Good morning, Padres fans! Let’s get caught up on yesterday’s double-header action. While Game 1 ended in a thrilling walk-off 3-run home run by Wil Myers, Game 2 was filled with disappointment. Truthfully, it looked like the Padres were sleep-walking through most of series against Seattle, and paid the price. Hopefully, the imminent return of LHP Drew Pomeranz and C Francisco Mejia will jolt the team back into the form they displayed in their first 30 games (I can dream, right?). With that, let’s get into news and notes.
- Garrett Richards’ collapse in Game 2 of the double-header puts the team in a bind. Not only did they have to use multiple pitchers over the 7-inning game, it taxed them right as the team heads into Colorado for a 4-game series. “I feel like a huge letdown right now,” Richards said after allowing six runs on four hits and two walks in two-thirds of an inning in an 8-3 loss in Game 2 against Seattle “I feel like I put the bullpen in a crippling situation moving into Colorado.” Richards threw only 17 of his 33 pitches for strikes and allowed the first three Mariners to reach on two singles and a walk before Kyle Seager’s sacrifice fly scored the first run of the game. Despite all that, there is something of a silver lining: Richards appeared to maintain both his velocity and stuff and said he remains healthy. He suspects it’s his approach and not his mechanics that need fine-tuning, although he’ll consult with pitching coach Larry Rothschild and bullpen coach Ben Fritz to know for sure.
- Fernando Tatis Jr. committed his first error of the season in Game 1, ending a streak of 251 innings (93 chances). It still represents a remarkable turn-around for the sophomore player, having committed 18 errors last year (most of them throwing) in only 83 games. Fortunately, RHP Dinelson Lamet powered through the mistake by striking out the next three batters to strand runners at runners at first and second.
- 2B Jake “Cro-nan the Barbarian” Cronenworth extended his hitting streak to 11 games by going 4-for-7 with two runs scored during Thursday’s doubleheader. He is 17-for-41 (.415) with eight runs scored, seven RBIs, four walks, four doubles, a home run and a steal during his streak.
- Speaking of hot streaks, 3B Manny Machado maybe the hottest hitter on the planet right now. He homered three more times on Thursday afternoon, extending his hitting streak to nine games. In that stretch, he’s gone 19-for-36 with seven home runs, good for an insane .528/.611/1.219 slash line.
- In roster news, RHP David Bednar was sent back down to the team’s taxi squad after the double-header. He’ll be joined by LHP Joey Lucchesi for this road trip, who is also a candidate to take one of the open days following RHP Zach Davies’ scheduled start on Friday. He could also provide long relief. Lucchesi threw five innings and 67 pitches in hits most recent work at USD. C Webster Rivas, OF Abraham Almonte, and LHP Dan Camarena will also be on the taxi squad.
- In trade deadline news, ESPN lists multiple teams as definite sellers: Pittsburgh, Boston, Kansas City, Seattle (maybe not after this series), and the Angels. Detroit, Baltimore, and Miami are listed as maybe sellers, and San Francisco and Texas listed as possible sellers. While a two-to-one buyer-to-seller ratio and a limited supply would normally make prices astronomical, the short season and so many teams still possessing a realistic shot at the playoffs thanks to expansion, there’s not much incentive to shake up a roster, especially for a team to chase a playoff spot that would just set them up in a series against the league’s best or 2nd best team.
- Following up on Wednesday’s postponement, the Padres made it clear they wanted to play the game as scheduled. “We 100% respect the Mariners’ decisions,” manager Jayce Tingler said Thursday morning. “We’ve got a very diverse group as well. We come from different backgrounds and different parts of the world. While we respect their decisions, where we differ is just in the action plan going forward. We wanted to play. We love working together. We love playing together. We love pulling for one another.” The Mariners informed the Padres of their decision less than three hours before Wednesday’s scheduled first pitch. The Padres agreed to the postponement, but they were not entirely pleased. Tingler confirmed what multiple people in the organization said Wednesday —that the Padres were unanimous in their desire to play. That doesn’t mean they are not aware of or grieved by events that have unfolded across the country. Players and coaches have had internal discussions over the past few months about the Black Lives Matter movement and surrounding issues. “It’s horrible what’s going on,” Tingler said. “There’s no doubt about it. We can all agree change needs to happen. From our players, the best way to represent it is we love our neighbors, we love our brothers. That’s the stance we’ve had. They wanted to show a diverse group, going out there playing together, loving one another. That’s what we think for our group — the Padres — is right. There is no right or wrong here. That’s how we feel.”
- With the on-going pandemic wiping out MLB’s originally planned Jackie Robinson Day on 15 April, the league will instead stage its celebration on 28 August, the day Dodgers President Branch Rickey first met with Robinson in Brooklyn as he sought to sign the majors’ first Black player. All players will wear #42 in honor of Robinson, and each team will participate in various activities in the host ball park.
That’s it for today. As mentioned earlier, RHP Zach Davies will take the mound today in Colorado, facing off against the Rockies’ Kyle Freeland. First pitch is set for 1740 Pacific.