The Padres fell to the Detroit Tigers 6-2 Saturday night, ending their 2-game win streak in front of a sell-out crowd at Petco Park.
Justin Verlander struggled early on with control in a long first inning, but regained his composure to finish 7 innings and allow 2 earned runs. He walked one and struck out 8. In typical Verlander fashion, he seemed to get better as the game went on before turning the game over to his bullpen to finish up. He also got his first and second career hit, legging out a throw to first from Chris Denorfia.
Ian Kennedy didn’t pitch bad either per se. He finished six innings, allowed the four runs, but also did strike out 7 to just 1 walk. Against Justin Verlander though, you can’t win while allowing four runs. The first two batters got hits, one a long double to center, and the rest of the inning sent two other long hits to the outfield that were tracked down.
The revolving PA announcers struck again, calling out Austin Jackson twice in the first inning and conveniently missing Miguel Cabrera. You can bet though that the Padres did not forget who actually was hitting. Thankfully, at least for this game, the 2-time reigning MVP didn’t do much damage to the Padres. Not until the 9th, when he was intentionally walked to load the bases, a move that backfired when Austin Jackson doubled in the gap for two big insurance runs.
The new replay system turned one for the Padresin the 8th, as the Tigers sought insurance and had a runner on 2nd with 1 out. Catcher Yasmani Grandal made a snap throw to second and Cabrera appeared to tag the runner in front of the bag. The umpire ruled him safe, but Bud Black came out and challenged the call. The umpires huddled, listened to their headsets, and quickly came back to make the correct call of out. I must say, as a fan in the stands, the whole process was very streamlined, and after seeing the replay clearly made the correct call. Good thing too, because the hitter at the plate singled up the middle but was stranded.
The Padres continued to help themselves defensively as well. Seth Smith made a couple of great plays in left field, Denofia did his thing in right on several hard-hit balls, and after an early error, Chase Headley handled a few plays adeptly at the hot corner. Yonder Alonso made the play of the night for the Padres, chasing down a popup down the right field line for a spectacular out. I know that Adrian Gonzalez would not have been able to chase that one down.
In the end, when you get 10 hits in a game, you can’t complain about the offense. Seven left on base however does leave room for improvement. Everth Cabrera went 2-5, Grandal 2-4 to keep his average over .400 and another solid double by Yonder Alonso. Nick Vincent looked very good in his inning of relief, Alex Torres got the benefit of the replay, and Tim Stauffer struggled in the 9th, but nothing too much to worry about. Until the two extra runs scored in the 9th, it felt like this could be a dramatic comeback for the Padres, especially as they put runners in scoring position in the 8th before Headley struck out to end the threat.
Rubber game set for tomorrow at 1pm. Padres hoping to take their first series of 2014.