Padres Recap: Lynn, Pham Break Padres’ Hearts

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Many years ago, I met a girl named Lynn Pham. I liked her immediately. She was cute, sweet, smart, funny. Great hair. I walked around with a big crush on her for weeks. Finally, I summoned up the courage to ask her out. She turned me down, but didn’t make me feel like an idiot for asking. I appreciated that. But nevertheless, she broke my heart.

A long time has passed since I knew Lynn Pham. I’m happily married now, and I haven’t thought about her in years. But I was reminded of Lynn today when the San Diego Padres played the St. Louis Cardinals. Today, for the second time in three decades, Lynn Pham broke my heart.

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I came into today’s game with high hopes. The Padres had already taken two of three from the first-place Cardinals, and were looking for their first four-game series win in St. Louis since 2011. Ian Kennedy was on the bump for the Pads, and he had allowed only one earned run in each of his last four starts. Jedd Gyorko, hitting .368 since his return from AAA, was 6-for-13 in the series, and manager Pat Murphy put him in the cleanup spot, the first time Gyorko has hit fourth since early last season.  And Yangervis Solarte was on a streak – five consecutive games with an extra-base hit.

Once the game started. Solarte stayed hot, lacing a one-out single in the first inning. But Cardinals pitcher Lance Lynn stranded Solarte at first base, striking out Matt Kemp and retiring Gyorko on a fly to center.

The Friars managed to reach Lynn two innings later though, when Solarte walked and later scored on an RBI single by Kemp, breaking the scoreless tie and giving the Padres a 1-0 lead.

But then it happened. Lynn led off the Cardinals half of the third with a little bloop single to left. And leadoff hitter Tommy Pham, in his tenth career game, lined a shot just over the left field wall, the ball bouncing back onto the field after hitting a sign. Pham thought the hit was a ground-rule double at first, but the umpire twirled his finger in the air, signaling a home run. The shot was Pham’s first homer as a major leaguer. 2-1 Cardinals.

As if that weren’t bad enough, Lynn and Pham combined again in the fifth, hitting back-to-back doubles to up the Redbirds lead to 3-1.

The Padres didn’t threaten again in the game, being held to three hits by Lynn and relievers Seth Maness and Kevin Siegrist. The final score: 3-1. You broke my heart again, Lynn, Pham.

The game featured one of the best catches of the year, though, by St. Louis second baseman

Kolten Wong

, who robbed

Yonder Alonso

of a hit with this tremendous grab:

The loss dropped the Padres to 39-45, in fourth place, 7.5 games behind the Dodgers. The six games under .500 matches the Padres worst deficit of the season. They continue their 10-game road trip Monday night against the Pirates, who are currently in second place in the NL Central behind the Cardinals.  James Shields will take the mound for San Diego against Pittsburgh’s A.J. Burnett. The pitchers bring identical 7-3 records into the contest.

Game time: 4:05 PM Pacific time, Go Pads!

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