We all know how frustrating it's been watching this offense blow it for our pitchers time and time again over the past 5 1/2 weeks. Scanman pretty much hit it on the nose with his recap of last night's game:
How long this staff can continue to shut down opponents inning after inning of close games remains to be seen, but something;s gotta give. Let's hope it;s this hitting slump before it's the back of this thus far magnificent pitching staff. So…nothing else to do but pick yourself up, adjust your cup, and try it again tomorrow.
And that's what our Padres will have to do tonight: pick up the pieces of their shattered offense and try to make something happen behind Tyson Ross. Last night, Ian Kennedy had to do literally everything himself, with the offense failing to get any runs home other than the starting pitcher's solo homer and the defense not making it any easier. Ross, and every member of the Padres community (players, front office executives, fans, etc.), hope for a better show of support tonight as the second game of the four-game set against the Marlins gets underway.
Ross was brilliant through his first four outings this season, posting a 2.13 ERA while averaging 6 1/3 innings each start. That stretch culminated in an eight-inning shutout performance against San Francisco at home, in which he allowed just four hits and a walk while striking out nine. Then he struggled a little in back-to-back starts, giving up nine total runs in 11 1/3 innings of work against the Brewers and the Giants on the road. His last time out he kept the Diamondbacks to three runs (only one of them earned) in seven innings. He's pitching much better at Petco Park than he is on the road this season, so hopefully another chance to shine on the mound in front of the home crowd will help him get in a groove in his first career outing against Miami.
We all know how important a great pitching performance will be for our Padres to have a chance tonight, but Ross might need to be perfect with our batters going against Jose Fernandez. The reigning NL Rookie of the Year doesn't seem to be experiencing any sophomore slump so far this season, going 4-1 with a 1.74 ERA in his first seven starts. He's also kept opponents hitting just .176 with a league-leading 65 strikeouts, which obviously doesn't bode well for our cellar-dwelling offense. Add to that Fernandez' two prior career starts against San Diego -he hasn't allowed a single run and has only given up five total hits through 14 2/3 combined frames - and you have the recipe for another incredibly frustrating game tonight.
Hopefully something can light a flame under these guys tonight and maybe we can catch Fernandez on an off day. First pitch is at .7:10 PDT.