Scanalysis – Pads Drop Series Opener to Nats 3-1

Baseball 24 Apr 2012

The Padres’ brief and only winning streak of the season was brought to a screeching halt tonight by the Washington Nationals tonight 3-1.

THE GOOD:

  • Clayton Richard finding the fastball command that had deserted him in Colorado, and starting off the ball game with 6 solid innings of scoreless ball.  He was finally touched for 2 runs in the 7th, but overall it was another encouraging sign that Clayton Richard is back to throwing the ball as good as he ever had before the shoulder surgery that ended his season prematurely last year.  Clayton touched 95 MPH on one punch out pitch that ended a 6th inning rally, and had good command with al of his pitches most of the night to both sides of the plate.
  • After opening the first inning with an error, the Padres defense helped Richard pitch over it with a nice scoop by Yonder Alonso to finish a double play, and a running catch at the base of the wall by Will Venable.
  • The stingiest bullpen in MLB posted another 2.2 innings with no earned runs.
THE BAD:
  • The Padres’ defense commits two errors on makable plays leading to an unearned run, and unnecessary bullets expended by the pitching staff.
  • Zero earned runs produced by the offense. The only run that scored was thanks to a Nationals error.
THE DIFFERENCE:
  • In the second inning with 30 pitches under his belt, and having just issued the second of two walks in the inning to open the door to a run scoring opportunity, the Padres swing at the first pitch letting Gio Gonzalez off the ropes.  The Pads would not get another runner to second base until the 7th.
  • The Pads not getting a run in with runners at 2nd and 3rd with one out in the 7th.  Mark Kotsay put together a great 11 pitch at bat, but ultimately was popped up.
  • RBI pinch hits by two left handed pinch hitters against left handed Padres pitching scoring all 3 of the Nats runs.
Sure the Padres faced a tough pitcher tonight in Gio Gonzalez, but the scheduled opposing pitchers for the next 5 games doesn’t get any easier versus the Nationals and then the Giants after them.  At some point you need to stand up and beat somebody.  The Pads proved they could do it Saturday against the Phillies’ Roy Halladay behind a great outing by Cory Luebke, but they need to start playing every inning like they expect to take it to someone, instead of gingerly hoping nothing bad happens.
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