I am sure that most of you have noticed how San Diego’s offensive production has been nothing short of “woeful” recently. Over their last five games, the Padres have only combined to score a total of five runs. Unfortunately, the team’s offensive woes continued tonight as they lost 2-1 to the Red Sox in walk-off fashion.
Oddly enough, the Padres jumped out to an early lead in the bottom of the first on the strength of three two-out singles off of the bats of Carlos Quentin, Chase Headley, and Kyle Blanks. Despite San Diego’s early lead, Boston eventually struck back in the bottom of the fourth when Jarrod Saltalamacchia doubled home Mike Carp to even the game at 1-1.
The game remained tied at one apiece due in large part to Edinson Volquez and his defense “Houdini-ing” themselves out of a number of jams this evening . Volquez gave the Padres six innings of work and six strikeouts in a no-decision effort during which he only walked one batter and kept his team within striking-distance.
San Diego had a great chance to come back after they put the first two runners on base in the top of the sixth. Those hopes were dashed when Blanks grounded into a double play and Jesus Guzman promptly struck out to end the frame. A glimmer of hope did emerge from Luke Gregerson in the bottom of the eighth when he retired three straight hitters, including two by strikeouts, after Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz got on base to start the inning.
But just as he has since the month of June began, Gregerson buckled when it mattered the most for his team.
Jonny Gomes, who pinch-hit for Brandon Snyder, sent a solo blast to left field which ended the game in dramatic fashion. Gregerson’s meltdown marked his fourth blown save of the year, and the fourth time he blew a save or late game lead over the last month. While Gregerson does deserve blame for the meltdown, it’s not like his teammates gave him any sort of wiggle-room with their collective offensive performance.
Granted, I will give credit to Jon Lester, Junichi Tazawa, and Koji Uehara for their efforts to keep the Padres at bay to the tune of eight straight shutout innings. In fact, outside of the top of the first, the Padres were essentially unable to do anything at the plate against Boston’s pitching staff.
Yet San Diego’s hitters, outside of Quentin who recorded three of the team’s six hits on the night, have been so ineffective as of late that I would be shocked if they were unable to combine to put up a crooked number in a single inning by the time the All-Star Break rolls around in a week and a half. I would go so far as to say that there is a strong possibility that the Friars will drop the rest of their games on their current East Coast road-trip if their bats continue to sputter as much as they have over the last two weeks.
Beginning at 10:35 A.M. PDT tomorrow, Eric Stults will try to help the Friars avoid a sweep at the hands of the Bo-Sox before the team heads to Washington, D.C. for the final series of their current road-trip. While I cannot predict a final score, I will say that things will continue to look bleak for San Diego if their hitters are unable to get back on track.
Thus, if the offensive woes continue, we could be in for a long and bleak summer, Friars fans.
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