Petco Park, San Diego
Another game, another loss for the San Diego Padres as they dropped their fourth straight game tonight to the Colorado Rockies 7-4.
A shaky start from Bryan Mitchell set the Padres back, and despite home runs by Wil Myers and Cory Spangenberg, the Padres couldn’t claw their way back for a win. Let’s look at some takeaways from tonight’s game:
Bryan Mitchell missed, then missed some more
Bryan Mitchell, in his Padres debut, struggled on the mound from the first pitch. The former Yankee threw only 52% of his pitches for strikes, with 49 out of 94 pitches being strikes. While the argument could be made that home plate umpire Alfonzo Marquez was squeezing the plate (and in some cases he was), Mitchell was seemingly all over the place. His curveball bounced to the plate multiple times and he didn’t seem confident in his stuff.
What was in the strike zone was either up in the zone or right down Broadway and, when combined with a potent Colorado lineup, equaled many hard hit baseballs and runs. Fastballs left up in the zone were hammered for doubles by Carlos Gonzalez and Charlie Blackmon, while other leaking fastballs were slapped for hits, leaving Mitchell with nothing but an increased pitch count and five runs charged against him.
The final two runs came off an Ian Desmond home run that just cleared the center field fence. The hit was off a fastball right down the middle of the plate. Mitchell wasn’t fooling anyone with his pitches, but it was his first start of the season. He will get time to shake off the rust, but he can’t have starts like this after being handed a starting job in spring training.
Padres hitters missed out on some runs
The Padres had some solid hits, but unfortunately for them, all of them found a glove of a Rockies outfielder. First it was Myers, fresh off a solo dinger in the second inning, who came up to the plate after walks by Freddy Galvis and Manuel Margot, along with an infield hit by Mitchell, loaded the bases up for the right fielder. Myers struck a mighty blow and the ball looked like it was going to bounce off the wall, but Blackmon leaped up and robbed Myers of extra bases and the Padres of a lead.
An RBI double by Carlos Asuaje scored Eric Hosmer and left him on second base. Galvis drew another walk and AJ Ellis, a last minute addition after Austin Hedges was scratched due to upper back tightness, sacrificed the body and was hit by a pitch. With the bases full of Friars, Mitchell had the chance to help himself out, but instead grounded softly to pitcher Chad Bettis to end the inning.
Jose Pirela also missed a home run by inches after Hosmer roped yet another double. Pirela barreled a pitch to right field that traveled 354 feet, but unfortunately, the fence in right field is 382 feet and the ball landed not past the fence, but nestled safely into Gonzalez’ glove.
Despite a last gasp in the ninth inning where Spangenberg clubbed a solo home run and Pirela laced an RBI triple, the Padres missed many opportunities to capitalize on major chances, but if it weren’t for some solid defensive plays, there could have been some more runs on the board for the home team.
Hosmer remains hot
One bright spot was Hosmer, who continued his strong start to the season with two more doubles and drew one of four walks by San Diego. His double to the outfield beat out a shift set up by manager Bud Black and he would score on the aforementioned double by Asuaje. He made a smart play by throwing out Trevor Story at third base after a sacrifice bunt attempt by Bettis. Hosmer is now 6-16 on the young season with four doubles and three walks and hopefully he can keep up his hot streak for the foreseeable future.
Myers dinged up again
On his third at-bat, Myers came up looking to crack another pitch into the outfield. Instead, he chopped at the first pitch and popped the ball up to the infield. He came up squeezing his bicep that seemed to be in some sort of pain. He stayed in for a while longer, but was pulled for Hunter Renfroe before his next at-bat. AJ Cassavell reports that Myers has an elbow issue, but later said that it may have been a miscommunication as Myers himself said it was more of a triceps issue. Whatever it is, it can only be hoped that this does not become a major issue.
It's an elbow issue for Wil Myers. No structural damage after an X-ray.
— AJ Cassavell (@AJCassavell) April 3, 2018
May have been a miscommunication. Myers says it's a triceps issue more than an elbow. Just general soreness. Doesn't expect it to linger.
— AJ Cassavell (@AJCassavell) April 3, 2018
The Padres will be looking to bounce back after this loss and will be looking to get into the win column with a familiar face as Tyson Ross takes the hill for San Diego as the Padres look to show some fire in their bellies against an NL West opponent.