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5 things we learned in the Padres’ 6-4 win over the Cardinals

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The Padres have found success hitting HRs against the Cardinals bullpen.

MLB: San Diego Padres at St. Louis Cardinals William Purnell-USA TODAY Sports

The Cardinals’ bullpen stinks

For the second straight game, the Padres were unable to get much of anything going against the Cardinals’ starting pitcher (Michael Wacha) but brought the lumber as soon as the bullpen door opened up, leading to their second series victory of the young season. They’ll go for the sweep in St. Louis tomorrow.

John Gant gave up a home run to Eric Hosmer in his 1.1 innings of work, and Andrew Miller (!) gave up a couple of 2-run home runs to Austin Hedges and Manny Machado before getting pulled in the 8th.

Renfroe earns a spot

Hunter Renfroe had a pretty good 2018 season, but lost his starting job in RF to Franmil Reyes, who offered a higher batting average and on-base percentage than Renfroe.

To start this season, it appears that Renfroe is hell-bent on winning that job back. His slashline currently sits at .368/.429/.947 after a 2-3 day at the plate (with 2 walks and an RBI double), compared to Reyes’ slashline of .105/.208/.158. There’s no guarantee that things will stay this way, especially since Franmil has made a lot of good contact, but so far it hasn’t even been a close race: Renfroe has been the player the Padres always wished he could become and Reyes has been well below-average.

The incredible thing is just how different of a hitter Renfroe appears to be since last year. Strikeouts are way down, walks are up, and Renfroe’s isolated power numbers are off the chart. In his third full season, Renfroe seems to be seeing the ball much better and taking advantage of a patient approach by jumping on mistake pitches made in hitter-friendly counts.

Manny Machado is incredible

Here’s the guy we all thought the Padres were getting when that big contract was announced.

Let’s take a look at his last three games:

  • 1-2, 2 BB, 2 RBI, 2 R, HR
  • 1-2, 3 BB, R
  • 2-4, BB, 2 RBI, R, HR

For those counting at home, that’s a batting average of .500, an on-base percentage of .714 and a pace of 108 HRs if he continued it throughout the season. Manny’s hot.

Paddack isn’t perfect

3.2 innings for a starting pitcher is unacceptable, even if he gives up zero earned runs. In his second career start, Chris Paddack nibbled too much and walked too many guys (4), and found himself regularly pitching out of trouble.

The Padres will, undoubtedly, ask their young right-hander to be more aggressive in future starts.

Preller wins again

When A.J. Preller claimed a guy off of waivers and traded him to the Cincinnati Reds to get long reliever (and former Padres prospect) Matt Wisler, it seemed like a move that could end up meaning nothing.

In today’s game, where Paddack didn’t go very deep, Wisler was needed and pitched two scoreless innings that were necessary to turn this into a win for San Diego.

Something from nothing! That’s just one way that Preller helps this major-league club win games.