The Padres’ pitcher, Paddock, was pretty incredible through four – just allowing one well-placed RBI single to Ender-replacement Matt Joyce (I am getting really tired of Chip saying that every hit or AB Markakis has is “a professional hit”). He was every bit as good as Soroka. As is his pattern sometimes, Julio pitched up (or down) to the competition. Yes, as predicted by some commenters, he decided to pitch pretty well. With the exception of the Franimal who had two solo shots and a RBI double. Julio handled most everyone else with aplomb. He made one lousy mistake, a walk before the Franimal’s double. Naturally, Paddock stranded the one walk he allowed through four. But, overall, both teams allowed only one walk each total, so the pitching was quite good.
In a huge surprise, Julio stuck out the side in the 5th as opposed to giving up a handful of runs and we had a real pitching duel on our hands at 2-2 after 5. Of course, one thing I must mention is the last minute lineup change that had Donaldson on the bench with ….. c’mon everyone together now……. a sore calf. As I rolled my eyes upon hearing this, I just hope that it is nothing and JD will not go on the IL.
And just as I’m heaping praise on Julio, the Franimal comes up in the 6th and jerks his second out to make it 3-2. Can someone tell me why Julio gave Franimal anything to hit after the first HR and double? Someone’s not paying attention like they should. Hosmer also hit a solo shot after that to make it 4-2. With the Padres pitching staff, I’m wasn’t sure the Braves would get any more. Julio almost made a quality start but he just couldn’t quite get there. I have to wonder if we traded Julio to SF as part of a package for MadBum if he wouldn’t pitch better at PacBell. Even pitching 7 innings, 8Ks, and 1 walk (only one walk!!), giving up four runs is not good (5 hits including 4 ExBH). His ERA is basically the same as it was before the game – well over 5.00.
The Padres brought in their version of Sobotka, Trey Wingenter, a tall lanky guy that couldn’t throw a strike. Camargo swung at a pitch that bounced 10ft in front of the plate and then popped up a meatball right down the middle. Wingerter hit Brian McCann on the first pitch and then allowed a single to Matt Joyce. Unfortunately, Ender pinch hit and K’d after getting to 3-0. Then Wingenter, unlike Sobotka, found the strike zone and Ozzie grounded out.
Winkler made short work of the 8th, albeit with the help of an amazing diving catch by Camargo. Fortunately, our guys woke up in the 8th and Dansby smacked a double to LF. Freddie hit a rope but right at the LF. Acuna, the man of the hour, barreled a ball to LC for a run-scoring single. The Braves were only down one.
Our newest reliever, Grant Dayton, came on in the ninth and got three outs on three pitches (with a DP). If he can pitch like that more often, we have another guy we might be able to count on. BMac started our half of the 9th with a rope that could have been a double if he could run. Against Yates, the NL leader in saves, that seemed like a great start. But after a CS by Culby (pinch-running for BMac – ugh, if only BMac could have turned that into a double) and a K by TFlow as the PH, Yates ended the Braves’ hopes and the game. The only thing I have to say about that is Mejia has an unbelievable gun behind the plate. In the end, the Braves were just not quite good enough.