Jul 6, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Padres starting pitcher Jesse Hahn (45) pitches against the San Francisco Giants during the first inning at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Padres Cool Off, Drop Series to Giants

The Padres (39-49) lost the series to the Giants (49-39) as the bullpen had a rare hiccup and the bats cooled back down to near normal. There was a lot of promise for this series after the Padres took the first game 2-0 on a great start by Eric Stults, who pitched 7 shutout innings while striking out 6. Then the bullpen had a rare blunder on Saturday, allowing a late lead to slip and eventually surrendering in the 10th. Sunday was once again Tim Lincecum Day, as he pitched 6.1 innings allowing one run on the Brooks Conrad home run.

As a team, the Padres hit .192 for the series, a drop from the last series with the Reds. They did have 8 extra base hits including 3 home runs. Yasmani Grandal and Chase Headley seemed to have found their stroke that they have lacked nearly all season. Headley had a 4-hit game in the first game of the series and finished the series with 6 hits. Grandal had 3 hits, including a monstrous 2-run home run on Sunday, and walking twice. Alexi Amarista was instrumental in the lone win of the series, hitting a double and home run in Friday’s win.

The bullpen finally caved, and it really turned the tide in this series. The Padres snapped a 28-0 stretch when leading after 7 innings this year. Mike Morse ruined the party with a game-tying home run against the seemingly untouchable Huston Street. That snapped a 23-for-23 stretch in save opportunities for Street. The two rookies once again impressed but both faced adversity for the first time.

Odrisamer Despaigne kept the Padres in the game on Saturday with 6 sharp innings, only allowing 2 hits. Jesse Hahn did give up a few runs early on Sunday but settled down to pitch 7 innings. He was tagged with his first loss after 4 wins. The bullpen allowed 6 total runs in the series, which is uncharacteristic of them. Alex Torres especially struggled, allowing 3 earned runs in only a third of an inning (81.01 ERA) with 2 walks.

The Padres just look better than they did a few weeks ago. They still remain in 3rd place by 2.5 games over the Rockies. It seems to be a 2-horse race in the NL West for now. The Padres move to 3-2 for the month of July and 6-6 against the Giants this year. The Padres can continue to make room between themselves and the Rockies as they start a series in Denver this week.

 

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