San Diego Padres Lose to Nats, But the Wheels Keep Turning

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SAN DIEGO, CA - MAY 7: Travis Jankowski #16 of the San Diego Padres makes a sliding catch on a ball hit by Matt Adams #15 of the Washington Nationals during the ninth inning of a baseball game at PETCO Park on May 7, 2018 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - MAY 7: Travis Jankowski #16 of the San Diego Padres makes a sliding catch on a ball hit by Matt Adams #15 of the Washington Nationals during the ninth inning of a baseball game at PETCO Park on May 7, 2018 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images) /
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The San Diego Padres hung in there with the talented, yet slow-starting, Washington Nationals before they cracked. But, as always, I found some light within the Friars’ darkness.

After Trea Turner put the Nationals on the board with his first-inning solo home run, the San Diego Padres held the Nats scoreless until the sixth, when Matt Adams hit the first of his two dagger-to-the-heart home runs.

The second one in the seventh put the game out of reach for the Friars. The Padres scratched and clawed, though, tying the game in the fourth on an RBI-groundout from Franchy Cordero to score Travis Jankowski.

After the Nationals put up a four-spot in the top-half of the sixth, the Padres answered back with a run. Manuel Margot tripled to lead off the inning and Carlos Asuaje brought him home in the next at-bat with a sacrifice fly to center field to make it a 5-2 game.

A minute for Manny Margot

Manuel Margot cooled off a bit after a very hot stretch from April 24 to April 30 that saw him hit .333/.318/.571 with three doubles, a triple, four runs batted in and just three strikeouts in 21 at-bats.

Once the calendar turned to May, Margot stopped hitting. From May 1 to May 6, 16 at-bats, he hit .063/.118/.063 with six strikeouts and just one walk in 16 at-bats.

Last night, Margot went 2-for-3 with a triple, an at-the-time rallying run scored, and an RBI single in the bottom of the ninth to make it an 8-5 game.

Hopefully, this was the spark he (and all of us) were waiting for him to get back to impressing us at the plate, as opposed to just in the field.

More from Friars on Base

San Diego Padres like what they see out of Jankowski

Travis Jankowski is hitting .348/.400/.522 in 23 at-bats since being called up in late-April.

He singled to lead off the fourth after Stephen Strasburg went through the Padres’ batting order perfectly to begin the game last night.

He ended up scoring on Franchy’s groundout later in the inning to tie things up.

That’s exactly what a leadoff hitter is supposed to be; a spark plug.

While his numbers so far may not be sustainable (read: not likely), his skill set truly fits well on this team.

He’s an outstanding outfielder and has incredible speed, which comes in to play on the basepaths as well. His newfound knack for hitting in the top spot of the order certainly bodes well for his chances of sticking around, as FoB pointed out just a few days ago.

His slash line in the leadoff spot is awfully impressive (.400/.471/.667) and he’s been in the middle of some productive innings (five runs scored in 15 leadoff at-bats).

His two triples in 15 at-bats have certainly inflated his slugging percentage, but that level of on-base percentage, as well as his affinity for not striking out much (two times in those 15 leadoff at-bats), makes him an intriguing candidate to keep in that spot for a while.

And for any San Diego Padres who may read the blog…

Jose Pirela went 3-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored last night after being mired in an awful slump over his past sixty-something at-bats. A nice sign of breaking out of his funk, if you ask me. 

If you’re keeping track at home, that’s three times now that I’ve written an article about the need for a particular Padres player to get going and each time they have had a multi-hit game soon thereafter (Asuaje and Galvis; look it up).

Next: Clayton Richard Will Have to Step Up

Thanks for reading fellas. I’ll keep an eye out and let you all know my thoughts moving forward. You keep doing what you do and I’ll do the same. Let’s go, Padres.

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