Although the Padres fell in last night’s series finale to the Los Angeles Dodgers by a score of 2-1, this team, for all of their ineffective hitting throughout the year, the firing and hiring of a new general manager, the shuttling of familiar faces for fresh ones, have to feel pretty darn good about how they matched up with the Boys in Blue. The Padres even managed to steal the middle game of the three-game set in L.A.
For Tyson Ross, it was the opportunity to out from the shadows and take on arguably the best pitcher in the game today, with Clayton Kershaw. Ross pitched admirably, matching zero for zero with the reigning Cy Young winner, until a single by Carl Crawford and a blast by Justin Turner, sealed Ross’ fate for victory. Ross’ battery mate, Rene Rivera had given him the chance to win, but much like every game of the first half of the season for the Padres, one run was all they were getting. It didn’t help that they were staring down Kershaw either.
The Padres got their sole run after Abraham Almonte singled, followed by a Jedd Gyorko walk issued by Kershaw, a Tommy Medica fly out moved Almonte to third base, and a rarity: a Kershaw wild pitch moved Gyorko to second, so with two men in scoring position, Rivera singled home Almonte, but Gyorko was stranded at third after a Rymer Liriano strikeout and a Cameron Maybin groundout. The second run that was left standing at third made all the difference in the world, as an inning later, the Dodgers handed Kershaw his 15th victory of the season. Kenley Jansen came on in the 9th to close things out for L.A.
While the 8-inning complete game loss isn’t something for Tyson Ross to savor, he and the Padres have to feel somewhat better about where they stand against the best team in their division, and one of the best in all of baseball. The Padres now open a road series in the desert against the Diamondbacks. Odrisamer Despaigne (3-4, 3.28 ERA) gets the start for the Friars, while Arizona counters with Josh Collmentor (8-7, 4.31 ERA). First pitch is 6:40 p.m. PDT, but the big news is the impending return of Padres’ fireballer Andrew Cashner, who is expected to be activated off of the disabled list and pitch this weekend.
Keep the Faith.