Petco Park- San Diego, California:
In a game that could be summarized as two children playing on a seesaw, the San Diego Padres showed off some resilience in their game against the Colorado Rockies, scratching runs across the board and tying the game up twice before falling behind for good.
They were bested by the home run ball, as the Rockies dropped three dingers at Petco Park and used these home runs to spoil the major league debut of Franmil Reyes, swiping a 6-4 win from the home team.
Lucchessi limited again
It was another short outing for the rookie, who tossed five innings of three-run ball while striking out only two. The main damage came in his final inning of work, as he allowed a pair of solo home runs off the bats of Daniel Castro and Noel Cuevas before escaping the fifth inning by coaxing a small dribbler that Nolan Arenado mistook for a foul ball, but instead got tagged out by catcher AJ Ellis.
The rookie right-hander threw only 71 pitches in this outing, only two more than his outing against the Washington Nationals, where he threw 69 pitches in the same amount of innings. The rookie has now thrown almost 50 innings this season and it can only be assumed that he will be on an innings limit similar to the ones put on young pitchers Mat Latos and Jesse Hahn when they were up-and-comers for the Padres. Lucchesi is considered to be part of the future for this San Diego squad, and manager Andy Green may be looking to save his talents and arm for later in the season.
Green said after the game that Luchessi was pulled from the game after he was feeling some fatigue.
The manager was quick to yank him from the game to keep him fresh, but Luchessi said that the injury was only glute tightness. Green stressed the injury isn’t arm-related, but Padres fans should keep tabs on him just in case.
It's glute tightness, says Lucchesi. He doesn't think it's a serious thing and he's worked through it in the past. (Green was adamant it wasn't an *arm* injury in his postgame presser. I misinterpreted initially.)
— AJ Cassavell (@AJCassavell) May 15, 2018
Kazuhisa Makita hit around
In his return from Triple-A El Paso, Makita initially got a bunt out from Trevor Story, but after that, was immediately jumped on by the Rockies’ hitters as Ian Desmond and Chris Ianetta slapped back-to-back singles to put runners on base. An 81 MPH changeup from Makita caught too much of the plate and Gerardo Parra made him pay for it, golfing the ball to right field for an easy three-run home run.
The rest of the bullpen was rock steady as per usual, as Matt Strahm tossed two innings of shutout ball and struck out one while navigating his way out of some trouble after walking two batters in the seventh inning. Robbie Erlin pitched a shutout ninth inning to keep the game close for the Padres.
It is troubling to see Makita continue to struggle at the major league level as he was brought on by the Padres in the offseason to serve as a key cog in the Padres’ bullpen. Instead, he has missed his location, and batters have been feasting on his lower-velocity offerings. Here’s hoping that Makita can figure out his struggles and become the player that the Padres hoped he would be.
Offense good, but not good enough
The Padres’ hitters haven’t been scoring runs in bunches like other teams have, but they have done enough to snatch a couple of wins. Tonight, after a walk-off double from Eric Hosmer, the Padres were unable to recapture the magic despite showing some moxey by tying the ball game twice and taking a lead.
The first runs came in the definition of small-ball baseball. Freddy Galvis cracked a double down the left field line and Rockies starter Tyler Anderson committed a cardinal sin of baseball by walking Lucchesi. This brought up Manny Margot, who was batting in the leadoff spot with Travis Jankowski taking a spot on the bench for the day. Margot would drop a perfectly placed bunt between the crashing Desmond and Anderson, and Galvis would score easily as Margot took first base with his blazing speed.
A fielder’s choice and a balk would move Franchy Cordero to second base, and Franmil Reyes hit a ground ball to shortstop Trevor Story that should’ve been out number three, but Story’s throw sailed over the head of Desmond, allowing Cordero to gallop home for the Padres’ first lead of the day.
After Colorado retook the lead, San Diego wasted no time in tying the game back up with doubles by pinch hitter Matt Szczur, who has been fighting tooth and nail to keep his spot on the 25 man roster, and Hosmer. Margot nearly had extra bases of his own, but a twisting jump by Parra robbed him of his second base hit of the night.
The final Padres run would come across after Ellis scored Galvis with an RBI single after the latter laced a ball that missed Charlie Blackmon‘s glove by centimeters for a triple. The Padres would have one last gasp in the ninth inning when Jankowski took a pinch-hit walk, but a soft ground out from Margot erased any hopes of a comeback as Colorado took the win with a score of 6-4.