Padres: Game 1 loss lands on Jayce Tingler’s shoulders

(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

Despite a disappointing sophomore year, Chris Paddack got the start for the Padres in Game 1, and it went as you’d expect.

Given how Chris Paddack’s second year in the big leagues, the news that he would be starting Game 1 of a playoff series, was a bit shocking. The Padres released their roster for the wild card round matchup against the Cardinals, and neither Dinelson Lamet nor Mike Clevinger was on the list.

Both went down with bicep tightness at the end of the regular season, and despite Clevinger throwing a bullpen session on Tuesday, the Padres determined he would likely not pitch the rest of the year. So that really left either Paddack or Garrett Richards.

But Paddack’s sophomore year in the league couldn’t have gone worse. The opposition quickly figured out he’s a two-pitch pitcher, that relies heavily on his fastball. There’s really not much guessing involved.

So it didn’t come as a surprise when the Cardinals were teeing off on Paddack, highlighted by a four-run first inning that killed the Friar Faithful’s spirit. Wednesday marked the first playoff game for San Diego since 2006, and it was a total nightmare.

Paul Goldschmidt got the scoring started with a two-run bomb, followed by Yadier Molina’s RBI single and Matt Carpenter’s sacrifice fly made it a four-run lead. The Padres offense had done a tremendous job of coming back when down during the regular season, so four runs seemed like nothing, right?

The Friars chased Cardinals’ starter, Kwang Hyun Kim, after 3.2 innings and getting 3 runs in. But by that point, the Cards’ anemic offense, during the regular season, had already scored 6 runs.

In all, Paddack was responsible for all 6 runs, even though Matt Strahm contributed to the cause with inherited runners after the former exited the game. But it makes you wonder why Richards didn’t get the start in this game? Paddack has been so susceptible to the long ball this year, and his inability to develop a useful third pitch was detrimental to his success.

Richards has, by no means, been great this year, but I think a lot of Padres fans would have felt like they had a better chance with him pitching. Now the Friars are in a win or go home game with Zach Davies on the mound against a seasoned veteran in Adam Wainwright. No pressure, kid.

It’s just difficult to comprehend what Jayce Tingler was thinking putting Paddack out there in Game 1 of the playoffs, hoping for some kind of miracle. It also didn’t help that the top four guys in the lineup went a combined 3-for-17.

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