San Diego Padres: A Few Positives to Take Away from Last Night’s Loss

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PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 20: Jose Pirela #2 of the San Diego Padres celebrates in the dugout after scoring on an error in the ninth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the game at PNC Park on May 20, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 20: Jose Pirela #2 of the San Diego Padres celebrates in the dugout after scoring on an error in the ninth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the game at PNC Park on May 20, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /
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The San Diego Padres couldn’t get much momentum going last night against the Los Angeles Dodgers, losing the opener of a three-game series. There were a couple of bright spots for the Friars, though.

Ross Stripling struck out ten San Diego Padres in 6.2 innings of work last night, as was well-documented last night on FoB by Nick Stevens, but there was one guy who was able to get to the 28-year-old right-hander.

Jose Pirela had three hits last night, all of them coming against Striping. He singled in his first at-bat in the top of the first, doubled in the fourth, and then singled again in the sixth inning. He never made his way around to score, but the streaky Pirela is definitely back to swinging a hot bat.

Since May 17, the 29-year-old Venezuelan native is hitting .333 with a .802 OPS, three doubles and just four strikeouts in 27 at-bats. For the month of May, Pirela is slashing .286/.337/.364, but his extra-base hit output is slowly starting to get a little more consistent, which is always a plus.

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Padres couldn’t claw back this time

Clayton Richard allowed a three-run home run to Matt (freaking) Kemp in the first inning, and then another run on Enrique Hernandez‘ solo shot in the third, and the San Diego Padres really never recovered.

Richard worked a perfect second inning, a clean fourth, and another perfect fifth, so it’s obvious he’s still feeling OK on the hill.

After getting into trouble in the sixth, he was able to escape the frame unscathed to end his up-and-down night.

Maybe last night was simply a challenge for him to find his best stuff. Either way, there were high points for the veteran lefty to build off of. Let’s hope his next outing is a more successful one.

San Diego Padres bullpen is lights-out again

As I outlined here yesterday, the Friars’ relievers have been doing a heck of a job this season. Last night was no different for the rag-tag combination of veterans and neophytes.

Adam Cimber worked the seventh inning, retiring Austin Barnes, Chase Utley, and Chris Taylor in order to keep the Padres in the game, down by three late in the game facing a tough spot in the Dodgers batting order. He’s been simply fantastic.

Next: Padres Set Franchise Mark Again, Not a Good One

Kazuhisa Makita has lowered his earned-run average by eight-tenths of a run over his last two outings (1 IP, 0 ER May 21; 1 IP, 0 ER last night). If the 33-year-old Japanese product can find a groove, it would add another exciting dimension to this Friars bullpen.

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