Kimberly Blough 6:28 p.m., March 9
Padres crush Nationals to earn series split
The San Diego Padres demolished the Washington Nationals to come back and tack the last two games in the four-game series
How many times have you heard or perhaps even said, “I wish my favorite team would have saved some of that offense back for future games?” Usually, you hear this after a game such as the Padres played on Sunday, where they beat the Washington Nationals 13-4 and split the four game series.
Normally, one wouldn’t associate the term prolific offense with the Padres during the last few seasons, but at times – such as on Sunday – this team has shown that they are capable of putting up some double-digit hits and runs in a game. “That’s where the big numbers come from is where you’re able to string together a lot of good at-bats,” manager Buddy Black said.
Black continued, “We did that a number of times today. Did it in the first [inning], when we scored four [in the fifth], when we scored five [in the seventh]. A lot of contributions from the bottom of the lineup, top of the lineup, middle of the lineup, everybody contributed. Big output today, it’s great.”
The Padres used the long ball as well, with Will Venable, Kyle Blanks, and Yonder Alonso hitting home runs. Blanks crushed a ball into the second deck of the Western Metal Supply Co. building that had an estimated distance of 383 feet.
So far as saving some of that offense for future games, ostensibly so that it could be spread out and used as needed, baseball doesn’t work that way. They hit what they see. On Saturday, they didn’t see much and squeaked out the one run victory, and on Sunday they apparently saw a lot.
Andrew Cashner had another fine outing, pitching 6 2/3 innings for the win. Cashner gave up three runs on seven hits and a walk while striking out six. But Andrew was anything but complacent with his effort.
“I thought I could actually do better in different situations, but when I needed to make a pitch today I was able to make it,” Cashner said after the game. But on a ball that Ryan Zimmerman crushed in the fourth inning, Cashner was self-critical. “That change-up I hung down the middle for the home run, I have to do better than that.”
The other aspect of the game that could be otherwise lost in such a lopsided victory was the Padres base running. Everth Cabrera swiped three bags on Sunday for a league-leading 18 for the season while Chase Headley and Will Venable contributed with a steal each.
While the win meant a split in the home series with the Nationals that could otherwise be considered a little disappointing, the Nationals are a very good team that made the playoffs last season and look to do so again in 2013. Buddy Black noted that after Sunday’s game when asked about gaining the split.
“It was big against a good club. They pitch awfully well. You look at that starting rotation, you look at their bull pen, you look right there in the middle [of their batting order] with Zimmerman and LaRoche and how they’re swinging it and how they swing the bats here, it was good to bounce back,” Black said.
The Padres now welcome the leaders of the National League Central division, the St. Louis Cardinals to San Diego for a three-game series. The Cardinals will bring Shelby Miller (5-2, 1.40) to face Jason Marquis (5-2, 3.49) of the Padres. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM PDST and you can pick it up on radio 1090 AM or watch the game on Fox Sports San Diego.