Long ball plagues D-backs’ Brandon Pfaadt in loss to Padres

Jun 7, 2024, 9:40 PM

Brandon Pfaadt #32 of the Arizona Diamondbacks pitches during the first inning of a game against th...

Brandon Pfaadt #32 of the Arizona Diamondbacks pitches during the first inning of a game against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park on June 07, 2024 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

Some old issues for Brandon Pfaadt rose back to the surface in the Arizona Diamondbacks’ 10-3 loss to the San Diego Padres.

Pfaadt gave up three home runs, a pair of solo shots to Fernando Tatis Jr. and Jurickson Profar in the first inning before a two-run homer for Ha-Seong Kim in the sixth inning.

A large amount of Pfaadt’s struggles in the regular season of his rookie year had to do with the long ball. In his first 19 career starts, six of them featured multi-homer games off the righty and he gave up a total off 22 in those 96 innings. Among the 145 pitchers last season with at least 15 starts, Pfaadt tied for 138th in home runs allowed per nine innings at 2.1, per Stathead. For reference, Gallen was at 0.9 and it was a 1.0 mark for Merrill Kelly.

Entering Friday through 12 starts, Pfaadt had that number all the way down to 0.9, just seven homers allowed in 73 innings and only one multi-homer contest.

The right-hander avoided much trouble outside of those three at-bats, limiting San Diego to just two at-bats with runners in scoring position, but the extent of the damage made it one of his worst outings of 2024. Pfaadt’s line was 5.1 innings pitched for five earned runs on nine hits and one walk with five strikeouts.

The fourth inning was an unfortunate one. With two outs, Kim fought off a 2-2 sinker to jam a bloop single into center field. Catcher Luis Campasano then lined a 2-2 pitch to left field while Kim was running, and a diving Jake McCarthy had the ball bounce off his glove, scoring Kim. Given McCarthy’s effort, it was not scored an error, although McCarthy would likely agree in saying it should have been caught.

Arizona’s offense in the first three innings faced a Padres starter in Michael King that was clearly not getting the baseball to go where he wanted to. The D-backs managed to create threats but ended that stretch 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position and left six runners on base.

The bats fizzled out from there until the seventh inning when Ketel Marte knocked a two-run homer narrowly out of the ballpark to make it 5-2 Padres. He scored Corbin Carroll, who walked twice for the first time in a game since April 21. This follows Carroll’s three-hit night on Thursday, another nod that he’s starting to find a rhythm.

Lourdes Gurriel Jr. then pinch hit for Joc Pederson with a left-hander in and he homered as well. Gurriel now has a RBI in six of his last seven games.

But that was all the D-backs’ comeback attempt could muster. No further offense materialized the rest of the way. San Diego scored five insurance runs off D-backs reliever Humberto Castellanos in the eighth inning to put the game away.

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