Despite the bullpen blowing a late lead in games two and three, the Padres took the series from the Giants. What else stood out?
After taking three-of-four in the opening series against Arizona, the Padres traveled to San Francisco for their first road series on the shortened campaign. The Giants are in a full rebuild, and their roster generally resembles a Triple-A squad. And that’s no disrespect; it’s just the way it is and the state of the franchise right now.
The Padres should have swept this series had the bullpen not melted down in Game 2. As it turns out, the bullpen would melt down again in Game 3. Luis Perdomo took over for Dinelson Lamet, pitching well in the sixth inning. However, he got himself into some trouble in the seventh, walking the first guy and serving up a single.
At that point, Tingler should have pulled him, especially with Drew Pomeranz warming. Instead, Perdomo proceeded to load the bases while allowing a run to score before the Padres manager came to get him. And for the second consecutive night, the bullpen blew a four-run lead. This time, Emilio Pagan allowed two runs to score off a Mike Yastrzemski triple and a Donovan Solano sacrifice fly.
After some early troubles, the Padres eventually got to Giants’ starter Kevin Gausman, knocking him out of the game after 4.1 innings. The Friars have been very good about working the counts thus far, with many starting pitchers hitting the showers earlier than expected.
It was also good to see Jurickson Profar come through with a couple of keys hits in the contest, sending a two-run homer into the left field stands in the sixth inning. Profar has had a positive impact on the ballclub, taking many at-bats to 3-2 counts. But he wasn’t contributing in the hit department, until last night.
What else stood out for the Padres, and what’s next?
1. Bullpen not as good as we thought?
Having blown two, four-run leads on back-to-back nights and coming on the heels of Sunday’s meltdown; the Padres bullpen hasn’t looked as dominant as most were projecting. On Wednesday, Tingler put Craig Stammen in a high-leverage situation, which ended up being a disaster. Kirby Yates was nowhere to be found, and Pagan, who was acquired to bridge the gap between the middle relievers and Yates, has not looked sharp this season. Thankfully, the Padres managed to salvaged Thursday’s dumpster fire with a win, but it’s not exactly a comforting feeling right now once the starters exit the game.
2. Starting pitching has been great
With both Chris Paddack and Dinelson Lamet making their second starts and Zach Davies making his first, the Padres starting staff combined to allow just five runs while fanning 18 batters over 15 innings. All three starters went five innings, allowing the offense to take control before handing it over to the bullpen. As a group, the Padres starting rotation has a 2.12 ERA, fourth-best in the league.
3. Catcher remains a significant question mark
Austin Hedges was supposed to be a guy that had outstanding defense but lacked offensively. And Francisco Mejia was expected to be pretty much the opposite. Yet, through seven games now, neither one has yet to record a hit. Can you imagine if Mejia was expected to the DH this year? Both have caught nearly the same number of innings, with pitchers having a 3.66 ERA with Hedges behind the dish and a 3.19 ERA with Mejia. The Padres need their catchers to contribute offensively, so don’t be surprised if Luis Torrens gets a look soon.
Bonus: Trent Grisham is going to be a star
Trent Grisham had a breakout series – so to speak – going 4-for-13 with four RBI, including a monster three-run bomb on Wednesday night. The 23-year-old hit a stand-up triple and added a double later on Thursday night. Perhaps the highlight of the series was his diving catch in the series finale that potentially saved three runs from scoring. Grisham is batting .296 on the young season with a 1.017 OPS. So far, so good.
What’s next for the Padres?
The team now heads to Colorado for a three-game set. The tentative matchups right now are:
Game 1: Garrett Richards vs. Jon Gray
Game 2: Joey Lucchesi vs. Kyle Freeland
Game 3: Zach Davies vs. Antonio Senzatela