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Manny Machado takes the Padres offense into his own hands

San Diego Padres won Thursday night 2-1 on two Manny Machado solo home runs. MLB’s early WAR leader is taking the Padres offense into his own hands.

Miami Marlins v San Diego Padres Photo by Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres/Getty Images

The Padres returned back to San Diego for game one of a seven-game homestand. The friars saw immediate success winning game one vs Miami Thursday night 2-1, thanks to Manny Machado.

Hitter of the Game

We are just under 30 games for the Padres this season but there is not a more important everyday player on this team than Machado. In fact, Machado leads all of baseball in WAR (wins above replacement).

The Padres have the 5th best winning percentage (.654) in all of baseball and tied for the 4th most wins (17). Machado is the leader of a team that is top five in wins and runs scored per game. Translation: Machado is an early NL MVP favorite.

Pitcher of the Game

Nick Martinez put together his best outing as Padre by far. Before this start, Martinez never went more than five innings pitched in his first four starts, and on Thursday night Martinez saw himself complete a seven-inning outing.

A season-high 69% strike rate allowed Martinez to work quickly and efficiently across 25 batters faced.

Luis Garcia and Taylor Rogers continue to be a difficult duo for opposing teams in the 8th and 9th inning.

What’s Next

Yu Darvish will make his sixth start of the season. It’s easy to look at Darvish’s 4.44 ERA and believe he may be struggling when that’s not the case. Nine of the thirteen earned runs came in one game in San Francisco. Besides the one lopsided start, Darvish has been fantastic.

No Marlins hitter has any ownage of Darvish so I would expect Darvish to be on his best game Friday night.

Sandy Alcantara will draw the rock for Miami. There isn’t much experience vs the young star pitcher for the Padres lineup and I am going to predict a pitcher’s duel in this one.

After last night, San Diego is 4-3 in one-run games. If Friday night becomes a pitcher’s duel again the Padres will continue to have the advantage as Miami is now even more below .500 in those games at 5-7.