Over the years I’ve conditioned myself to focus on whatever positives that could be drawn from that day’s Padres game since more times than not, there’s not a win to fall back on. I, to quote The Bouncing Souls, as I do so frequently, “find what’s good and make it last”. Today that was Christian Villanueva. The Padres’ rookie third baseman hit his seventh home run of the year, putting him behind only Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, and Manny Machado, all of whom have eight. Villanueva also laced an artful double down the left field line, and now leads the major leagues with a 1.218 OPS.
Aside from Villanueva, there wasn’t a whole lot to get stoked about. Fellow phenom Joey Luchessi had a rough start, allowing four earned runs on five hits and four walks. He also committed a throwing error in that four-run fourth inning that accounted for all of the Diamondbacks’ scoring.
All of the Padres’ runs were confined to a single inning as well. With two outs in the top of the sixth, Wil Myers struck out but reached first when Jeff Mathis couldn’t retrieve the Patrick Corbin wild pitch in time, and immediately thereafter was when the aforementioned Villanueva homer occurred.
Aside from Villanueva’s two extra-base knocks, the Padres’ only other hit was a single by Austin Hedges to lead off the third inning. That was a bright spot too, since he’s been having a rough go of things this season when he takes off his equipment and moves beside the plate. Someone else who has been struggling to start the season also had an encouraging day at the open-air office; submariner Kazuhisa Makita threw two perfect innings, striking out a pair of Snakes.
The 4-2 loss handed the 2-1 series victory to the Diamondbacks, who moved to 15-6, four games ahead of the second-place Rockies. That’s who the 8-15 Padres will face next, starting a three-game set at Coors Field tomorrow evening.