Chris Paddack had another rough outing in the Padres loss on Tuesday, with batters teeing off on his fastball.
In the first couple of innings of the Padres 8-3 loss on Tuesday night, the Mariners were teeing off on Chris Paddack’s pitches, dumping hit after hit into the outfield with two balls leaving the yard as well. In all, Paddack was responsible for six earned runs in 5+ innings of work, although he failed to record an out in the sixth.
From the get-go, Paddack looked unsettled, struggling to pinpoint his pitches. The 24-year-old settled down in the third and fourth innings, retiring eight straight at one point in the game, but he allowed his second home run in the sixth inning.
Paddack has been much more susceptible to the long ball this season, allowing nearly 2.5 HR/9, which is a significant increase from the 1.5 HR/9 last year. Speaking of last year, Paddack’s ERA is a far cry from the 2019 season.
Paddack’s ERA settled at 5.15 when he left the game, but his fastball has been the primary difference between his rookie year and 2020. Last year, opponents could only muster a .204 average off his primary pitch. This season, batters are hitting a robust .333 off Paddack’s fastball. A closer look reveals that his horizontal movement has improved, 3.3 more inches of break – or 49 percent more – than the league average per StatCast.
However, he has absolutely no up and down on his heater this season, which is quite a difference from the 2 inches more break – or 14 percent more – than league average in 2019. Simply put, Paddack’s fastball is flat and batters are tearing the cover off the ball.
His curveball has significantly improved from last season, but Paddack doesn’t feature this pitch too often. He relies heavily on his fastball (59 percent usage), so when it’s not working, it results in starts like Tuesday’s disaster.
The Padres will turn to Dinelson Lamet and Garrett Richards in the final two games of the series, hoping to avoid losing a series to the lowly Mariners. Did I mention this had the makings of a trap series?