gave the Padres the two runs that made the score 2-0, but it was the pitching for San Diego that won them the game. The shut-out for San Diego lowered their team ERA to 2.81 through thirty games, tops in baseball even with injuries plaguing the starting staff to the point of needing Diaz to fill in.
“Our guys are battling. If we’re not battling, that seventh never happens,” said manager Jayce Tingler responded when asked about the offensive grind his team has been going through.
Grinding definitely fits the offensive performance from Monday’s win for San Diego, but it was the pitching staff picking up the slack that, more importantly, allowed. the seventh inning to occur.
The Padres will look to take game two against Pittsburgh tomorrow at 7:10 PM. The starter for game two has still not been announced by Tingler and the club, giving way to plenty of potential options.