In a game where the Padres lost third baseman Chase Headley and outfielder Seth Smith to injury, the pitching staff held together long enough to allow Xavier Nady to single home Jedd Gyorko in the twelfth inning of last night’s 4-3 win against the Washington Nationals. The script appears to be the same each game for the San Diego Padres so far into the 2014 season. Padre pitchers shutdown opposing batters while the offense continues to struggle.
Despite allowing sixteen hits that included two homers, Padre pitchers held the Nationals to an astonishing 0-for-16 with runners-in-scoring position. The bullpen went 6 2/3 allowing one run and six hits in replace of starter Eric Stults who was a little shaky giving up two runs over 5 1/3 and issuing 10 hits before being pulled in the sixth.
The Padres tied the game up 1-1 when Smith doubled home Chris Denorfia in the fourth inning. Later,catcher Yasmani Grandal‘s double scored both Stults and Smith to give the Padres a 3-1 lead. However, the Nationals would battle back with solo homers from Danny Espinosa in the sixth and Adam LaRoche‘s game-tying shot off reliever Nick Vincent in the seventh.
The Nationals had great opportunities to win the game late, but Tim Stauffer pitched himself out of a bases loaded jam in the ninth inning setting the stage for the Padres to win their second extra-inning game this week.
The game definitely had its share of conversations. First, Nationals Manager Matt Williams successfully challenged Yonder Alonso‘s steal in the ninth inning reversing the umpire initial call that he was safe. Later, Manager Bud Black inserted ace Andrew Cashner into left field in place of injured Smith who left with a strained right groin. Although it was only for one out, it left many questioning Black’s judgement to even take the chance.
These low scoring games have become a staple of the Padres so far this season. The bullpen keeps them in games but the loss of both Headley and Smith hurts an offense who cannot score any runs. At least for one night, the club manage to put together some timely hits. San Diego sends out Friday Robbie Erlin (1-2, 4.15 ERA) against Stephen Strasburg (1-2, 5.33 ERA).