San Diego, California
In one of the most intriguing pitching matchups of the day, Chris Paddack made his fifth start on Wednesday afternoon against Felix Hernandez and the Seattle Mariners. Paddack has burst onto the scene as one of the best rookie pitchers, perhaps the best rookie pitcher in all of baseball. Hernandez is a former Cy Young winner who is fourth among active pitchers in strikeouts.
Both pitchers had their best stuff on Wednesday.
Paddack would look like a top-level ace the rest of his outing, retiring every other batter he faced, ending his afternoon with a stellar seven innings with that one hit and one walk and nine strikeouts, easily his best outing as a major leaguer.
Hernandez looked very locked in as well, but Ian Kinsler has a ton of experience against Felix and the Mariners. He took Hernandez deep in the bottom of the second inning. It was his fifth career home run against Hernandez. Kinsler is the active hits leader against the Mariners, due to his nine years in the AL West with the Rangers and Angels.
— Bob Scanlan (@heyscan) April 24, 2019
Fernando Tatis Jr. extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a bloop double in the bottom of the third.
Paddack handed it over to the bullpen to start the eighth inning. Trey Wingenter is quickly turning into one of the most reliable arms out of the bullpen as he mowed down the Mariners, striking out one in a perfect frame.
The Padres tight-roped into the ninth inning with a 1-0 lead, with the league’s most prolific lineup to date being silenced.
The Friars handed it over to closer Kirby Yates in the ninth, who has been nearly perfect in save situations so far this season. He retired Haniger on a high fly ball that took Wil Myers to the warning track for the out. After a bloop single by Dan Vogelbach, Yates got Santana to ground to Tatis who touched the bag and fired over to first for a game-ending double play, giving Yates the major league lead of 12 saves.
Have a day, @PaddackChris! 🔥
— San Diego Padres (@Padres) April 24, 2019
San Diego endured a vintage-looking King Felix while Paddack had more or less his coming out party, all while battling flu symptoms. The Friars move to 14-11 on the season, which is the best start since 2010.
The Washington Nationals now await the Padres in Washington D.C., with Matt Strahm looking to build off of his impressive eight-inning performance last Friday against perennial Cy Young contender Max Scherzer.