Blake Snell overcame his road struggles, throwing six innings of one-run ball, helping the San Diego Padres to beat the Miami Marlins.
Snell put together one of his best performances in a Padres uniform and looked like the 2018 Cy Young winner that the Padres traded for in the winter. The Padres bullpen worked out of trouble when they needed to, just like in the rest of the season, and the Padres offense provided just enough of a spark to win.
Blake Snell, and the Padres pitching staff as a whole, needed a quality start, and they got one. Snell became the first Padres starter to get six innings into a game since July 3. He also worked his way around two doubles, but after allowing his third extra-base hit of the game in the seventh, Jayce Tingler pulled him from the game. After the game, his catcher had these thoughts, “He [Snell] had it all going tonight,” Austin Nola said. The catcher also stated that it felt like he was on the same page with both Snell and the Padres relievers.
Snell struck out eight batters, but he did walk three batters across the outing. The left-hander worked his way out of a jam in the second, after allowing the first two runners to reach, as he struck out a batter before inducing a double play to get out of the inning. Getting out of the jam clearly motivated him as Snell retired the next seven batters. The pitcher had a 9.08 ERA on the road this season, battled when he needed to in this game. He pitched relatively well, as the Marlins had an expected batting average of .166, which is something that Snell’s struggled with this season, ranking in the 31st percentile according to Baseball Savant.
Offensively, the Padres did enough to win, despite leaving fourteen runners on base.
Jurickson Profar was able to drive in runs for the Padres, driving in Eric Hosmer with a second-inning groundout and Austin Nola with a fourth-inning line-drive single. Profar has been on fire in the month of July, hitting .375, with an OPS over 1.000 in the month. After the game, the Padres manager spoke to the media, “We grinded out at-bats which was good to see. We didn’t execute as well as we needed with those runners in scoring position,” Tingler said. Manny Machado did drive in a run with a sacrifice fly, but he was unlucky, hitting two balls over 100 miles per hour. Unfortunately, they turned into three Padres outs thanks to a 111.4 mile per hour ball that was turned into a double play by the Marlins defense. After taking a 3-0 lead in the fifth inning, the Padres left runners in scoring position in each of the next four innings, which let the Marlins hang in the game.
Austin Adams, who’s been excellent for the Padres this season, came into the game after Blake Snell exited one batter into the seventh. He’s always been a pitcher who is effectively wild, but he lacked control even more than he normally does. On his second pitch of the game, a slider wasn’t able to be contained by catcher Austin Nola, who was making his first Padres start since May 24. One pitch later, he hit Jon Berti. After getting two outs and allowing a single, he walked two straight Marlins to bring the game within one.
Emilio Pagan, who allowed three runs in his last outing, came into the game with huge amounts of pressure. It didn’t look good for Pagan, who fell behind 3-1, one ball away from walking in the tying run, but he induced a flyout, and the Padres got out of the jam. Tim Hill worked a three batter eighth inning to send the game to the ninth with the Padres in the lead.
Mark Melancon, who has been inconsistent in the past two months, came into the game to try and lock down a road win for the Friars. Melancon did have two balls hit at over 94 miles per hour, but the Padres’ fielders were positioned perfectly, and the reliever worked a one, two, three inning to secure the win for the Padres.
The Padres have been average on the road this season, moving to 24-22 after the win, and that’s something that they need to fix to stay in contention in the NL West division race,