Padres Postgame (8/14): Snell dazzles as Padres take series from Washington

Aug 14, 2022; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; San Diego Padres starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) pitches against the Washington Nationals during the second inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 14, 2022; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; San Diego Padres starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) pitches against the Washington Nationals during the second inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports /
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After dropping last night’s game on a somewhat controversial call, the Padres entered this early morning action needing to take this game from Washington. Dropping a series to the worst team in Major League Baseball while in the midst of a playoff hunt would not be good for Bob Melvin’s squad. Blake Snell (4-6) drew the start for the brown and gold, while Paolo Espino (0-4) opposed.

The Padres pushed runs across in the second and third inning, drawing first blood and getting themselves on the board. Jake Cronenworth worked an 0-2 count into a walk and advanced to second after Trent Grisham laid down a two-strike bunt. Wil Myers, who’s making his first start of this series, brought Cronenworth home on an RBI single to left field.

San Diego added two more in the third, though left meat on the bone many wanted them to chew. Jurickson Profar started the frame off with a walk and Juan Soto followed him by ripping a single to center field. Manny Machado, who may seriously be the hottest hitter on planet Earth right now, easily barreled a single to left field, scoring Profar. With nobody out and runners in scoring position, Josh Bell, Brandon Drury, and the aforementioned Cronenworth only managed to push one run home on a weak infield groundout from Drury.

With two outs in the sixth inning, Trent Grisham belted a low-70s curveball from Espino high into the Washington D.C. sky. Thankfully, he hit it directly into the sun, where Nationals’ center fielder Victor Robles couldn’t see as Grisham trotted to second base with a double. Myers drilled the next pitch into left field for his second RBI single of the day, extending San Diego’s lead to 4-0.

Blake Snell turned in yet another dominant start, blanking the Nationals through six innings while punching out 10. Only one batter touched second base, and it came in his last inning of work, as the star southpaw did whatever he wanted all game long. Snell has allowed one or zero runs in six of his last seven starts, with his only blemish being in Coors Field against the Rockies. In that span, Snell has punched out 57 batters over 37 and two-third innings pitched, lowering his ERA to 3.66 on the season.

Similarly to what they did last night, the Nationals threatened deep into this game. They put runners in scoring position with less than two outs in both the seventh and eighth, but Nick Martinez managed to escape unscathed in either inning, inducing two clutch double plays. Martinez has been excellent out of the ‘pen for San Diego, failing to allow a run in six straight outings and lowering his ERA to 3.24 on the year.

After all that, the Padres tacked onto their lead in the ninth inning. Myers started things off with a bunt single, his third hit of the day, and Jorge Alfaro reached base via hit by pitch.  Soto does what he does and drew a walk, setting up Manny Machado with the bases-loaded and one out. Machado lined one off the barrel to Nationals’ third baseman Maikel Franco, who launched the ball into right field and gifted San Diego two runs.

With the 6-0 win, the Padres improve to 65-52 on the season and take a much-needed series over Washington, who drops to 38-79.

TOP PERFORMERS

+ Blake Snell: 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 10 K

+ Nick Martinez: 2 IP, 3 H, 0 R

+ Wil Myers: 3-for-4, 2 RBI

+ Manny Machado: 2-for-5, 2 RBI

+ Juan Soto: 1-for-3, 2 BB, RS

WHAT’S NEXT

The Padres’ east coast trip continues on Monday, as they’ll travel to Miami for a three-game set with the Marlins. Game one of the series will feature two of the National League’s top arms in a battle between Joe Musgrove (8-5, 2.91 ERA) and Sandy Alcantara (10-5, 2.01 ERA).

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