Both the offense and bullpen flailed as the San Diego Padres dropped the game, and series, to the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday afternoon.
Hot off a series win in Philadelphia, the San Diego Padres looked poised to win their second straight against the Cincinnati Reds after winning the opener.
Instead, they lost the next two by a combined score of 4-7, the most disappointing performance coming in the rubber match on Wednesday.
With a scheduled bullpen day, the Padres ended up using three pitchers through the first three innings in what turned out to be a terribly managed game by Andy Green.
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Matt Strahm had a decent outing as he tossed two scoreless innings with four strikeouts and no walks. Apparently, the three hits he allowed was too much for Green and he was pulled in favor of unknown commodity Eric Yardley, who made his MLB debut.
Yardley got some bad luck as Josh Naylor missed a fly-out to left field, but he followed up by allowing an RBI single to Eugenio Suárez to tie the game 1-1. He proceeded to load the bases before being pulled himself.
Trey Wingenter, the relief pitcher who sports a 4.67 ERA, 33.3% ground ball percentage (worst on the team), and 11.9% BB ratio (second-worst on the team) was asked to handle the jam.
He answered the call by walking in two runs in a row to give the Reds a 3-1 lead before finally striking out pitcher Luis Castillo.
The offense didn’t do much to help either. They mustered together six hits and only got two runners in scoring position all game.
Part of that was attributed to Castillo’s performance, as he finished the game with one run allowed over six innings pitched; with only four strikeouts, however, he made a little league team out of the Padres’ offense. They looked flat, uninspired, and downright bored all day.
One bright spot continues to be Francisco Mejía, who hit his eighth home run of the year in the seventh inning.
The kid can rake — he’s now .272/.320/.455 on the season and has an incredible .417 BA through 16 games in August. If he can improve his defense even a smidge, he’ll be the unquestioned starter come 2020; it almost feels like he’s already there.
Overall, however, this game was a disappointing way to end a road trip in which the team went 3-3. They’ll head home and enjoy an off-day before the defending world champions, the Boston Red Sox, come to town. The Los Angeles Dodgers will visit right after so the Friars have a tough week ahead.
It’s times like these that make it hard to stay optimistic. With September just around the corner, it feels like forever ago when the Padres were 45-45 entering the All-Star break. The Friars are now 59-67 with playoff hopes all but gone and just a hyped-up offseason to look forward to.
Have we seen progress this season? Absolutely. Is it enough to be confident about 2020? We’ll see.
For complete coverage of the San Diego Padres 2019 season, continue following Friars on Base all season long.