One night after exploding for 10 runs in the desert, the well went dry for the Padres.
Staked to a 3-1 lead thanks to an early homer by Justin Upton and a solid start by pitcher Tyson Ross, the bullpen could not hold the fort.
San Diego relievers Bud Norris and Kevin Quackenbush slogged through a rough 7th inning as the Diamondbacks jumped in front 6-3. But Norris’s ERA rose to 6.92 after he allowed 3 earned runs and failed to record an out.
Quackenbush was then asked to relieve Norris but promptly gave up a 3-run homer to AJ Pollock. The crushing blow came on the first pitch by Quackenbush.
You have to feel for Ross especially after he turned in another quality start and struck out 6 over 7 frames.
Every cutaway of the starting pitcher on the game broadcast during that fateful 7th inning said a million words without him or anyone else uttering a syllable. By no means was he was trying to show anybody up, but you could still feel the tension from his stoic expression.
Upton finished a triple shy of the cycle and leads the club with 26 homers.
Padres Interim manager Pat Murphy was evidently frustrated with his bullpen as well as the umpires. Murphy was tossed in the 8th inning with the bases packed with Padres when Brett Wallace took a borderline called strike by the home umpire.
That’s already the 5th time in 81 games he’s had to exit stage right since taking over for the fired Bud Black.
As Sports Director Jim Laslavic noted Tuesday evening in our 11pm sportscast, we believe this to be the most ejections in one season for an interim MLB manager.
The fabled Kid Elberfeld of the New York Highlanders was thrown out 4 times in 98 games back in 1908 after taking over mid-season as a player/manager. Elberfeld was fittingly nicknamed “the Tabasco Kid” for his fiery temper.
The Padres are in 4th place. But Murph is #1.
It remains to be seen if he will be the #1 choice of general manager AJ Preller and the Padres brain trust as the leader of the club next season.
Bud Black was fired after the team stumbled to a 32-33 record.
The Friars are 36-45 under Murphy who was promoted from Triple-A El Paso and knows many of the current players from their time climbing up the minor league system.
Despite all the off-season changes, the Padres appear destined to finish below .500 and will need to win 9 of their final 16 games just to equal last year’s record of 77-85.
They need to reel off a crazy 14-2 stretch to finish with a winning mark – which is just as rare as a guy named Kid Elberfeld getting mentioned in a local sportscast.