The Padres (38-47) swept the Reds (43-41) in the 3-game series at Petco Park. They completed the sweep thanks to arguably one of the most dominating pitching performances in recent Padres history by Tyson Ross. He threw a complete game shutout without walking anyone, and striking out 9. He pitched a 3-hitter. The Padres swept a series for the first time in this 2014 season and it is the first sweep since September 6-8, 2013 against the Rockies.
The Padres broke out offensively in this series, hitting .264. In the month of July, the Padres are hitting .343 in the 2 games. This is a substantial improvement from the near no-show during the series against the Diamondbacks. The offensive player of the series is Seth Smith, who has a shiny new contract. He had 4 hits, including a home run and a double and he also drew 2 walks. He also drove in a run on Tuesday with his solo home run, his team-leading 9th of the year. Another notable performance was that of Carlos Quentin, who had 3 RBI including a home run in Tuesday night’s outburst.
The pitching was stellar as well. In addition to Ross’s gem, Ian Kennedy and Jesse Hahn each had great outings as well. Those two combined for 11 innings, only allowing 1 run and striking out 14. The Padres outscored the Reds 12-2 in the series. It was pitching alone that got the Padres the victory in Monday’s 1-0 win. Huston Street also got save number 22 in Monday’s win, which is good enough for 5th in the National League.
The Padres impressed by scoring on 3 talented starting pitchers. They tagged Fallbrook High’s Mike Leake for 11 hits and 3 runs and Wednesday they took advantage of a shaky first inning by Johnny Cueto, scoring 3 runs. This is how the Padres are going to get rolling again. They have to manufacture runs. The Padres don’t have a 25-home run hitter on their club. They must rely on playing small ball and good pitching. They also need to play smart, the Friars got away with a few base running blunders this series by Quentin and Irving Falu.
San Diego is in sole possession of 3rd place in the NL West, 10 games behind the Giants and 3 games ahead of the Diamondbacks, pending the games later Wednesday night. The Padres also jumped the New York Mets in the NL standings, and are 10th overall. This is a good feeling. The Padres need to continue this momentum heading into a big weekend series with San Francisco.