Six days is a long time for a baseball team to go between games, and the Padres’ rust showed tonight. Nearly a week removed from their NLCS sweep of the Dodgers, Andy Green’s squad looked like the antithesis of its regular season self in all facets of the game. 13 hits manifested just four runs, not enough to overcome the six allowed by shaky defense and shakier relief.
Cal Quantrill continued his stellar postseason by allowing just three singles and a walk in five innings, striking out eight Mariners. The lone run allowed on his watch was thanks to a two-out throwing error by third baseman Miguel Sano in the third inning. Quantrill was in line for the win when he was pulled for a pinch hitter with a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the fifth inning. That lead was short-lived and never regained.
Seattle put up a three spot in the sixth to take the lead, then added a pair in the eighth to extend it. Matt Harvey was responsible for most of the damage, allowing the tying and go-ahead run before giving way to Miguel Diaz, who worked around two singles for a scoreless inning and a third. Kyle Barraclough followed by giving up a bloop and a blast in the eighth, making the score 6-3. Eric Lauer and Jake Nix each contributed perfect outings, but by then it was too little too late.
Too little too late also applies to Fernando Tatis, Jr’s home run to lead off the ninth inning, as well as the double Adam Jones hit one out later. The next two batters left Jones stranded on second, a theme that was already well-established throughout the game. The Padres left a runner on base in each of the first three innings, then left them loaded in the fourth. They left two runners on in the fifth, and bookended the evening by stranding one lone runner in each of the final three innings. The sixth inning saved itself the ignominy simply by the virtue of all three batters being retired in order.
All eight position players in the starting lineup recorded at least one hit, with Tatis’ three leading the way. The shortstop went 3-4 with a pair of doubles and a walk to go along with his solo shot. Along with the Padres’ final run, Tatis drove in their first with a one-out double in the first to bring Luis Urias home. Tatis scored the second run one batter later when first baseman Josh Naylor hit a double of his own. The team’s only other run came in the fourth inning when second baseman Urias singled home right fielder Wil Myers.
While it was inconsequential in regard to the final score, one bright spot came in the eighth inning. With one out, Ichiro was brought in to pinch hit in the pitcher’s spot. Facing his first major league team, he singled in the first World Series at-bat of his 20-year major league career. He was lifted for pinch runner Franchy Cordero who was then, yes, stranded.
The Padres will look to bounce back and even the series tomorrow evening, with the team’s clubhouse leader getting the start.