Two San Diego Padres rookies experience historic nights at Petco Park.
Tuesday night at Petco Park was supposed to be all about second baseman Luis Urias. While the rookie began his career with a highlight reel defensive play (see below) and a walk at the plate, Tuesday night belonged to San Diego Padres rookie RHP Jacob Nix.
Nix was given an early lead in the bottom of the first, as center fielder Travis Jankowski belted a solo home run to give the Padres a 1-0 lead. They would not surrender that lead for the rest of the night, thanks to a spectacular pitching performance from Nix.
The rookie nearly completed his first shutout, giving up eight hits and one earned run in 8.1 innings of work. Nix completed his outing with zero strikeouts and (according to Baseball Savant) just one swinging strike all night long. He took a shutout into the ninth inning when Nelson Cruz sent a solo home run over the centerfield fence, with one out, to cut the Padres lead to one.
Andy Green immediately removed Nix from the game after the home run.
Nix attacked hitters early and often, largely staying in the upper half of the strike zone. He needed just 79 pitches to complete his outing, throwing 59 of them for strikes.
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The performance wouldn’t have been possible without a little help from his defense, most notably, Freddy Galvis. From his smooth defense towards second base in a shift to his diving stop, deep in the hole at short, and throw out of Nelson Cruz in the sixth inning, Galvis did what Freddy Galvis has done all year, make big plays to save games.
Nix helped his own cause on defense, making a heads-up play on a bunt attempt by opposing pitcher, Felix Hernandez. After Hernandez had already turned a bunt attempt into a double play, Nix grabbed the second bunt by Hernandez, flipped it to Wil Myers at third base, who completed the double play by firing it to Urias at first.
San Diego would go on to win the game by a final score of 2-1, giving Jacob Nix the second win of his young career.
As for Luis Urias, the young second baseman finished his debut 0-3 with a walk but made this amazing play in the first inning.
The final game of the two-game set will take place on Wednesday afternoon. First pitch is scheduled for 12:40 pm. Joey Lucchesi will take the mound for the Padres.