As the old adage goes…you can’t win them all. The San Diego Padres ran into a buzzsaw last night in an extremely talented, and incredibly young, Atlanta Braves team, losing in a blowout, 14-1.
Jordan Lyles had allowed three runs heading into the fifth inning and had his curveball really working for him at times. The San Diego Padres had yet to plate a run but there was still confidence brooding in the home dugout.
That changed quickly. After Freddie Freeman doubled to lead off the inning, Kurt Suzuki doubled two batters later to bring him home. Ender Inciarte walked, Lyles threw a wild pitch, moving the runners into scoring position, and then the real fun (not actually fun) began.
Charlie Culberson, who struck out on a filthy Lyles curve in the second inning, crushed a double past Christian Villanueva to extend the Braves’ lead to 6-0. Dansby Swanson hit a bomb in the next at-bat and, just like that, Atlanta was up 8-0.
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Mitchell gets rocked too
Bryan Mitchell entered after the Swanson home run and, though he got into a ton of trouble, escaped the inning unharmed.
After working a perfect sixth inning, Mitchell absolutely fell apart in the seventh.
Swanson led off with a base hit and Ryan Flaherty doubled him home in the next at-bat to make it a 9-0 game.
Freeman walked, then Nick Markakis homered on another blast to dead-center to give the Braves a 13-0 lead.
Bryan Mitchell made a few very good pitches but threw a lot more, right-down-Broadway, bad ones. We may have seen the tide turn on the 27-year-old’s rough tenure in San Diego last night.
Garbage time turns out to be kind of fun
Cory Spangenberg pitched the ninth inning (position players pitching are the best ever), allowing a run to score on a Suzuki single; a ball that Franmil Reyes probably could have gotten to if he took the correct angle. Not that it mattered at that point, but these are the little things that he should be focusing on doing right.
As I said on Twitter the other day after being correctly called out for not mentioning his defensive shortcomings in my most recent article on the 20 (or 22) year old slugger, he wasn’t brought up here because of his fielding.
He proved that point in the bottom of the ninth, ending Atlanta’s shutout-bid with a 455 foot home run to center field that cleared the bullpens to make the score 14-1.
His line-drive shot was logged by Statcast as having a 26-degree launch angle, a 95-foot zenith, and came off of his bat at 115 MPH. Again, he’s not here to showcase his glovework. This dude is a hitter.