It’s the little things that kill. Tonight an unearned run in the 7th was likely the difference in the Padres 2-1 opening series loss to the Pirates. Yet another close and exciting game with a lot of positives, as all the games have been thus far on this road trip, but for the third game in a row no W for the Friars.
The Pads got on the board first. Alonso walked, Gyorko singled and Venable walked to load the bases. Amarista hit sac-fly to score Yonder and the pads were up 1-0.
Shields would try to make that one run stand and pitched a heck of a game tonight. Good changeup, excellent cut fastball, some big biting curves at times all used masterfully through his seven innings of 1-run work. He allowed only one hit through the first six innings.
Then in the 7th he allowed a double to McCutchen. He reached on a fly ball to left. With two outs Alvarez hit a rocket off James heading on the ground towards left field but Solarte made a stellar diving play to his left to rob Alvarez of the sure RBI single. The trouble came in his getting up to make the throw. He appeared to get his feet squared up underneath him, but his shoulders did not get closed and his throw bounced about eight feet in front of Alonso. Yonder can often times make such scoops but this ball did not stay low as expected hit but unexpectedly bounced near the line of the grass and dirt cut out and caromed high up towards his shoulders and got by him. The run scored on the throwing error, and instead of a highlight reel play to end the inning, the run crossed and the game was tied.
Maurer came on in the 9th. He’s been pitching a lot lately and this was his fourth outing in the last 5 days, and eight out of thirteen. His velocity was fine, but the command and sharpness of the off speed looked to get a little fuzzy tonight as he walked McCutchen then gave up a single to Kang. He retired the next batter for the second out bringing Alvarez to the plate. A lot was made before the game about Alvarez being married to Murphy’s daughter, and the family showdown moment presented itself on cue. Maurer and Alvarez battled to a 3-2 count. Maurer went after him with a fastball away and Alvarez singled into right to score the game winning walk off run. It was a great script for half of the Murphy family…not so much for dad.
Tough loss and turn of events on this road trip. After taking the first two from the Cardinals to start the trip the Friars have now lost three straight.
Good news came tonight for Justin Upton as he was chosen to represent the Padres in this year’s All-Star game. It is his third time going to the Midsummer Classic, and he is certainly deserving.
Ross will try to get the Pads back in the win column with the first pitch scheduled for 4:10 PST assuming no rain delays like tonight. Uncle teddy and I will look forward to you joining us for all the action on the Mighty 1090.