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Andrew Cashner pitched a brilliant game, again, but the Padres came up short, again, on Saturday in Los Angeles. Taking a 1-0 lead into the seventh inning, the Friars allowed a run in that frame and another in the eighth inning and fell to the Dodgers 2-1.

It was a much tighter game, which had to have made the Padres faithful a little happier than having to endure the beat-down on Friday. Cashner went seven full innings, giving up only a run while scattering 10 hits and 3 walks while striking out 7, tossing a staggering 119 pitches.

Staggering, because manager Buddy Black had hinted that Cashner would be scaled back in order to save his arm. And the Padres had, indeed, been pushing Cashner’s starts back a day here and there in order to string out his total innings count in recent weeks, utilizing off-days in order to do so.

While the Padres will still monitor their use of Cashner until October, Buddy has indicated that he won’t be shut down merely because of how many pitches are on the arm. In order to string him along, they’ll undoubtedly use the expanding roster in the month of September to give Andrew a little more rest between starts.

In the top of the fourth inning, the Padres took the lead from an unlikely source in Ronny Cedeno’s solo home run with two outs. And Cashner shut down the Dodgers until the seventh inning, and that’s when the notion that Black was more interested in allowing the young pitcher to experience getting out of a tight spot than sparing him the difficulty of it.

After the Dodgers opened the bottom of the seventh with back-to-back singles off of Cashner, Buddy took a trip to the mound and it seemed as though that Cashner might be finished. Didn’t happen. Buddy left Cashner in there and all Cashner did was strike out young Cuban phenom Yasiel Puig with a 100 MPH fast ball.

Getting veteran Adrian Gonzalez out wasn’t as simple, and Adrian singled and drove in the tying run. But Cashner finished the inning and the Dodgers did no further damage.

Nick Vincent, who has been a pleasant surprise in relief, came in to try and hold the Dodgers in the bottom of the eighth inning, but that lineup proved too tough. A double and a single later, the Dodgers had the lead.

Kenley Jansen came in to close the ninth inning for the Dodgers. Jansen, born in Curaçao, is quite a story in his own right. Brought up as a catcher in the minors, he reluctantly became a pitcher and is now an excellent closer.

He sports a natural cut-fastball, which is a pitch that has movement away and down from the hitter’s stance on the right side. It worked wonderfully against the Padres as Jansen struck out the side to end the game.

Even though this is a series featuring teams headed in different directions come October, Cashner’s performance with the Padres is promising. It would be wise on the part of the Padres front office not to play the arbitration eligible game with Andrew (Cashner is arbitration eligible for the first time next season).

Locking Andrew Cashner into a long-term deal as soon as possible would be a smart move by the Padres. And if new President and CEO Mike Dee’s tweet Saturday night was any indication, that might be under consideration right now.

“I've only been here for two weeks, but already have a strong appreciation for the way Andrew Cashner pitches,” read Dee’s observation on Twitter last night. Now let’s see if Dee’s appreciation will turn into a seven year contract for Cashner.


Notes:

Beginning today, the clubhouse starts to get more crowded, as the rosters in MLB increase from 25 to a maximum of 40. The Padres have called up left-handed pitcher Tommy Layne and catcher Chris Robinson from AAA Tucson. Both have been up this season, although Robinson didn’t see any action in his brief stint last month with the big club. Expect more call-ups in the coming days.

Sunday, the Padres will try and salvage one game of the series with the Dodgers in Los Angeles, the last one in 2013. The Padres will try Tyson Ross (3-7, 3.05) against Zack Greinke (13-3, 2.86) of the Dodgers. First pitch is at 1:10 PM PDST, on radio 1090 AM and televised on Fox Sports San Diego.

  • Game Day alerts

Comments

aardvark Sept. 1, 2013 @ 5:27 p.m.

Hell--just use the same story for Sunday's game; just change a few of the names. Talk about a team stumbling to the finish...

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