The Padres wrapped up a sweep of the rival D-backs Wednesday afternoon with a mixture of pitching AND hitting. Yes, both at the same time.
Eric Hosmer got the scoring started with a 2 run single in the 1st inning. Not even an over shift could stop the missile coming off of his bat. Ty France later doubled, making it 3-0 Padres after 1.
A Machado sacrifice fly made it 4-0 in the 2nd. A quick top of the 3rd had the boys right back at it in the bottom half. Greg Garcia came through with an RBI single to make it 5-0. Garcia swung the bat really well on the day, going 3-5 with an RBI and 2 runs scored.
Back to back hits for the D-backs in the 6th tested Lauer, but he’d yield just 1 run over 7 innings. He also struck out 7. This was by far the best Lauer has looked all year, and it couldn’t have come at a better time for the team.
All told, the team heads to Toronto in sole possession of 2nd place and 2 games over .500. Over the last week or so the team has faced a lot of scrutiny. Manager Andy Green has faced a firestorm of criticism regarding his handling of the lineup and rotation. Ian Kinsler spoke his mind by way of an outburst, and the team wasn’t hitting or pitching. Recipe for disaster.
But, so quickly we forget these are not the same old Padres. Are they elite? No. They may get there over time. Regardless, veteran leadership doesn’t let those type of things affect a club long term. They haven’t, and it shows. It’ll be interesting to see how the team fares on the road vs. AL East competition.
Austin Hedges went 5-10 over the series. The 26 year old has been abysmal at the plate, so it’s great to see him heat up. If the team can just get average production from him, it’d be a big lift.
Eric Hosmer went 3-10 with 2 homers in the series. He’s been very consistent of late. His bat in the middle of the lineup has been big.
The team both walked and struck out 5 times on Wednesday. This is as key statistic in my opinion. They were remarkably disciplined (compared to the 1st 2 months of the season) at the plate. They were also 3 for 8 with RISP. They seem to be seeing the ball well. If they can limit the strikeouts, there’s a good chance their bats heat up quickly.
Padres pitching gave up a total of 5 runs during the series. The starters alone went 19 and have gave up just 4 ER. THAT is exactly what they needed before an East Coast road trip. The bullpen was lights out(up until Warren gave up a run in the 9th of game 3). Yates was perfect all 3 nights, extending his league leading save count to 20.
Defensively, the Padres were virtually flawless. They didn’t commit an error during the series, and made a number of quality plays. The most recent example was a sure double off the wall in the 6th that Wil Myers played perfectly to hold a speedy Ketel Marte to a single.
Overall, it was a very encouraging series for the team. It was a balanced attack that saw some key players get back on track. Maybe it was built up aggression, but boy did they hit the ball hard on Wednesday. The bullpen seems to have calmed down with the return of Trey Wingenter. They’re also rested since all 3 starters pitched into the 6th or 7th inning. It’ll be interesting to see if they can maintain the momentum in Toronto.
For now, we can enjoy the sweep and look forward to a fun road trip.