Good morning, Padres fans, and welcome back to another day of Padres baseball. Our Padres broke out the whuppin’ stick last night, defeating the L.A. Angels 11-4 in Anaheim. Dinelson Lamet ran into some trouble early, giving up a 2-run homer to Angels CF Mike Trout, but was solid overall, providing 6.1 innings of work, recording six Ks, and leaving charged with three earned runs on five hits. Fortunately, the offense took over late, hanging an 8 spot in the 8th inning. The game centered on our newest Padres, C Jason Castro and DH Mitch Moreland. Castro broke open the tie with a two-run double, sparking the 8th inning deluge. Fellow newcomer and San Diego native Greg Allen reached base three times, two by walks, and another by HBP, while Mitch Moreland had his first two hits in the Padres brown and gold. Overall the Padres’ 7-8-9 hitters combined to reach base six times and drove in the Padres’ first five runs. Padres stalwarts Manny Machado and Eric Hosmer also did their part, providing 2 hits a piece, with Hosmer blasting a 3-run shot to center to cap the 8th inning.
With that, let’s get into the news and notes:
- As mentioned above, C Jason Castro provided the go-ahead double in the eighth inning, and his new teammates followed his lead in an 11-4 win. Some familiarity with his opposing pitcher may have helped. The last pitcher Castro caught as an Angel was RHP Ty Buttrey, the same face on the mound when the 33-year-old veteran roped a two-out, two run double into the right-field alley break a 3-3 tie in the eighth. “From the scouting reports, I know the hitters pretty well,” Castro said. “The biggest thing is learning not only your starter but the guys coming in (out of the bullpen). How they work, what they like to go when their back is against the wall. The shape of their pitches is big as well and what kind of gets guys back on track. But you really don’t get a sense until you see the spin of the ball and how it leaves a guy’s hand.”
- Manager Jayce Tingler noted that while Dinelson Lamet may not have had his best stuff, he was far more efficient on the mound. “I don’t think he had his best stuff tonight, but I thought he made pitches,” Tingler said. “I thought he was really efficient with his pitches. We did a good job of playing pretty good defense behind him because he worked quick and was throwing strikes.I don’t think he had his A-plus stuff, but he may have had his A-minus stuff and his A-minus is really good.”
- Jurickson Profar did much of the heavy lifting on offense last night, tying the game with a two-run homer in the fourth and again at 3-3 with a sacrifice fly in the sixth. Since Profar essentially took over as the team’s Left Fielder on 10 August, he’s batted .308/.356/.554 in 74 plate appearances, with five home runs, 11 runs, and 14 RBI (yes, it’s a small sample size, but it’s still encouraging!).
- In roster news, RHPs David Bednar and Taylor Williams were optioned to the alternate training site. Williams was acquired Monday from the Mariners, separately from the trade that brought Nola as well as Altavilla and RHP Austin Adams to San Diego. Adams (knee) has been throwing bullpens and will be facing live hitters soon. “He’s building,” Tingler said. “We’re fairly close.” The Padres also announced that RHP Emilio Pagan and RF Wil Myers were placed on the IL. Tingler followed the announcement of Myers with what’s become the norm during the pandemic: “We’re not going to get into details. We’re just not allowed to.” Tingler’s posturing mirrored the stance he took over the weekend when left-hander Adrián Morejon hit the injured list on Saturday, hours before his scheduled start at Coors Field, and then activated two days later after never registering a positive test. While Tingler declined to divulge any details related to Myers’ condition, he allowed that Myers’ status may not be all that different than Morejon’s over the weekend. “We’re very optimistic, hopeful that he’ll be back in the lineup shortly,” Tingler said. The moves did allow the team to activate RHP Mike Clevinger.
- In non-Padres specific news, Boston University Master Lecturer Mark T. Williams and a team of grad students analyzed 11 seasons worth pitch of data, over four million pitches, utilizing data provided by MLB-owed Statcast and Pitch f/x. The team then analyzed that data to determine the accuracy of all home plate umpires, with rankings based on age and experience. What the team found is that, between 2008 and 2018, MLB home plate umpires made incorrect calls over 12% of the time, roughly 14 a game on average, with the likelihood of an incorrect call increasing to 29% when a batter had two strikes against them. While the study doesn’t call for replacing umpires with robo-umps, the team does recommend MLB use its existing technology to assist umpires make more calls correctly, and do so in a quick and efficient manner, while also using the data to recruit, hire, and retain superior performing umpires in the future. An interesting read, for sure.
- ESPN did an interview with 3B Manny Machado, discussing the rise of the Padres into World Series contenders and Manny’s own bounce-back year. The richest man in Padres history with his 10-year, $300 million contract, saw this year coming when he signed. Still only 28, Machado is producing at an MVP level again, batting .306/.377/.599 with 11 home runs and eight doubles for a Padres team that boasts a 23-15 record and the third-best run differential.
- In sad news, legendary Mets pitcher Tom Seaver passed away on 31 August at the age of 75 following complications with Lewy-body dementia and COVID-19. Generally regarded as the greatest player in the history of the franchise, the Mets obtained the California native in a special draft lottery in 1966. A year later, he took home the Rookie of the Year award, immediately impressing those with the franchise. Seaver also helped bring the Mets their first title in 1969, the year he also won his first of three Cy Young awards. Seaver is survived by his wife, Nancy, daughters Sarah and Anne, and four grandsons Thomas, William, Henry and Tobin.
That’s it for today. The Padres will debut newly acquired RHP Mike Clevinger in tonight’s matchup. He’ll face off against Angels LHP Andrew Heaney (2-2, 4.62 ERA), with first pitch set for 1610 Pacific. The 29-year old Heaney’s only appearance against the Padres was a no-decision back in 2018, when he allowed two runs in 7.1 innings. He struck out six, walked one and scattered four hits (safe to say, though, this ain’t those Padres anymore). Heaney struck out a season-high 10 batters over a season-high 7.2 innings in his last start, against the Mariners.