After yesterday's rout of the Pirates, the Padres wasted no time assuring their fans that there would no such cruising this time. Andrew Cashner was on the bump and after recording a quick out, he surrendered back-to-back hits that plated the first run. A strikeout eased the pressure a little and a two out grounder looked to limit the damage. However, Middlebrooks' throw sailed high and with two outs and the runners going full steam Daniel Murphy scored after starting the play at 2nd base. A called strike 3 mercifully ended the early trauma with Friars down 2-0.
An early deficit in a Cashner start should trigger alarm bells. The bearded Texan has not gotten much run support this season, and while there's no rhyme or reason why that is the case it's still disconcerting to see him concede a lead so early. On top of that, the Mets had 2014 NL Rookie of the Year Jacob deGrom toeing the slab for them and he came into this game looking as stellar as he did last year when he earned that hardware. He would strike out the side in the bottom half of the first. More alarm bells.
Andrew Cashner would hit the snooze on those alarms to start the second inning by making like deGrom and also striking out the side. deGrom would match with another scoreless frame. Alarms went off in the top of the 3rd with runners at the corners, 1 out and a full count to Wilmer Flores. This time the snooze button came in the form of a strike-em-out-throw-em-out double play. That pattern repeated again with deGrom easily retiring the Padres 1-2-3 and Cashner having to quell a threat (a 1 out triple) in the top of the 4th. One of the ways Cashner was able to match scoreless frames with deGrom, excluding that alarming top of the first, was with 10 (!) strikeouts in the first 4 innings. deGrom would match with another perfect inning to end the fourth.
You ever have it happen where the alarm keeps going off and somehow you are able to sleep through it even without hitting the snooze? It just keeps going and going, but you slumber away? That was the top of the 5th inning. Cashner would first allow a 2 run home run to Daniel Murphy. He'd then surrender a string of hits to a series of Mets such that the Mets would tack on 4 more runs when all was said and done. Despite not making it through the inning (Shawn Kelley was called on to record its final out), Cashner did whiff two more batters and set a new personal best for strikeouts in a game with 12. A hollow victory, as Dick Enberg put it. If even a victory at all.
Meanwhile, with that alarm clock droning officially becoming ignorable, a warning siren was going off. The Padres have allowed 9 no hitters in their history, but not a perfect game. After the 5th inning you could not ignore that deGrom had retired all 15 batters the Padres had sent up. The threat was real. However, it would not last. Clint Barmes, in a rare start versus a right led off the bottom of the 6th inning by hitting a ground ball with eyes between first and second for a single. Another hollow victory, but one that keeps the Padres from making some unfortunate history.
The Mets would add on one more run to make it 7-0. It was off of Kevin Quackenbush whose 2015 woes continue. The Padres offense continued put up goose eggs and notch its 9th shutout of the season. The 3rd such blank when Cashner started on the mound. Cashner was also tagged with another loss bringing his total of those to 8.
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