As bad as we expected the Padres starting pitching to be (and it has for the most part not been stellar) lately it’s been the bullpen that has really stunk.
Just this week the Friars relievers took a loss on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. But Sunday was the most egregious of them all. San Diego had a 3-1 lead over the White Sox with just six outs left to get and lost the game 9-3 because they gave up a snowman in the 8th inning.
Starter Jered Weaver, likely pitching to extend his big league career, was stellar. Weaver allowed just one run in 6.0 innings with three strikeouts. It was by far his best outing as a Padre and it looked like he’d get his first win as a National League pitcher.
In the 7th inning Hunter Renfroe launched his 6th home run of the year over the right field wall, a 3-run shot that put the Padres on top 3-1. Kirby Yates tossed a scoreless 7th for the Padres but in the 8th inning the proverbial wheels flew completely off.
If you’re a conspiracy theorist … or a believer in “The Tank” … you’ll know that one of the best ways to ensure a season is going to end with a bunch of losses is to put together a relief corps that has trouble getting people out.
Ryan Buchter started the 8th by getting a groundout then walked two straight batters. He got Avisail Garcia to hit a ground ball to shortstop. It was probably not hit hard enough to turn a double play but Luis Sardinas booted it, got no outs and loaded the bases.
Buchter then issued his third walk of the inning to Todd Frazier force in a run, prompting manager Andy Green to go to closer Brandon Maurer for a 5-out save. Maurer immediately surrendered a single to Melky Cabrera to bring in two runs and put Chicago on top 4-3. Tyler Saladino popped out to Wil Myers at first base and then the White Sox caught the Padres napping.
While Myers was tossing the ball back to Maurer, Todd Frazier broke from third, catching the San Diego infield completely off-guard and scoring another run. The mental lapse was followed by a walk and a single, making Green come out to get Maurer and bring in Craig Stammen.
He allowed a double, a single, a walk, and hit a guy before getting Frazier to fly out to the fence in right-center, a ball that was just a few feet short of being a grand slam. In the inning the Sox scored eight runs on five walks, a hit batter, four hits, an error and a brain cramp.
It might be one of the worst innings in the history of the San Diego Padres and that is truly saying something. San Diego falls to 14-25 on the year. They start a seven-game home stand on Monday at Petco Park against the Brewers.