Jeff Smith 4 p.m., Dec. 20
Dodgers edge Padres again
A memo from the Department of Redundancy Department: Padres take lead, Dodgers quickly tie the game, and then Dodgers prevail late
Remember Saturday night, when the Padres lost to the Dodgers, 2-1? Remember when the Padres lost to the Dodgers on Sunday afternoon, 2-1? Rinse. Lather. Repeat.
It was the same scenario, albeit with less offense except that the score was the same. On Saturday, you had Andrew Cashner hurling and on Sunday it was Tyson Ross for the Padres with similar results.
Just like Saturday, the Padres struck first. With one out in the top of the third inning, prospect Reymond Fuentes walked and was sacrificed to second base. After stealing third and Will Venable getting a pass, Alexi Amarista singled home Fuentes and the Padres led 1-0.
That lead lasted momentarily, when with two outs in the bottom of the frame, Carl Crawford doubled. Mark Ellis singled, plating Crawford, and the Dodgers rode that tie behind their starter, Zack Greinke.
Ross wasn’t efficient, but he was good, going five innings and giving up the one run on just five hits and a walk while striking out ten throwing 105 pitches. But Greinke was better, and hung around to get the win.
In the bottom of the sixth, Dale Thayer took over in relief and with one out, Yasiel Puig took the first pitch he saw from Thayer and deposited it over the center field fence. That was all the Dodgers needed.
Greinke went seven full innings and gave up the run on only two hits and two walks while striking out seven. Ronald Belisario and Paco Rodriguez combined to shut the Padres down in the eighth and then Kenley Jansen came in to get the save in the ninth inning again, just like Saturday night.
The Padres had only three hits on Sunday. Sure, Greinke’s cutter is tough, highlighted by a decent fastball, a good change-up, and the occasional slider and curve. But these Padres bats need to learn to hit that stuff, or else need to learn not to chase.
If there is one glaring difference between Saturday’s game and Sunday’s game for the Padres, irrespective of all of the similarities, it’s that there was a lack of situational hitting on Saturday and a complete lack of hitting on Sunday.
But the common denominator, when the Padres have good pitching on the mound in both Cashner and in Ross, is lack of hitting in one respect or another. The Padres can get five solid starters and all of the bull pen help they wish, but if the offense only scores one run per game, then obviously, the arms are wasted.
The Padres are spending Labor Day at home, where they’ll open a series against the San Francisco Giants in the battle for avoiding last place in the National League West. Monday’s game starts early at 12:40 PM PDST, so you can labor after the game barbecuing and so on. Ian Kennedey (2-1, 4.55) will throw for the Padres and go up against Giants starter Barry Zito (4-10, 5.81). You can listen on 1090 AM or watch on Fox Sports San Diego, or probably still get a ticket if you get on it early. Giants fans love Petco Park and represent well, even in daylight.