Apr 24, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; San Diego Padres players celebrate after defeating the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. San Diego Padres defeated Washington Nationals 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
The Padres (12-14) split the four game series with the Washington Nationals (14-12) taking the finale with a 4-2 victory on Sunday. This series had a little bit of everything. It started off Thursday evening with Nationals manager Matt Williams’s controversial challenge on Yonder Alonso’s steal in the top of the ninth inning. The series also saw a rain delay, injuries to key players, a shutout, and a humiliating 11-1 loss by former San Diego St. Aztec Stephen Strasburg who struck out eleven on Friday night.
The Padres struggled mightily on offense most of the series. Their overall team batting average for the series was .210, but it was capped-off in Saturday’s 4-0 shutout loss to Nationals Tanner Roark who looked like a Cy Young candidate. The Padres have not scored more than four runs in thirteen straight games and have not not homered since Chase Headley’s walk-off last Tuesday.
Sunday was an encouraging sight, especially with the return of Cameron Maybin. Chris Denorfia continues to tear the cover off the ball as he added 2 RBI and 7 hits in the series, extending his hitting streak Sunday to a modest 7 games. His average is now at .338. Ian Kennedy led the Friars to the victory Sunday, pitching 7 solid innings, allowing only 1 run on 3 hits and striking out 9.
Robbie Erlin struggled once again in Friday’s nightmare. Andrew Cashner got hosed with bad defense and, in my opinion, questionable scoring when errors turned into earned runs for Cash. His start was actually not that bad, he just didn’t get any help. The bullpen was the story in Thursday’s 12 inning 4-2 win. The ‘pen combined for 6.2 innings, 1 earned run and 7 strikeouts that night. All in all, aside from Erlin’s start, the Padres pitching was good.
Now it’s on to San Francisco to take on the Giants. It’s no rest for the weary as the Padres fly cross-country to open up the series Monday. Tyson Ross (2-3, 3.16 ERA) looks to put his shaky start in Milwaukee behind him as he takes the mound against Madison Bumgarner (2-2, 3.14 ERA). The first-place Giants (15-10) are coming off a weekend sweep of the Indians. This is San Diego’s first visit to AT&T Park of 2014. The Padres closed out last season losing 2 of 3 in San Fran. Something worth noting is that the last game the Padres played in San Francisco, Jedd Gyorko hit a grand slam. And he is due.