San Diego looked primed to have a terrific East Coast road-trip after they trounced the Marlins by a 9-2 score last Thursday evening. Since that game though, the Friars dropped their next six before they headed to Washington, D.C. for tonight’s contest. Sadly, the Nationals handed the Padres their seventh loss in a row.
Just like they did on Wednesday in Boston, San Diego’s hitters actually began the game in strong fashion. The Padres took a 1-0 lead on the strength of two doubles, and their lineup appeared ready to break out of their terrible funk and take their frustrations out against the Nationals’ pitching staff.
The game was all but over for San Diego by the time that the second inning finished however. Washington’s hitters did a terrific job of manufacturing five runs against Andrew Cashner in that frame. Three singles, one double, two walks, and a hit batsmen helped the Nationals take a 5-1 lead. Did I mention that the batter who Cashner hit was Washington’s starter Gio Gonzalez? Yeah, it was one of those nights when everything that could of gone wrong did for San Diego’s starter.
Unfortunately for the Friars, the Nationals never looked back after their big second inning. After the Padres closed the gap from 5-1 to 5-2 in the top of the third, Washington’s hitters added another run in the bottom of the frame and two more in the bottom of the fourth to make the game 8-2. Wilson Ramos was the biggest thorn in San Diego’s side this evening as he drove in three runs and collected two hits.
While Carlos Quentin’s three-run home run in the top of the seventh brought San Diego back to within striking-distance, those three big innings did entirely too much damage to the Padres.
By the time Quentin’s dinger cleared the wall though, the damage had been done and Cashner had already left the game. The right-hander, in probably his worst start of the season, only made it through two innings of work before he was pulled for Tim Stauffer. Thankfully for the Padres, Stauffer only allowed two runs over three innings of work while Joe Thatcher, Dale Thayer, and Huston Street all pitched a scoreless inning apiece to close the game.
Although Everth Cabrera went 0-5 in his return to the lineup as well, there were at least some bits of good news for Friars fans to take away from tonight’s game. Chase Headley looked like the 2012-version of himself this evening, and that was definitely a terrific sign. San Diego’s third baseman hit a double, a home run, and drove in two of his team’s runs on those two knocks.
In addition to Headley, Chris Denorfia was his normal consistent self at the plate as well. Denorifa recorded three hits, two of which were doubles, and scored two runs in the game. Personally, I have no idea why Alexi Amarista has taken playing time away from “Deno” as of late. I just hope that Bud Black can find ways to insert the steady Denorfia into his lineup on a more regular basis.
I hope that the Friars are able to recover from yet another loss and end their seven-game skid tomorrow. I certainly do not hold out much hope though, particularly because Jordan Zimmermann will be taking the hill for Washington. The Nationals’ 12-game winner has a 2.46 ERA at this point in the season, and he is probably not the type of pitcher who San Diego’s hitters want to face.
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