San Diego Padres: Robbie Erlin Struggles, Reyes Homers in Friars Loss

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 21: Robbie Erlin #41 of the San Diego Padres pitches in the first inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on May 21, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 21: Robbie Erlin #41 of the San Diego Padres pitches in the first inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on May 21, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images) /

The San Diego Padres couldn’t extend the good times after winning three of four in Pittsburgh over the weekend, losing 10-2 to the Nationals in the opener of their three-game series in DC.

For the second time this season, the San Diego Padres handed the ball off to Robbie Erlin to make a spot start. And for the second time this season, it didn’t go well. After allowing five earned runs in three innings in his first start of the year (a loss on April 16 to the Dodgers), the 27-year-old Scotts Valley, CA native didn’t fare much better this time out.

Erlin worked a perfect first inning, setting down Trea Turner, Bryce Harper, and Anthony Rendon in order. Nice start but, unfortunately, things didn’t go so smoothly as his outing wore on. The second inning was where Erlin really ran into the buzzsaw.

Mark Reynolds singled to lead things off, then Pedro Severino (starting at catcher for the DL’d Matt Wieters) doubled to put runners on second and third with none out.

Up came highly-touted prospect Juan Soto to make his first MLB plate appearance. All he did was crush a 400-plus foot opposite field three-run bomb to stake the Nats to an early 3-0 lead. Man, that thing was crushed. Anywho, things didn’t stop there for Washington.

Nats brought the firepower to Erlin

Wilmer Difo singled in the next at-bat, drawing a mound visit from Darren Balsley that didn’t seem to help much. Gio Gonzalez bunted Difo over to second, and the hits kept on coming. Turner doubled to score Difo, then Harper doubled to score Turner before Erlin finally retired Rendon to get out of the frame.

Already down 5-0 and looking into a bullpen that still leads the league in innings, Andy Green asked Robbie Erlin to bite the bullet and try to scrape together a couple of clean innings.

After allowing a solo homer to Mark Reynolds to lead off the third, Erlin actually did just that. He set down the Nats in order after Reynolds’ third homer of the year and then retired Washington in order in the fourth to end his day.

Erlin’s second start wasn’t a success by any means, but he showed some guile in coming back out and getting the job done after being lit up in the manner in which he was. That’s admirable and was surely greatly appreciated by Green and the taxed Friars’ relief corps.

More from Friars on Base

Green turns to Mitchell to eat up some innings

Down by four runs and the fumes still lingering from a great weekend series in Pittsburgh, the Padres turned to Bryan Mitchell to again save the Friars overused bullpen a bit in a game that was already getting a bit out of hand.

Things didn’t get any better for the Padres with Mitchell on the mound. The grumbling from fans to finally cut bait on the “centerpiece” of the Chase Headley/Jabari Blash swap have now grown into audible groans and calls for Green and AJ Preller to make a more-permanent move with their enigmatic right-hander.

In three innings of work last night, Mitchell continued down the same road he’s been on this season, walking batters and leaving way too many pitches over the heart of the plate. He allowed four earned runs on seven hits, walking two. We realize he’s out of minor-league options, but this simply can’t continue.

San Diego Padres get a glimpse of The Franimal

The only runs that the San Diego Padres scored last night were in the top of the fourth, already down 6-0. Christian Villanueva grounded out to lead things off, Jose Pirela walked, and then Franmil Reyes, hitting just .118 coming into the game, hit a towering opposite-field blast to right field.

Here’s video footage of his first MLB homer, courtesy of FOX Sports San Diego:

The Padres never really got things going after that, collecting just four hits the entire game against Gio Gonzalez, Tim Collins, and Carlos Torres.

Next: Padres are Coming Together

Kazuhisa Makita worked a clean ninth in his ongoing attempt to find some consistency for the Friars. Let’s chalk last night up to the breaks of the game and look forward to tonight’s matchup.