Good morning, Padres Fans, and welcome back to another week of Padres baseball! Our Friars took care of the San Francisco Giants over the weekend, winning all 3 games played to increase their winning streak to 7 games. Yesterday featured a double-header, after a false positive on one of the Giants’ players scrapped the original plans (the 4th game of the series has not been rescheduled yet, but maybe played when the two teams lock back up in San Francisco to end the season). Game 1 of the double-header saw the Padres win 6-0, and featured RHP Mike Clevinger going all 7 innings and throwing a shutout. Clevinger was dominant from the moment he stepped on the mound; he K’d 7 Giants, and gave up only 2 hits and 1 BB in his outing.
Amazingly, the offense did most of its damage when there were 2 outs. Dependable Greg Garcia, getting a rare start as the DH, drove 2 home in the bottom of the 2nd on a single to left field, bringing home C Austin Nola and 2B Jake Cronenworth.
In the 3rd, Wil Myers got in on the act, recording his own 2 RBI single by bringing home Trent Grisham and Manny Machado.
The Padres would tack on 2 more runs in the 6th, when a Giants error allowed Garcia to reach and Nola to score again. Jurickson Profar, who got another start in LF, also recorded an RBI single, and that was more than Clevinger needed. Click this here link for all the highlights, in case the embeds didn’t work.
Game 2 was a tighter affair, but still saw the Good Guys walk away with another victory, this time winning 3-1. RHP Garrett Richards got the start, lasting 4.1 innings. He was a little wild initially, issuing 2 BBs, a wild pitch, and a HBP before the end of the 2nd inning. Fortunately, Richards escaped after giving up only 1 ER, and settled down for his last few innings of work, record 8 straight outs before the bullpen came in. The defense also helped him out, with Jurickson Profar and Manny Machado flashing some leather:
Tim Hill, Drew Pomeranz, and Trevor Rosenthal then came in and locked things down, giving up only 1 hit between them.
A couple of familiar faces carried the offense over from Game 1. Myers got the offense going in the 2nd inning by hitting his 12 homer on the year, a solo shot to center.
LF Jurickson Profar followed that up in the 5th by pulling a “Butcher Boy,” faking a bunt attempt and instead SMASHING a single into left. That brought 2B Jake Cronenworth home, giving the Padres the lead.
A few batters later, Machado followed up his stellar defense by showing that, why yes, he can also hit a bit (see below to see why that’s a MASSIVE understatement). He then singled to right, bringing home Profar to make it a 3-1 game, and that was all she wrote as the Padres reduced their magic number to 6.
With that, let’s get into news and notes:
- Giants OF and former Padre (and Poway High alum) Alex Dickerson had an emotional trip home to San Diego this weekend. As reported in multiple outlets, it was Dickerson’s Thursday saliva test came that came back positive just before first pitch Friday evening. Not only did the false positive somehow lead to a report in USA Today that an unidentified player told “several members of the Giants’ traveling party that he believed he was possibly infected by a family member or friend in San Diego,” it also caused incredible stress for Dickerson and his wife. Dickerson’s wife, Jennifer, who is currently 39 weeks pregnant with their first child and due any time now, got swept into the drama. As Dickerson related in a video call with reporters, “My wife was the only person I saw, and she has been quarantining on bed rest. It caused a lot of hate to come toward you and it was totally unwarranted.” Further tests administered to Dickerson and his wife throughout the weekend, including at UC-San Diego, all came back negative.
- The bottom of the Padres’ order (7-9) went 6-for-11 with 3 walks, 2 runs and 3 RBIs yesterday. It was the 7th straight game at least 1 of the bottom 3 drove in at least 1 run and the 9th straight game in which they drove in or scored at least a run. The batters starting in the 3 spots in the order are hitting .326 in those 9 games.
- Clevinger’s 7 inning shutout in game 1 of the double-header was the Padres’ 17th quality start of the season, 4th most in the National League. They are 13-4 when their starting pitchers go at least six innings and allow 3 or fewer earned runs. It was their 8th quality start in their last 13 games, and they are 7-1 in those contests.
- The Padres have won 20 of their past 25 games. Even with posting an 0-for-5 in the first of those 25, Machado is batting .402/.431/.732 in that stretch.
- Seems like a pair of acquisitions are paying off so far for the Padres. LHP Drew Pomeranz and RHP Trevor Rosenthal have yet to allow a run this year as Padres. That’s a great thing, as LHP Matt Strahm was placed on the IL on Friday with right knee inflammation. “He’s been gutting it through,” Tingler said, “but the pain has gotten worse over time and certain when not pitching. We need to get that (addressed). He’s been pitching through pain the majority of the year,” Tingler added. “Once he gets in the game, he’s been having adrenaline and been able to gut through.” Pitching pretty well, actually: Strahm’s posted a 14-3 K to walk ratio over 19 innings (2.84 ERA). The team believes he reinjured the knee while covering first base in Los Angeles last month.
- Also in bullpen injury news, RHP Javy Guerra was placed on the 10-day injured list for personal reasons. The move was not COVID-19-related. RHP Taylor Williams was recalled from the alternate site.
- Released last week while working out at the alternate site, LHP Travis Radke has signed a minor league deal with the Diamondbacks that includes an invitation to spring training. In other prospect news, the Padres signed right-hander Jose Luis Reyes, a right-handed 18-year old pitcher out of Mexico. Reyes possesses a 3-pitch arsenal of a slider, changeup, and a fastball in the 88-92mph range. Reyes is 6’2″, 190 pounds, so he could add a few MPH as he develops.
- For the first time since 2010, the Padres will end the season with a winning record. While the Team remains focused on a bigger “cake,” several players appreciate the significance. “It’s pretty cool,” Wil Myers said. “First time I’ve seen it here. So it’s a lot of fun. This is definitely the most fun and best team I’ve been on in my career, so it’s just a lot of fun coming to the ballpark every single day with this team, knowing what we’re capable of.” Since their last winning record in 2010, the Padres were 160 games under .500 (.445) over the past 9 seasons. Only the Miami Marlins (.431) had a worse winning percentage than the Padres in that time span.
Alright, now it’s time for the Big Series. Our Padres will square off against the L.A. Dodgers tonight, starting a 3-game set at Petco Park. Trailing the Boys in Blue by only 2.5 games, our Friars have a chance to snatch 1st place in the NL West away. RHP Dinelson Lamet will take the hill, who will look to continue baffling opponents with his slider (opposing batters are hitting a microscopic .099 against it so far this year). No word yet on who the Dodgers will send out to start.
GO PADRES!!!! BEAT L.A!!!!