The San Diego Padres have just won two out of three games from the Atlanta Braves. This series turned out to be quite unsettling. There are a few things to look at here. First, is the fact that the Padres current roster is far superior than the Braves. Did it really seem that way? No. The Padres did not dominate by any means.
The Padres just completed a series in which they really had to battle it out for each win. We now know that the Friars are incapable of even sweeping literally the weakest opponent in baseball. Once again they failed to complete the job.
There were several positive moments to analyze in this series. Snoop Dogg’s first pitch served as a fitting metaphor for this series. It’s like it was cool to see Snoop out there with Padres gear and all. But the pitch overall was horrendous. Same as the Padres. It was cool to see some wins. But at the same time I’m not necessarily satisfied with end result.
Game 1: The Dominant Win
This was a great win for the Padres. Game one of this series would be an absolute dominant win for the Padres. Christian Friedrich would have another solid outing. The Braves would be the first to strike in the premiere inning. Jeff Francoeur would ground out, but Ender Inciarte would manage to score. The Padres would immediately retaliate in the bottom of the first. Matt Kemp would hit a sac-fly that would drive in Jon Jay and make it 1-1. Yangervis Solarte would then hit a three run home run off of his countryman, Williams Perez in the third inning. The score would be 4-1 Pads. Matt Kemp would make it 5-1 with his second RBI of the game in the fifth inning. Williams Perez would then go out of the game with an injury.
Former Friar, Casey Kelly would be put into the game. Melvin Upton Jr. would get an RBI off of Kelly to make it 6-1 Padres. Friedrich would go six and two-thirds, give up two runs and strike out seven. The bullpen would be lights out in this game. Carlos Villanueva and Ryan Buchter would finish out the game for the Friars. Derek Norris would also manage to get an RBI in the bottom of the eighth with a double. That would turn out to be the last run scored in the game. The game would finish 7-2 in the Padres favor. This would be a game in which the Friars would completely dominate. This was a nice start to the series, but things wouldn’t quite flow the same way again.
Game 2: Walk Off on Zombie Night
Game two of this series would not be a walk through the park for the Padres. Maybe if the park was in National City. In other words this would be a hard-fought game for the Pads. The Braves would start it right out of the gate. Nick Markakis would get an RBI double to drive in Freddie Freeman and make it 1-0 Bravos. Just like in game one, the Friars would quickly retaliate. Also just like in game one, Matt Kemp would be the man to do so. Kemp would drive in Wil Myers to tie things up in the bottom of the first. The pitcher for the Braves would be Aaron Blair. The Braves would then take an advantage in the third inning. They would get themselves a couple of runs to make the score 3-1. Things were looking grim for Colin Rea and the Padres early in this game. Blair would have an early exit in the game due to his pitch count. He would have a nice game as he would toss four a third and only give up two runs. That other run that would go on his record would come with Casey Kelly on the mound. Melvin Upton Jr. would drive in a run via a sac-fly. The score would be 3-2 Braves.
Casey Kelly would pitch himself out of trouble and Matt Kemp would be left stranded on third base in the fifth inning. Colin Rea would have a very nice outing. Rea would throw seven strong innings in which he would only allow three runs to cross the plate. Ryan Buchter and Matt Thornton would toss a couple of scoreless frames as well. Then we would go into the bottom of the ninth. Arodys Vizcaino would be on the mound to try to close things out for the Braves. He would go on to have his second blown save of the season in this game. Derek Norris would come up clutch as he would hit a solo shot to tie things up at three. Alexei Ramirez would then get on base with a single. Travis Jankowski would up in the batters box. Vizcaino would throw a wild pitch and Ramirez would advance to third. Jankowski would then get on base with a walk. After a Jon Jay line out, Wil Myers would then come up with runners on second and third. Myers would come up clutch and win the game for the Pads with a line drive down the left field line. This was a great game to watch, but it was a hard-fought win as well. This is not the type of game you really want to be having against the worst team in baseball. The Padres aren’t the best team in baseball, yeah that’s a fact. However, they are much more superior than the Braves as far as talent.
Game Three: Don’t Bring Out the Brooms
I was out at the ballpark on Wednesday. I saw the worst first pitch since 50-cent, delivered by Snoop Dogg. There was something that did catch my attention. There seemed to be not one fan with a broom, ready for the sweep. I mean based on previous performances by the Padres, why would you? The Padres have not been able to pull off a sweep against anybody. But surely someone had to believe that they could do it against the Braves. Yet I didn’t see a broom out there. Granted I may have missed it, but it is still surprising. Well the Padres would do it yet again. This time against the worst team in Baseball. The Braves, for a third straight game would start off early.
The team from Atlanta would get a couple of runs in the first to make it 2-0. Julio Teheran would have a masterful day out on the mound. The Colombian pitcher would throw eight innings and only allow two runs. Those two runs would be two jacks by Wil Myers. Teheran would also bag himself an RBI to go along with his pitching performance. The Padres would bring out their best pitcher, Drew Pomeranz. Pomeranz would really not have a good day out on the mound. He would allow three runs in five innings of work. Now this really isn’t the start you want to be seeing from your best pitcher against a team like the Braves. The bullpen would look fine apart from another earned run from Brandon Maurer. He still seems to be struggling. The offense for the Pads would really struggle in this game. I mean the run support would literally come from one source, Wil Myers. The game would finish 4-2. Overall this series left me with quite the bittersweet feeling. I mean it’s hard to complain about a positive result on paper. But I of course must analyze it deeper. That’s where all the negatives seep into the picture.
Those early leads can haunt you. We saw the Braves take a lead in the top of the first in all three games in this series. Now some might say this shouldn’t be a concern. But it really is if it is to become a trend. The Padres will face the Marlins and the Nationals starting next week on June 13. Now if one of those teams get an early lead like that, it can be game over real quick. Let’s also not forget that this is Petco Park. While those early leads in the first two games did nothing for the Braves, look at game three. With a guy like Julio Teheran on the mound, the Braves didn’t really need too many runs. Now when the elite pitchers start flowing in, this could be a problem. Sometimes just two runs can be enough to win a game at Petco Park.
Wil Myers loves Petco Park!
Wow! Wil Myers has been killing it at Petco Park this year. Myers had another tremendous series here at home. Myers would go 6-12 in the series with of course those two home runs from Sunday’s game. Myers would also get himself a walk off RBI. Wil would also make an amazing play at first on Sunday as well. Myers has really been amazing this year, but especially at home. His home/away splits are ridiculous. Myers is hitting .333 at home as opposed to .229 on the road. I mean that is just crazy. Another big gap in the home/away splits comes in his RBI. Myers has 21 at home as opposed to only 10 on the road. It really is quite rare for Petco Park to help someone out offensively like that. But apparently it’s working for Myers. Who would have thunk it?