Padres Fall Short Against Dodgers

The San Diego Padres (7-6) faced a reality check against the powerhouse Los Angeles Dodgers (9-4).

Game 1 was energizing for the Padres because they won 5-4. Then they lost Games 2 and 3 by a combined four runs.

They lost game three by a few inches after Trent Grisham tagged up on a Manny Machado line-drive to left field and was thrown out at the plate by Dodgers’ left fielder Chris Taylor.

Those few inches signify the gap between the depth of the Dodgers and the Padres. The talent of the Friars is catching up, but the Dodgers are still ahead of them.

Here are some notes and observations from the series.

The Big 3

Chris Paddack, Dinelson Lamet, and Garrett Richards were lined up to start against the Dodgers from the get-go. It was the biggest test for the best pitchers on the Padres’ staff.

They delivered despite the series loss.

Paddack gave up a leadoff home run to Dodgers outfielder Joc Pederson on the first pitch of game 1. However, Paddack showed maturity and development on the mound by settling in to throw six innings, only allowing three runs on five hits with five strikeouts.

The 24-year-old has established himself as a gritty pitcher who isn’t fazed by any lineup.

Lament was spectacular his first two times through the Dodgers lineup as he didn’t allow a hit through five innings. His fastball was plowing through their lineup until the sixth inning when he allowed a walk and 2 hits that turned into two runs and a tie game.

Richards struggled the most. He allowed four runs on five hits in five innings of work. His fastball command was off but he did have a few flashes of brilliance against some of the Dodgers’ best hitters.

Wil Myers Early Season Success Continues

One of the biggest question marks for the Padres heading into the season was whether or not Wil Myers could be their everyday right fielder, after inconsistent campaigns in 2018 and 2019.

Myers went 6-12 in the three-game series with two home runs and five runs batted in. He’s hitting .302 with four home runs in 12 games this season.

His speed plays well in right field and he looks comfortable having an everyday position, rather than filling in at first base and center field in previous seasons.

The Bullpen Struggles Worsen

It’s well documented now that the Padres bullpen has been atrocious through the first two weeks of the season, ranking 26th in baseball with a 5.96 ERA.

The bullpen allowed seven runs in the series.

They called up their No. 3 prospect, Luis Patiño, to add some young depth to the bullpen.

He had an inconsistent debut in the sixth and seventh innings on Wednesday night. He forced reigning National League MVP Cody Bellinger to fly out to center for his first out. Then he gave up back-to-back singles to Corey Seager and Taylor, followed by a three-run blast by Joc Pederson.

He followed that up with a one-two-three seventh inning.

Kirby Yates looked sharp in his lone appearance on Monday night, getting his first save of the season.

The Defense

Talented, but inconsistent.

The infield has three Gold Glove-caliber players when Eric Hosmer is healthy.

Without the former All-Star, the first base duties have fallen on the backs of Jurickson Profar and Jake Cronenworth, who has proven more than capable of playing great defense.

The struggles are the inconsistencies in center and left field. Grisham and Tommy Pham have been great offensive additions for the Friars, but both are inconsistent defensively.

Grisham has made some fantastic plays this season. However, he’s also missed some easy fly balls and a defensive miscue on Tuesday night knotted the game at two apiece in the sixth.

Looking Ahead

The Dodgers series brought the Padres closer to .500 baseball. They have a chance to improve upon that with a three-game home series against the struggling Arizona Diamondbacks from Friday to Sunday.

They have an off-day on Thursday.

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