Saturday night was the Tyson Ross show at Chase field. Ross pitched a complete game, surrendering only one run on four hits.
New manager Pat Murphy set his lineup slightly different from what fans are used to seeing, with Derek Norris at 1st base and Alexi Amarista at 2nd base. The moves paid off in big ways. Backup shortstop Clint Barmes tore it up at the plate, collecting 3 hits and 2 RBIs. Norris kept the runs coming with a monster solo home run in the 3rd inning.
Barmes seems to be doing a solid job when he is called upon. I would like to see him get more starts, not just against a left-handed pitcher.
The Padres looked consistent offensively. A string of hits and a homer by Melvin Upton Jr. gave Ross an 8-1 lead heading into the 9th inning.
The real story of the night was Ross. His command of the strike zone was on point all night. Keeping the walks to a minimum allowed Ross to breeze through 9 innings with only 111 pitches.
Ross didn’t only pitch the first complete game of the season, he collected the first pitcher RBI of the season. He gave an Addison Reed fastball a deep ride to center in the 9th. In any other ballpark, the hit certainly would have been a home run.
Ross’s gem gave the bullpen an appreciated night off, and will hopefully propel the Padres towards a nice winning streak.