Jeff Smith 4 p.m., Dec. 20
Jesus Guzman was out on Tuesday, available only in a serious emergency, with a dental procedure that left him in extreme pain. Kyle Blanks is out for the season. Carlos Quentin isn't quite ready, although he is taking live batting practice daily. Logan Forsythe is even farther out from returning. And those are just some of the hitters, never mind the pitchers that could otherwise provide the Padres with some needed depth.
Pitching for the Padres doesn't seem to be much of an issue. At least, it wouldn't be much of an issue if the Padres bats could score runs consistently. Clayton Richard threw six excellent innings on Tuesday, only to falter slightly in the seventh inning which led to two runs by the Washington Nationals and that was enough to beat the Padres, 3-1
Richard, and Nationals starter Gio Gonzalez pitched a scoreless dual for six innings, Richard giving up only one hit in the fifth inning, and Gonzalez only two hits. Through six innings, the biggest moment came when with two outs Richard walked Mark DeRosa and with Jayson Werth batting, Richard was called for a balk. Padres manager Bud Black was then ejected for arguing.
In the top of he seventh, it unraveled a bit for Clayton Richard. Xavier Nady opened the inning with a double and Wilson Ramos walked. Steve Lombardozzi then laid down a sacrifice bunt, moving Nady to third base and Ramos to second base. Chad Tracy then hit for Gio Gonzalez and singled up the middle, scoring Nady and Ramos.
Luke Gregerson then replaced Clayton Richard and got Ian Desmond to strike out. With Danny Espinosa hitting, Roger Bernadina - pinch running for Chad Tracy - was caught attempting to steal second by catcher Nick Hundley. The Nationals led 2-0.
In the bottom of the seventh, the Padres struck back. Craig Stammen replaced Gio Gonzalez and walked Cameron Maybin, then Orlando Hudson singled, moving Maybin to second base. Tyler Clippard replaced Stammen and struck out Yonder Alonso. Andy Parrino then pinch-hit for Jason Bartlett and singled to center, scoring Maybin. Hudson took third on a Jayson Werth error.
After Andy Parrino stole second base, the Padres had runners on second and third base with only one out, but failed to score another run. Mark Kotsay hit for Luke Gregerson and popped out to shortstop and then Chris Denorfia ground out to third base.
In the top of the ninth inning, the Nationals added on an insurance run. With one out and Ernesto Frieri pitching, Wilson Ramos reached on a Will Venable fielding error, going all of the way to third base. Steve Lombardozzi then struck out and Joe Thatcher relieved Frieri. Rick Ankiel hit for Sean Burdett and singled up the middle, scoring Ramos. Ankiel was then picked off of first base by Thatcher to end the inning.
Henry Rodriguez then notched his fifth save of the season for the Nationals, retiring the Padres in order.
Padres pitching only gave up four hits and three runs (2 earned), while striking out 11 National hitters. But without run support from the offense, even the most brilliant efforts on the mound can't translate to wins. The Padres run came unearned and the team could only manage 5 hits from Nationals pitching.
The Padres record fell to 5-13 on the season, while the Nationals improved to 13-4.
Tim Stauffer (right elbow) threw a three-inning simulated game on Tuesday and no problems were reported. Stauffer is scheduled to throw again on Thursday, and if all goes well then Stauffer could start a rehab assignment at class-A Lake Elsinore on Sunday.
Wednesday afternoon, the Padres will start Joe Wieland against Jordan Zimmerman of the Nationals. Game time is at 3:35 PM, and rain is in the forecast, but there is a chance that the rain may not arrive until the evening. The game will be carried on Fox Sports San Diego if you have Cox Cable or DirecTV but not if you have Time Warner or select other cable or dish providers. All games are broadcast on radio XX1090 AM.
More like this:
- Strasburg propels Nationals to win over Padres — May 17, 2013
- Padres Split First Two of Four With Astros — July 18, 2012
- Extra Innings Don't Go Padres Way, Marlins Win In 12 — May 5, 2012
- Padres Manage Split with Phillies — April 24, 2012
- Padres Avoid Sweep — April 9, 2012