April 29, 2014; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Diego Padres starting pitcher Eric Stults (53) reacts as he is removed from the game in a pitching change against the San Francisco Giants during the third inning at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
The Padres (28-35) dropped their second consecutive series thanks to virtually no offensive production. Give some credit to the Washington Nationals (32-39) great pitching, which, throughout the series, subdued the Padres bats. The Nationals outscored the Padres 16-3.
As a team the Padres hit .149 in the series and are now hitting .218 for the season, which is last in the MLB. The Friars were shut out in the series twice. Tanner Roark once again dominated the Padres, as he did the first time these two teams met. He threw a three-hitter while striking out 11. Tyson Ross got roughed up, allowing 5 runs in 5 innings while walking 3.
Game 2 was a sight for sore eyes. Andrew Cashner was back to being Andrew Cashner, pitching 6 innings of shutout ball, striking out 5 and allowing 2 hits. The Padres actually accumulated 10 hits, 2 huge ones in the game-tying home run by Yonder Alonso and the walk-off blooper by Cameron Maybin.
Sunday it was back to the same punchless offense we have come to know. Jordan Zimmermann was brilliant, throwing a two-hit shutout while striking out 12. The Padres made the Nationals’ pitching staff look like Murder’s Row.
Ian Desmond continues to be a Padre-killer. He homered twice in the series with 4 hits total and now has 5 career home runs against San Diego. The series loss cannot be 100% the fault of the offense, or lack thereof. The pitching, besides Cashner, was spotty at best. Ross had a shaky outing and Eric Stults was tagged for 6 runs in less than 3 innings on Sunday. Stults has really struggled to get it going this year with his ERA now at 5.68.
The Padres get a day off Monday as they travel to Philadelphia for Tuesday’s series opener. Many are asking, how much longer can this last? Who can take the Padres out of this tailspin?
Cashner gave us hope. The Padres need to continue to build on what worked in Saturday’s 11-inning win. This team has teased as all year. Perhaps the friendly confines of Citizens Bank Park will aid in getting the offense back on track. One can only hope.
Keep the faith.