Bullpen Incompetence Leads to Destruction…Again, Padres Lose to Nationals 5-4


Gregerson screwed up another game for the Friars. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

After San Diego’s second loss in Boston, I questioned whether or not that the Padres could win a game on their current East Coast road-trip.  I certainly do not want to sound like a “Negative Nancy,” but there is a strong chance that the team might finish their current road-trip with nine straight losses.  This afternoon’s game featured the Padres’ bullpen crapping the bed once again as the team lost to the Nationals by a score of 5-4.

Jason Marquis was called upon to get the Friars off of the mat and into the win column this afternoon.  Unfortunately for San Diego, the veteran right-hander was touched up early in the game.  After San Diego’s starter loaded the bases in the bottom of the third, Washington took a 1-0 lead after Bryce Harper was issued a free-pass.  Harper’s walk was bad enough, but the worst part of the inning occurred when Yasmani Grandal was injured on a play at the plate.

Anthony Rendon’s leg got caught with Grandal’s on a nasty slide, and Yasmani was taken out of the game.  I hope that San Diego’s catcher can come back healthy, but I do not expect to see him on the field until next summer at the earliest.

After they drew first blood on the scoreboard, the Nationals’ hitters then tacked on two more runs in the following innings.  Adam LaRoche tattooed a solo home run in the bottom of the fourth, while Harper singled home another in the bottom of the fifth.  Jordan Zimmermann was also solid through the first five innings of the game for Washington on the mound.  In fact, the only run he allowed came on a sacrifice ground out off of the bat of Marquis.

In the top of the sixth however, Jesus Guzman gave the Friars a much needed spark and a bit of hope as well.

Guzman walloped a three-run home run, and the dinger put his team in front by a 4-3 score.  At that point it appeared that San Diego might just win the game and end their terrible losing streak!  Of course, the Padres’ bullpen wouldn’t let a late-game lead get in their way of performing their season-long activity of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

After Nick Vincent left runners on first and second with one out in the bottom of the seventh, Joe Thatcher helped the Nationals tie the game after a wild pitch was followed by a sacrifice fly off of the bat of Harper!  Luke Gregerson then allowed the go-ahead (and eventual winning) run to score in that very same inning!

When Gregerson entered the game, I actually turned off my television because I knew that he would fail spectacularly just like he has all year long.  True to form, San Diego’s supposedly “shut-down” setup man gave up a single to Ryan Zimmerman, and the Nationals went ahead for good.

As most of you already know, I am wholeheartedly disgusted by the collective performance of San Diego’s bullpen.  Their incompetence throughout the season has been nothing short of pathetic to watch.  Their jobs are based solely around protecting late-game leads!  Thus, if they cannot perform up to par then I hope that Josh Byrnes and the rest of the Padres’ brass are hard at work finding pitchers who can make sure that leads do not evaporate in the seventh, eighth, and ninth innings.

Final Thoughts

I said that the Padres would not win another game until the All-Star break earlier in the week, and it looks like my prediction is becoming more true with each passing day.  The team has one more game to play against the Nationals before they head home to face San Francisco and Colorado.

Will the Padres drop their final eight games before the All-Star break?  I would not put money on it.  Yet are they playing at a level in which they could lose each of their next eight games?  Abso-bleepin-lutely.

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