Joe Musgrove has rightfully assumed the mantle of staff ace, as he is the National League’s Cy Young frontrunner. The San Diego native has not allowed more than two earned runs in any of his 11 starts, of which the Padres have won 10.
His contribution just seems like an afterthought. It is almost as if there is some residual doubt from his second half of 2021. His second start this season, in which he allowed nine runs in 1 2/3 innings, probably didn’t alleviate that sentiment.
Darvish last night returned to pitch at Wrigley Field for the first time since he started the second game of the 2020 Wild Card Series for the Cubs against the Marlins.
Aside from a slider that Yan Gomes hit 402 feet to the bleachers beyond left field in the third inning, Darvish was about as effective last night as he has ever been wearing brown.
“Obviously, that was a crucial point,” he said through interpreter Shingo Horie. “You had two runners on base. You give up one home run, and it’s a tie ballgame. So you definitely don’t want that to happen. I got that splitter, one of my best pitches I would say tonight, so that made me excited.”
The e-mails complaining about the offense generally start arriving around the fourth inning in a game like last night. (There have been a lot of games like last night, so there have been a lot of e-mails.)
Understandably so. The Padres had three infield singles and a pair of line drives to the outfield through six innings last night. In all, five balls they put in play to that point had been touched by a Cubs outfielder.
But maybe it’s time to realize the Padres play nine-inning games and, more often than not, will hang in long enough to score just enough runs to make their starting pitching pay off.
Last night was the 11th game in which the Padres have lost a lead and still won. They are 11-13 in such games. For comparison, the Dodgers are 5-8 in games in which they lost a lead at some point. The Mets are 12-11.
The Padres are a major league-best 8-5 on the road when their opponent scores first in a game. They are 7-4 when tied after seven innings. They are 33-6 when they score at least three runs, which is the second-best record behind the Yankees in such games.
“We certainly know the significance of each game,” Hosmer said. “But at the same time, it’s just worry about us more than anything — worry about the way we play the game, worry about what we’re doing on the field and all that stuff. And if we just stick to the stuff that we’re good at, we believe that we’ll be on top of the standings at the end of the year.”
The Padres are only one game better this season than they were after 62 games in 2021. And what happened last season will be a specter over the 2022 Padres until they prove they’re a different team than the one that collapsed so heavily on itself in ’21.
That said, one thing the Padres did not do even early last year was gain on the Dodgers or Giants when those teams hit rare lulls. The Dodgers have lost six of eight since June 4. The Padres have won seven of 10 in that span.
“These divisions, they come down to one or two games and you don’t know whether they come April, May or the end of the season,” Hosmer said. “So (victories like last night), come late September, they’ll definitely be big.”
One of my favorite things about traveling as much as I do is being able to experience weather, though it isn’t so great when it means I’m writing a game story on deadline two time zones away.
This kid from Southern California has seen a lot over the years. I woke up with snow in my hotel room in Bozeman. I’ve slid over frozen asphalt through stop lights everywhere from Missoula to Minneapolis. I drove past dozens of abandoned cars on the side of the freeway after a freak snowstorm in Nashville. I still can hardly believe I saw lightning obliterate a tree 20 feet away in Tallahassee. I pulled over to survive a hailstorm in Kansas. I’ve experienced multiple touch-and-go attempted landings in planes due to snow or fog.
Thankfully, other than some heavy rain and the loudest thunderclaps I’ve ever heard, the weather that moved through Chicago’s North Side ended up being underwhelming.
source: The San Diego Union-Tribune