Bullpen Gets the Win for Padres

Padres beat Braves 3-1 to Cap 7-3 Homestand

June 07, 2018 - 11:02 am

By: Braden Surprenant

 

It was bullpen by committee yesterday as the San Diego Padres were able to chop down the Atlanta Braves 3-1.

The Padres have turned to their bullpen to start a game twice now in the last 10 days as they continue to fill Joey Lucchesi's spot in the rotation. (Lucchesi has been on the 10-day DL for a right-hip strain and is expected to return in the next week or so.) The bullpen has filled in nicely since Lucchesi's departure, especially yesterday afternoon.

Matt Strahm was the designated "starter" yesterday and pitched 2 1/3 innings, which ended up being the longest outing for a Padres pitcher yesterday, and gave up the Braves only run, on a first pitch solo shot to Freddie Freeman in the top of the first. Newly call-up Jose Castillo came in and pitched his second outing in the big leagues, as he threw 1 2/3 scoreless innings. Cimber would then strike out the side in the fifth. Yates worked his first two inning outing all year in the sixth and seventh. Brad Hand came on in the eight against the top of the Braves order and worked out of a leadoff double by Ozzie Albies, then dominated the ninth inning to earn his 18th save of the year. A pretty big win for the Padres to close out an important and highly successful 7-3 homestand before they hit a 10 game road trip.

Besides the bullpen being lights out yesterday the bats were also productive. Hunter Renfroe and Corey Spangenberg got things started for the friars in the second. Renfroe led off with a single, Spangenberg brought him in with a triple to right center. Manuel Margot got in on the action with an RBI single that plated Spangenberg and the Padres took a 2-1 lead after two.

The offense was pretty much dormant until the eight inning when the Padres got a very important insurance run off of a Freddy Galvis sacrifice bunt to score Jose Pirela.

The Padres are playing good baseball right now. They just capped off a 15-13 month of May, and are currently 4-2 in the month of June, which is night and day better than their 10-20 April they had. They are getting better outings out of their starting pitching and they are finding ways to manufacture runs. At 29-35 they are still in last place in the NL West, but only 4.5 games out of first place. That's right 4.5 games out of first place.

The Padres have a pretty telling and important month of June. They are about to start a 10 game road trip, where they travel to Miami, St. Louis, and Atlanta. They then come home for a two game homestand against Oakland, then back on the road where they play San Francisco and Texas. The Padres are currently contenders, take that with whatever grain of salt you want but being less than 5 games out in June is still in the race. The month of June is going to tell us who the 2018 San Diego Padres are and just how close they are to their 2020 competitive aspirations.