D-backs offense goes silent, posts 19 straight outs to end game vs. Padres
PHOENIX — There was bound to be some regression for the Arizona Diamondbacks’ bats after such a strong start to the season and we got a taste of it on Friday night.
Arizona’s offense mustered only four baserunners and one run against the San Diego Padres in a 2-1 home loss, making it three losses in a row.
David Peralta’s RBI single in the bottom of the third with two outs to tie the game 1-1 was the last time a batter would reach base for the D-backs. Seriously. They recorded 19 straight outs to end the game.
This was not a sensational individual pitching effort from the counterpart, either. Padres starter Chris Paddack went only 5.1 innings and gave up all four of those baserunners. San Diego’s bullpen closed out the rest.
“We never really got into a rhythm,” manager Torey Lovullo said. “Seemed like when we had some good approaches to Paddack, he made pitches to finish us off and we could never really get in sync with him.”
On some nights, losing in blowout fashion would make it hurt less for Arizona considering the way Luke Weaver pitched.
Manny Machado fouled four straight pitches off Weaver in the first before homering to right for the game’s first run, but after that, the right-hander settled into the game and a strong overall outing.
Only two runners reached on him from then until the seventh.
The problem was that Weaver’s opposition Paddack was doing the same, leaving the game with no baserunners for three full innings until the top of the seventh.
Will Myers and Fernando Tatis Jr. hit back-to-back doubles to break the streak and a 1-1 deadlock to give the Padres the edge. Weaver was pulled there.
He went 6.1 innings, allowing two earned runs on five hits and no walks, striking out eight.
“Luke was pacing us, he was keeping us in the game, he was working both sides of the plate, elevating the fastball — just a really complete effort I thought,” Lovullo said.
During pregame availability, Lovullo discussed his philosophy in when to pull starting pitchers after Zack Godley’s performance on Thursday, and as Weaver’s loss showed, that ended up being another factor on Friday. Lovullo said after he did not think about pulling Weaver, taking into consideration how Weaver was handling the game.
It was the opposite decision on the other end by Padres manager Andy Green.
San Diego elected to pull Paddack at 88 pitches and 5.1 innings despite the fact he had gotten eight straight D-backs hitters out. The Padres’ bullpen got clean through the rest of the game, backing up Green’s strategy.
“I mean it worked out great, right?” Lovullo said. “At the time I was thinking, ‘Well, he’s locked in pretty well and let’s see what we can do [to] the bullpen’ so I was kind of in favor of the move to get him out of the game but clearly [Green] knew his candidates.”
Lovullo cited Green likely knew a pitch count for the 23-year-old rookie and that the guys in his bullpen were in a good spot.
Adam Jones summed up the D-backs’ loss well on Twitter.
— 10 (@SimplyAJ10) April 13, 2019
These games are going to happen in a long, long season and skip agreed.
“Those are the frustrating parts of the game,” Lovullo said. “We’ve seen it already a couple of times where our pitchers have done a great job, kept us in the game (but) we haven’t done much offensively.
“That’s the nature of the beast.”
Merrill Kelly gets the nod for Saturday’s showdown with the Padres at 5:10 p.m. You can listen to the action on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.
Through two starts, the former Arizona State righty has a 2.54 ERA and has bounced back after a rough go in spring training.
He faces off with San Diego’s Matt Strahm, who nearly triples Kelly’s ERA at 7.04.