Framing the Friars: Padres Get to Gray Early and Often in Win

(AP Photo/Ryan Kang)

Credit: AP Photo/Ryan Kang

Denver, Colorado

The last time the Padres had scored against Jon Gray was in the fifth inning of a September 22nd game. Jordan Lyles hit an RBI single with two outs. Granted, that was only two starts ago, but Jon Gray has made a living of beating up the Padres.

Going into the game, Gray had a career line against the Padres that was dominant: a 2.40 ERA in 10 starts while striking out 82 in 60 innings, allowing only 16 earned runs. That changed drastically on Monday night.

It looked to be more of the same in the first as Gray struck out the Padres batters in order, making it look rather easy and giving the Padres faithful little hope that their fate would change on this night.

That feeling would not last long, as the Padres scratched a run across in the second on four hits, led by a two-out, two-strike hit by the struggling Manuel Margot.

The Rockies would tie the game in the second when Ian Desmond came up and hit a solo home run to right field off Padres starter Clayton Richard.

In the fourth, the game went wacky. After getting two quick outs, Freddy Galvis tripled to deep center, landing just past the outstretched Charlie Blackmon. After an Austin Hedges RBI double, Gray intentionally walked Margot to face Richard.

Richard, who had homered twice in his 10-year career, quickly crushed number three, a no-doubter over the right field wall. The damage did not stop there. The next batter, Carlos Asuaje, would follow with a homer of his own, giving the Padres a 6-1 lead over Gray.

The Rockies would answer with three runs of their own in the bottom of the inning as Chris Iannetta hit his first homer since returning to the Colorado Rockies.

In the fifth, Eric Hosmer hit a leadoff single, advanced to second on a wild pitch, and scored after Jose Pirela doubled him in, making the score 7-4 San Diego.

Controversy struck in the bottom of the sixth, with one out and one on for Carlos Gonzalez. Gonzalez, facing reliever Jordan Lyles, hit a high fly ball to left field that ended up going in and out of the glove of Cory Spangenberg, landing for a home run. However, during the attempt, a fan clearly makes contact with Spangenberg attempting the catch. The umpires, however, did not feel that the play was enough to interrupt Spangenberg from completing the play. The Padres manager, Andy Green, felt otherwise, getting immediately ejected for coming out to argue a play that was under review. Lyles would escape without further damage, but the Rockies had cut the lead to 7-6.

In the seventh, Lyles ran into some trouble to start the inning, walking Blackmon, and after a D.J. LeMahieu single, Craig Stammen entered to face Nolan Arenado. Stammen would get Arenado swinging on a pitch way out of the zone, then would shut the door after getting a groundout by Trevor Story and a weak groundout to Freddy Galvis by Ian Desmond to end the threat.

More of the same for Stammen as he came out for a second inning and shut the Rockies down in order. On the year, Stammen has retired 25 of the 26 batters he has faced, not counting the intentional walk he issued.

In the ninth, Brad Hand would come in for the save. He would need only 15 pitches to strike out the Rockies in order, making quick work of Gerardo Parra, Blackmon, and LeMahieu.

Game Notes:

  • Jose Pirela was 3-5 on the night with an RBI and a run.
  • Freddy Galvis was 1-4 on the night, but the real story was his defense. Two plays to end the third and the seventh inning were not particularly easy, but the veteran shortstop made it look that way, stranding runners on third in both instances.
  • Craig Stammen pitched two innings of no-hit baseball, getting Jordan Lyles out of a jam in the seventh, and struck out two in the process.
  • Brad Hand looked to have shaken off the early rust as he struck out the side in a quick ninth inning.
  • Austin Hedges got three hits tonight, but they were anything but conventional. The slumping catcher may have received a gift from the Colorado scorer on his double, while the other two were placed nicely.
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Patrick Cusick
Since he was a little kid he wanted to be one of those guys at the game who had the headset on, listening to the Colonel and Uncle Teddy, he has grown out of that, but the love is still there. Padres' coverage will be biased at times, but mostly an honest dissection of the team he loves.

1 thought on “Framing the Friars: Padres Get to Gray Early and Often in Win

  1. Great win! Coors Field is great for waking up your teams bats. Stammen has been electric this year, him and Lucchesi are the two guys who have impressed me the most on that pitching staff this season.

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