There are a few ways to make a game easier for the rest of your team as a starting pitcher. The way things were handled tonight by Clayton Richard made things difficult for the San Diego Padres, facing off against the Milwaukee Brewers for the second night. Things blew up and never recovered, which left fans with some cruddy baseball.
Wil Myers will prove again and again that he is a 24/7 threat. With the Pads down 6-0 in the 6th, he popped his 11th home run of the season (a solo shot) into deep center. Despite some recently uncharacteristic poor fielding from Myers, the dude’s bat is always dangerous.
Same goes for Matt Szczur, who hit his third double of the season for an RBI, scoring the Friars’ only other run of the game. On defense, Hunter Renfroe and Austin Hedges both showed off what they bring to the table other than walk-off HR’s and swoon-worthy smiles.
Austin Hedges got an opportune pitch and a runner without a massive jump, and the result was a gorgeous CS out. Renfroe gunned down a potential run in the 4th, a run that would eventually score, but for now served as a sweet display of Hunter’s cannon when accurate:
This Hunter Renfroe laser beam clocked at 98.4 mph -- the second hardest thrown OF assist this season. Bryce Harper hit 99.7 a week ago. pic.twitter.com/B7IwJQAkgR— AJ Cassavell (@AJCassavell) May 17, 2017
Some defensive miscues and a generally unsupportive offense are a bad combo. Myers was hit with another error, and Erick Aybar covered second base when he wasn’t supposed to be. The team going 2-for-8 with runners in scoring position, and a total of 5 potential runs left on base could have turned the tide against the Brews.
Clayton Richard, man. We know what to expect with Richard, but he’ll sweeten you up with the occasional great start. Tonight was not one of those starts, with his first inning being an utter disaster: an RBI-single to Jesus Aguilar, an RBI-single to Domingo Santana, an RBI-double to Manny Pina, an RBI-single to Eric Sogard. And then for good measure, an RBI-single to Jimmy Nelson in the 6th.
Six earned runs on ten hits with a consolation of seven strikeouts. Richard earned the L big time here, with Miguel Diaz doing a great job at cauterizing the wound and cleaning up the mess for the rest of the night. The damage remained done, and the series conceded to the Brewers.
Tomorrow Jhoulys Chacin will do his best not to impersonate Jered Weaver as did Richard, facing off against the Brew’s own Matt Garza.