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Padres Round-up 9/16/20

Time to start a new winning streak...

Los Angeles Dodgers v San Diego Padres
Hang a Star on that one! (Miss you, Mr. Coleman!)
Photo by Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres/Getty Images

Good morning, Padres fans. Sadly, your Padres dropped the 2nd game of the series against the Dodgers, losing 3-1. RHP Zach Davies recorded a quality start on the hill, going 6 innings and giving up 3 runs on 8 hits and 1 BB while recording 5 Ks. The bullpen also did very well, as Tim Hill, Emilio Pagan, and Craig Stammen combined for 3 innings of scoreless relief while recording 4 Ks total.

Unfortunately, the bats were notably absent last night. The team combined for only 6 hits on the night, going 1-4 with runners in scoring position. The team’s only run came courtesy of CF Trent Grisham, who must be moving quickly up Dodgers fans’ list of most annoying Padres. He dropped a sweet bunt in the 3rd, hitting it juuuuust hard enough to squeak past Dodgers starter Tony Gonsolin and allowing Jurickson Profar to scamper home.

Still, the team fought hard, flashing some quality leather to keep things close. Manny Machado made a great diving grab to rob Mookie Betts of a base hit, and Grisham laid out to rob Will Smith of a hit as well.

Not much else to say, so let’s get into news and notes:

  • Last night’s defeat marked just the 6th time the Padres have lost in 27 games. The Pads struggled against Tony Gonsolin, as the team generated only 1 baserunner between the 3rd and 9th inning. The team’s magic number remains at 4.
  • No your eyes weren’t fooling you; LHP Joey Lucchesi was warming up in the ninth inning last night; he’s officially a reliever for now. “He’s capable of going some short bursts,” manager Jayce Tingler said. “He’s also capable of giving us some length.” As much as the Padres needing a left-hander to cover innings with Matt Strahm on the injured list with knee inflammation, the emergence of Adrián Morejon has cemented Lucchesi’s transition to reliever. The Padres expect Morejon to compete for a starting job next spring, and according to Kevin Acee of the SD-UT, it would be a “shock” if Lucchesi is still a Padre next spring.
  • RHP Zach Davies is 1 of 2 pitchers in MLB to have made at least 6 starts this season and earned the decision in each one. Minnesota’s Randy Dobnak is the other, with a record of 6-4. A total of 128 pitchers have made at least six starts this year so far.
  • CF Trent Grisham extended his career-high hitting streak to 11 games with a bunt single last night. He is batting .410 (16-for-39) in the streak.
  • LF Jurickson Profar doubled and singled last night and is batting .386 with a .944 OPS over his past 18 games.
  • In 2 perfect innings in his 2 games since returning from a 10-day stay on the injured list (biceps inflammation), RHP Emilio Pagán has averaged 95.9 MPH on his fastball. He averaged 93.2 MPH in his 3 outings before going on the IL. Also, RHP Craig Stammen pitched his 4th straight scoreless inning last night.
  • In injury news, RHP Chris Paddack will not get the start in the final game of the series against the Dodgers. Paddack played catch and moved around Tuesday afternoon looking like he is completely healthy, as well as throwing a bullpen session and lifting weights, but manager Jayce Tingler decided to delay his next start to Friday against the Mariners. “We’re not going to play around with it if it’s at 97, 98%,” Tingler said of the right ankle sprain that prompted the Padres to pull Paddack after two innings last Thursday. “The whole foot issue, with the kinetic chain and it leaking up and if he’s favoring something and he changes his arm stroke and changes an angle, it just doesn’t make sense to us. Unless it’s 100% and doctors and trainers and pitching coaches and everybody involved puts the stamp on it, we’re just not going to play around at 96, 97, 98%.”
  • If the Padres win the final game of the series, it will return them to 1.5 games back of the Dodgers while also splitting the season series. While the team remains focused on winning the West and ending the Dodgers’ streak of 7-years atop the NL West, the larger goal over the next 12 days is securing a home Wild Card Series. Despite neutral-site series in each of the final 3 rounds, as announced yesterday, all 8 Wild Card Series will take place at the home of the higher-seeded team. The Padres are 19-7 at Petco Park this year, and 6 games ahead of Miami in that race for the final home-field slot. One added reason to make sure Paddack is healthy is that a 4th and possibly 5th starter is almost certainly going to be required to navigate the postseason format announced Tuesday, where there will be no off days between games during each series.
  • Currently, the Padres slot in as the #4 seed in the NL Playoff bracket. As well as having the inside track to hosting a best of 3 playoff series in the 1st round, the team could also spend up to a month in Arlington, Texas, the site of this year’s World Series, if everything breaks right. The postseason bubble, deemed the safest way to stage a postseason without the sort of extended stoppages that have interrupted teams like the Marlins, Cardinals and Athletics, will also allow family members to join players as soon as the division series after quarantining for a week. To prepare for the bubble, players will move into hotel quarantines next week and be barred from leaving except for games. Players who live alone or with children can ask to stay home through the end of the regular season, but those players and their families cannot leave their home outside the player’s travel to and from the ballpark. Families are also able to join the initial hotel quarantine with same restrictions as players. They can also travel to the playoffs outside the bubble and visit under social distancing protocols. Everyone inside the bubble is expected to be tested daily for COVID-19.
  • posted their thoughts on who will take home this year’s MLB awards. Several Padres make their list, notably Fernando Tatis Jr. as NL MVP, and 2B Jake Cronenworth winning the NL Rookie of the Year, with Manny Machado listed as a dark-horse for the MVP. RHP Dinelson Lamet also appears as a dark-horse for the NL Cy Young, though he’ll have to post some incredible performances in his last few starts to overcome likely front-runners Jacob DeGrom, Max Fried, Yu Darvish, Trevor Bauer, and Aaron Nola.
  • For those of you with an appreciation of baseball history, or just want to raise your blood pressure a little, ESPN’s Tim Kurkjian did a story on larger than life MLB umpire “Cowboy” Joe West. An interesting read, especially for this exchange from West: “My fourth year, [then-Padres manager] Dick Williams came out of the dugout to argue a play and said, ‘Just tell me you missed it and I’ll go away,’’’ West said. “I said, ‘I’ve never missed one.’ He said, ‘You can’t be that arrogant.’ I said, ‘That’s not arrogance. I don’t call them all right, but I’ve been out here for all of them. And that just blew his mind.’’’ (He’s one of my least favorite umps of all time, but it’s still a good read on the mindset of one of the longest tenured umps in the game).

That’s it for today. LHP Adrian Morejon (2-0, 2.53 ERA, 14 Ks) will get the start today in a likely bullpen game for the Padres, as Morejon has yet to throw more than 3 innings so far this year. He’ll likely face off against the Dodgers’ RHP Dustin May (1-1, 2.81 ERA, 28 Ks), though he’s still listed as tentative after a liner hit his left foot in his last start.

First pitch is set for 1310 Pacific time.