Remember in February when Scott Boras talked about the “hot talent lava” the Padres had burning up the minor leagues? Well, Jacob Nix lived up to description tonight. The young right-hander’s debut was impeccable, as he held the Phillies scoreless for six innings. He only gave up four singles and a pair of walks while also recording his first four big league strikeouts. The offense didn’t go as big as they did yesterday, but they spotted him a couple of runs to put him in the win column.
Nix took a couple innings to settle into a groove, and really flirted with disaster in the first. After retiring the first two batters he faced, he gave up two singles and a walk and the bases were loaded with Odubel Herrera coming to the plate. But after throwing his first pitch for a ball, he got Herrera to ground out to second to end the threat. He gave up one more hit and his final walk of the day in the second, but Nix was looking good by the third.
Of course, going into the third with a lead probably helped calm him down. Austin Hedges hit a single and then swiped second to put himself in scoring position. That bit of basepath larceny paid off when Freddy Galvis laced a two-out single into center, plating Austin and scoring the only run the Padres would need.
Entering the bottom of the fourth, Nix had retired seven straight Phillies and picked up a couple of Ks. The red-hot Hedges gave his new battery-mate a little extra help when he launched a bomb straight over the center field fence.
After two more scoreless frames, Nix handed it over to his bullpen, who combined for three more scoreless innings. Matt Strahm and Craig Stammen each picked up holds, while Kirby Yates earned his fourth save of the season.
Ride the high today, because Walker Lockett is making another start tomorrow. He’ll have the first pitch at 5:40 PM.