Jacob Nix had made eight starts heading into his final appearance of 2018. Two of those were excellent. Two of those were decent. Four of them were downright bad. So it’s not surprising that Nix got pulled after just four frames tonight, but it is disappointing. Though that wasn’t as disappointing as the offense, who somehow managed to pull out four runs off a scant seven hits and three walks. But it wasn’t enough as the Diamondbacks evened the series at a game apiece.
Nix sailed through the first inning, but didn’t do nearly as well in the second. After Daniel Descalso hit a one-out double, Jacob walked Socrates Brito, presumably because he was in awe of such a phenomenal name. Ildemaro Vargas singled to score Descalso and put Brito on third. That must have rattled Nix, who quickly fell behind 2-0 to Alex Avila. He buried the third pitch in the dirt, and Brito took home when A.J. Ellis couldn’t rein it in. Avila would walk on the fourth pitch he saw, but Nix retired the next two snakes to end the inning.
Descalso and Vargas caused more trouble for Nix in the fourth. Descalso drew a leadoff walk, and Nix made the biggest mistake of the game when he served Vargas a meaty fastball. Vargas hit his first big league homer and put Arizona up 4-0.
The Padres answered back in the bottom of the fourth. Hunter Renfroe drew a one-out walk, and Cory Spangenberg backed that up with a single. Ellis lined out to put the rally in danger, but Manuel Margot hit his seventh triple of the year to plate the pair of runners. A single by Javy Guerra cut the lead to just one run.
Unfortunately, Matt Strahm gave the D’backs some insurance in the sixth. Descalso reached again with a leadoff single, and a one-out walk to Vargas put him on second. Strahm got Avila to line out for the second out, but then walked starting pitcher Zack Godley to load the bases. That had Andy Green calling to the bullpen, but Trey Wingenter didn’t help matters. He issued a four pitch walk to former Friar Jon Jay, sending the winning run strolling across home plate. He retired Eduardo Escobar to end the inning, but the damage was already done.
The Padres only got one more runner past first for the rest of the game, and that was thanks to the solo shot Eric Hosmer hit off Brad Ziegler in the eighth inning.
Joey Lucchesi will try to end the season on a high note as he starts the rubber match tomorrow. Final first pitch at 12:10 PM.