The Padres came into New York looking to start the road trip off on the right foot. After a first inning melt down in game one, our Friars got their act together and pulled through two straight wins to take the series two games to one. Here’s how it all went down:
Game 1 – Padres 3, Mets 9
For the third time in four games, a Padre starter gave up five or more runs in the first inning. Jhoulys Chacin took the mound on Tuesday night, looking to put an end to his streak of terrible games on the road. Well, it didn’t really go to well for him. He pitched just 2/3 innings, giving up eight hits and seven earned runs in his limited time on the mound.
Chain gave up the first run of the night on a 1-2 pitch with no outs, Michael Conforto blasted a solo home run to make it 1-0. Chacin then gave up hits to the next three hitters to load the bases with no outs yet in the ballgame. He wouldn’t record his first out until Curtis Granderson hit a sac fly that scored Jose Reyes to put the Mets up 2-0. A soft roller to right, followed by a gapper to left-center field would put a man on second and extend the lead 5-0. A ground out to right put a man on second and third, plus two outs for the Padres. The next at bat, Lucas Duda hit one to left field to score two more runners (7-0) and inevitably force Andy Green to pull Chacin off the mound. Craig Stammen came in to relieve Chacin, he pitched 3 1/3 innings and gave up just one run on three hits while striking out two.
This early jump for the Mets would stop the Padres from trying to battle back. Ryan Schimpf drew his 26th walk of the season to put him on first. Hunter Renfroe came to the plate next and hit a sharp double to center field to put a Friar on first and second. Cory Spangenberg and Austin Hedges both grounded out back to back to bring both Schimpf and Renfroe home to put a dent in the deficit.
Craig Stammen and Matt Harvey battled back and forth for a couple of scoreless innings. That was until Michael Conforto broke the silence with his second solo shot of the game to extend the Mets lead 8-2. Stammen would go on to finish the inning, but was pinch hit for by Chase d’Arnaud for his first appearance as a Padre. It was a short welcome as he was called out on strikes.
Miguel Diaz replaced Stammen in the game and pitched two scoreless innings striking out just one batter in-between the six outs.
Ryan Schimpf hit a bomb half through Diaz’s appearance, his 11th on the season, to cut the deficit down to 8-3. That would be negated in the bottom of the 7th inning when Kirby Yates gave up a ground ball to right field that scored Juan Lagaras. Brad Hand came in the next inning to replace Yates and finish off the game for the Padres. However, not before striking out two batters and plunking the red-hot Conforto.
This game was a little hard to watch at the start, but it was fun to see our Friars battle and still put in full effort on some plays even if the game was a little out of reach.
Game 2 – Padres 6, Mets 5
This game started out a little bit scary. Jarred Cosart took a comebacker off the bat of Michael Conforto straight to his ankle. The ball rolled just a few feet in front of the mound, but the moment Cosart immediately lifted his foot up after trying to put his weight on it to go get the ball. The hit to his ankle didn’t keep him from the game though.
The bottom of the third however, was not so pretty. The inning started out with Cosart striking out Mets starter Robert Gsellman followed by two consecutive walks to put Conforto and Jose Reyes on base. Neil Walker flied out to center but was followed by a third walk to load the bases with just one out. Wilmer Flores stepped to the plate and ripped a double into left field that unloaded the bases to put the Mets on top 3-1. Curtis Granderson followed that with a single into right field to give the Mets their fourth run on the inning and a three run lead.
Yes, I was thinking the same thing you were. Oh great, here we go again. But, manager Andy Green stopped the bleeding their pulling Jarred Coasrt after giving up four runs, four walks, and four hits in just 2 2/3 innings. Jose Torres came in and struck out Rene Rivera to put an end an ugly third inning for the Padres.
But, Torres couldn’t hold the Mets off for too long, A lead off double, a balk, and another Michael Conforto RBI gave the Mets another run and extended their lead to 5-1. Torres got the remmaining two, but not before another hard to watch inning that was starting to look like another blown game for the Padres.
But as you know, our boys are young and they do not give away any games easily. The following inning, Luis Torrens grabbed a one out double to give the Padres a glimpse of hope in the 5th inning. We got a short look at Carlos Asuaje as he came in to pinch hit for Torres, but he flew out to left field. Matt Szczur worked a two out, ten pitch walk that was followed by a red-hot Solarte double to allow the Padres to cut the lead 5-3.
Kevin Quackenbush came in to pitch two shut out innings for the Padres, carrying them into their 7th inning rally. Erick Aybar and Luis Torrens both got outs to lead off the inning, pushing your hopes of a come back down just a little bit. Chase d’Arnaud would get the rally kicked off with a two-out single. d’Arnaud even stole second in the middle of a Szczur at bat that resulted in a walk. That walk was followed by a Solarte walk which was followed by a Mets pitching change. The Padres now had the bases loaded, two outs, and Wil Myers at the plate. He ripped the ball to center field and it was looking like it was ready to sail just over the wall for a grand slam, but it fell just inches short and bounced off the top of the center field wall allowing two to score and tie up the game.
The top of the eighth Hunter Renfroe lead off with a monster home run to left field to give the Padres a late 6-5 lead.
Closer Brandon Maurer pitched the 8th inning giving Brad Hand to pitch the ninth and work for his first save on the season. That didn’t look to be too good of an idea when Hand gave up two singles and a walk to load the bases with zero outs. This is another moment when you’re sitting on the couch thinking, “Uh okay here it is, I knew this game was too good to be true.”
But Hand worked your worries away as he sat down the next three batters (2 Ks) to earn a save and give the Padres a much-needed win.
Game 3 – Padres 4, Mets 3
The Mets had originally scheduled Jacob deGrom to pitch this game, but they decided to push his start back a game and let Rafael Montero to start the game. Possibly because rookie Dinelson Lamet was making his major league debut and they thought they didn’t need deGrom’s magic. They were wrong.
The Padres loaded the base early in the first inning, allowing a Spangenberg single to turn into a 1-0 lead. With two outs, Matt Szczur worked a walk, he did that a lot this series, to force Myers to the plate and an early 2-0 lead for the Friars.
Dinelson Lamet had a pretty impressive start to his major league career sitting down the first batter he faced, a red-hot Conforto, on three straight pitches. He would go on to strike out seven more batters and get his first career W. He went 5 innings while allowing just three hits, one run, and two walks.
He did get a warm welcome to the league though, giving up a 1-0 heater over the plate that was crushed by Lucas Duda to cut the Padres lead in half. But, need not worry Szczur singled into left field to score the rookie Renfroe and extend the lead back to two for the Padres.
The game didn’t get interesting again until the bottom of the 8th inning when Duda grabbed another RBI, but this time with a single to center. The Padres answered back the next inning with Spangenberg ripping a double to right field to score Cordoba and Myers further extending the Friars lead to 4-2.
Brad Hand got the ball again in the bottom of the 9th to work towards his second save on the season. He got Chase d’Arnaud’s brother out by way of a ground ball to kick off the inning. But a walk and a sharp liner to right liner to right field out guys on the corners with just one out. Jose Reyes grounded out to allow juan Lagares to score and cut the lead to just one with two outs. Hand took care of business though, forcing Jay Bruce to pop out end the game and cap off a series victory for our San Diego Padres.
All in all, this was a fun series to watch. It started out a little shaky, but we got to watch our boys battle and grind out two much needed wins for the fans. We also got to see a glimpse into the future by way of Carlos Asuaje and Dinelson Lamet and a third new Padre in Chase d’Arnaud.
The Padres will head to the nation’s capital and look to make a further dent into their east coast record which is currently at 2-5. They’ll take on Bryce Harper and the first place Nationals in a three game series.