The Padres came into Petco Park looking to grow their largest winning streak on the season by one more game. I’m not sure if it’s encouragement from Ron Fowler to get through these five wins, but I can say the Padres have been slugging the ball.
Saturday night was a different story. The Padres struck out eight times and combined for just four hits in 30 at bats, a .133 average on the night.
Tyler Chatwood was on the mound for the Rockies. He has been relatively above-average throughout his five-plus years in the majors. With a 37-38 record with a career 4.25 ERA, he pitched well above his career averages.
A couple of positives for tonight:
Austin Hedges homered in his third straight start and for his 11th time this season. That long ball tied him with Salvador Perez for most amongst catchers this season. The ball left his bat at 103 MPH at a launch angle of 26 degrees to travel 385 feet into the upper deck of the Western Metal Supply Co. building.
He now sports a .259 batting average along with 27 RBI and six doubles after starting the season 0-27. This is a great sign for the Padres, as we’ve known that Hedges has had some trouble at the plate to start his major league career. It was one of the main reasons he’d been kept back at the Triple-A level for so long.
In 2015, he collected just 23 hits (two doubles, three home runs) in 137 at-bats. His .169/.215/.248 and 38 strikeouts to just eight walks are what urged the demotion around the same point in the season we are today.
In 2016, Hedges spent the entire season at the Triple-A level and was eventually called up in September following a Pacific Coast League title and Triple-A Championship appearance. He slashed a scary low .125/.154/.167, recording just three hits and one RBI in 24 at-bats. I know this is a very small sample size, but hitting this poorly after crushing the ball all season in Triple-A (.326/.353/.597, 21 HR, 82 RBI) made people skeptical if Hedges would be able to figure out his hitting problems in the major leagues.
It appears that the #swoon may have finally figured things out.
Another positive was, despite the horrendous pitching, the Friars flexed their gloves, showcasing multiple highlight-esque plays in the infield.
Yangervis Solarte got the party started by showcasing his hops to steal a base hit from DJ LeMahieu.
Chase d’Arnaud continued to make a case for himself as the starter over veteran Erick Aybar.
Wil Myers showed that he’s still got it, despite some mishaps in the field earlier this season.
A third, and final takeaway from tonight’s game was that Padre fans who purchased the 5-Win Pass are now guaranteed at least a sixth home game to attend this month, bringing the average ticket price down from $20 a pop, to $16.66 per seat.
Overall, this was a very tough game to watch, as nine-run losses usually are. But nonetheless, many plays and lots of successes that were not so obvious happened Saturday night that made the game worth paying some attention to.