Padres Series Recap: Padres Fail to Earn Sweep, But Take 2 of 3 from L.A.

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Credit: UT San Diego

The San Diego Padres have just won another series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. But did it feel like a victory? What did we win? Bragging rights in a fallacy of a rivalry against the Dodgers. The fact of the matter is we’re still a ways out of first. Another thing is that we did not out play the Dodgers in any of these games. All of these games while exciting, proved that we’re just not quit there yet.

The positive to take from this series is that these players have a lot of heart. At the same time though these were difficult wins for the Padres, and the loss came in horrendous fashion. A contending team doesn’t leave runners on first and third in the bottom of the eleventh. While the players did do well this series. I encourage to not give into the false hope the Padres have created. Enjoy the wins. By all means enjoy them.

I enjoyed the wins as much as the next guy. But remember that were just not contenders. Anyways this series was great, in all honesty. It was just so much fun to watch. The only reason why I’m saying to not get too excited is because the Padres did need the sweep. Mathematically they really did. Even after winning this series the Pads are still seven and a half games out of first.

Game 1: Melvin Does It Again!

This had to be the most exciting Padre game yet this season. Apart from there being a walk-off, which always makes any game interesting. There were also five home runs total in this game. Yes you read that correctly, five home runs at Petco Park. What is this Coors Field? The two pitchers did not have a good day on the mound. Christian Friedrich would only go three and a third innings and allow two runs. Scott Kazmir would go five and two-thirds innings and allow five runs. He would have an abysmal day as he would also give up two home runs and walk seven batters. Christian Friedrich would oddly enough be the one to crack open the scoreboard. In the second inning he would get a couple of RBI on a single up the middle. The Dodgers would then get an RBI in the third and fourth innings by Corey Seager and Yasmani Grandal to even the score at two.

After that the slug fest would begin in the fifth. Yasiel Puig would deliver the first dinger of the night at the expense of Carlos Villanueva. That would be the eighth home runs in total Villanueva has given up this season. The score would now be 4-2 Dodgers. The Padres would quickly turn things around as their catchers would surprisingly put in some work. Derek Norris would get a solo shot in the bottom of the fifth to make the score 4-3. Then in the bottom of the sixth, Christian Bethancourt would change the score to favor the Pads with a two run shot off of Scott Kazmir.

The game would calm down for a bit until the eighth inning. Brandon Maurer would be on the mound for the Friars and unfortunately give up a two run homer to Justin Turner. The Dodgers would bring back the score now to their favor at 6-5. We then would go to the bottom of the ninth. Kenley Jansen would be the man on the mound. Kenley had been lights out before Friday night being successful in all 13 of his save attempts. That streak wouldn’t last though. Melvin Upton Jr.would end the game with a two run home run and make the score 7-6 in the Friars favor. As mentioned before, this had to be the most exiting Padre game yet this season. This was a great win for the Padres. A walk-off win always really seems to bring up players spirits. It always is a great morale booster. They sure needed it after that last Giants series. The Padres never gave up in this game and just kept on going. It is also incredible how Melvin Upton has now provided two walk off wins. He has proven to be clutch when the Pads have needed him to be.

Game 2: The Literal Walk-Off

The Padres really have turned it around after that Giants series. On Saturday they gave us another quality game. Cesar Vargas and Alex Wood, would both look great. The last time these two pitchers faced each other they wouldn’t allow a run until the sixth inning. The same would happen in this game. Matt Kemp would open up the score with a sac-fly to make it 1-0. Then in the top of the seventh Trayce Thompson would strike for the Dodgers. He would provide a two run home run off of Cesar Vargas to make the score 2-1 in the Dodgers favor. Vargas would have another quality outing, going seven innings, only allowing two runs and striking out seven. Unfortunately he could not get his first career win yet again. That now makes it six starts without a win for Cesar Vargas.

The Padres would then tie up the scoreboard in the bottom of the seventh with a sac-fly from Alexi Amarista. After that the game would settle at two runs a piece for a while. We would see some nice pitching performances from the bullpen. Ryan Buchter came in the eighth and struck out the side. Buchter now has a minuscule ERA of 0.43. Fernando Rodney would come in the ninth and be light out again, keeping his ERA at 0.00. Brad Hand would then come in the tenth and eleventh and pitch a couple of scoreless frames.

Credit: UT San Diego
Credit: UT San Diego

We then go to the bottom of the eleventh. Things would get interesting. Chin-Hui Tsao would be the man on the mound for the Dodgers. Wil Myers would start things off for the Padres with a single. After that Tsao would get out of trouble a bit. Matt Kemp would fly out and Melvin Upton Jr.came very close to another walk-off home run. But Trayce Thompson would haul in the catch to make it two outs on the Friars. After that, Tsao’s control would severely hurt him. Wil Myers would steal second. Then Tsao would walk Derek Norris and Brett Wallace. The bases would be loaded in the bottom of the eleventh. Yangervis Solarte would be the man at the plate. The pressure had to be hard on him. But it really wasn’t, as Tsao seemed to be more nervous. Tsao would walk his third consecutive batter and give the Padres the win in literal walk-off style. Another incredible game for the Padres. Two walk-off wins in a row is unheard of. The player’s must be feeling like they’re on top of the world. To contrast Friday night’s game, this game proved that you don’t always need the home runs to win a ball game. The Padres won this game through pure basics. Their runs came via two sac-flies and a walk. That is amazing.

Game 3: It Just Wasn’t Meant To Be

Game three of this series was a long, painful experience for the Friar Faithful. The pitchers, Colin Rea and Kenta Maeda started off well as a run wasn’t scored until the fifth inning. Christian Bethancourt would start things off with an RBI single, then Will Myers would make it 4-0 Padres on a triple. Okay 4-0 lead, we should have the sweep secured, right? Wrong. The Dodgers would then score three runs in the sixth inning to make it 4-3. In the seventh Ryan Buchter would surprisingly give up a homer to Justin Turner and the score would be tied at four. That would be the first home run Buchter has given up all year. It would also be the first time Buchter has really failed us all season. The bullpen would fail us again in the eighth as Brandon Maurer would give up a solo shot to Howie Kendrick. The Dodgers now would lead 5-4.

In the bottom of the eighth Kenley Jansen would come in with two outs to try to get the four out save. Melvin Upton Jr. would make sure that wouldn’t happen as he would come up clutch again. Upton delivered an RBI triple which would tie the game at five. After that we would go into extra innings, and it would be a long and winding road ahead of us. Carlos Villanueva would throw three scoreless frames. Luis Perdomo would then come in and throw four scoreless frames until the seventeenth inning.

Perdomo would weave and wind himself out of trouble throughout his outing but would fail in his fifth inning of work. In the top of the seventeenth Perdomo would give up four runs. That would be that. After an exhausting day at the ballpark the Padres would have nothing to show for it. They could not produce anything in the bottom of the seventeenth and the game would finally come to an end. This game was frustrating to watch. The simple fact that the Padres once lead by four runs and then lost by four runs in 17 innings is just crazy. The Padres could have easily won this game. In the bottom of the eleventh the Padres had runners on the corners  with one out and failed to deliver. I guess it just wasn’t meant to be. I mean three walk-off wins in a row, that’s unheard of. Also there is the fact that the Padres have failed to get a sweep all year. Hopefully they will get that kill eventually this year.

Storylines

Did Perdomo prove some worth?

It has been controversial all season long whether Luis Perdomo should be on the Padres. The rule-5 pick had only pitched as far as high-A before joining the Padres. This was a heavy concern. Now Perdomo hasn’t really done much to say that he should still be on the club. But today he showed at least me, that he can be helpful to this ball club. Now Perdomo did in fact give up four runs that cost the Padres the game. But if you think about it, was that what cost us the game? The simple fact that Perdomo went four scoreless innings should have been enough for the Padres to win this game. This man is not a long reliever, he did the best he could. The way he pitched himself out of trouble against this Dodgers lineup, showed me he does indeed have some worth to this team.

Bethancourt needs more time

I have debated before whether Christian Bethancourt should get more playing time. Well now I am convinced he should start for us. Sunday he did only go 1-7, but he did have an RBI. On Friday night he managed to get a pinch hit home run. That home run would be his fourth of the year. Derek Norris who has played the majority of the games has the same amount of home runs and a much worse batting average. To put it in perspective Norris has played in 38 games this season. While Bethancourt has played in 20, but a few of those games have just been pinch hit opportunities. Norris is Batting .177 while Bethancourt is Batting .250. The more staggering number is the fact that Bethancourt has nine RBI while Norris has seven.

The proof is in the numbers. Bethancourt should be seeing a lot more playing time. There is also the fact that Bethancourt is only 24 years old. He can develop into something greater if he can get more playing time. Let’s not forget he was once regarded as a top prospect in the Braves system. Bethancourt isn’t too bad with the glove at all either. He has a rocket arm which he has shown in this series and season. Andy Green should really consider giving the young Colombian catcher a few more games behind the dish.

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Francisco Velasco
Francisco, 21, Chula Vista area, Journalism student at Southwestern College. I have been a Padres fan all my life, did most of the series previews and recaps in the Padres' 2016 season for EVT. Now I focus more on the Tijuana Xolos soccer team, get press passes for every home game and write consistently about the team for EVT.

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