Padres Can't Beat Cardinals Rookie

Tommy Pham has another big day to beat San Diego

The St. Louis Cardinals have three starting pitchers who sit in the top-10 in National League in Earned Run Average. The Padres faced all three of them in their 4-game series at Busch Stadium and the guy they could not figure out how to solve is a 27-year-old rookie outfielder.

Tommy Pham hit his first career home run in the Cards’ 3-1 win over the Friars on Sunday. Pham accounted for all three of the Cardinals runs. He also had an RBI double off losing pitcher Ian Kennedy. On both the double and the homer he drove in starting pitcher Lance Lynn, who was another big problem for the Padres.

Lynn had two hits, only one fewer than he gave up in 7.0 innings on the mound. Lynn struck out eight and only allowed one run on a Matt Kemp RBI single in the third inning.

Pham is the guy most responsible for the Cardinals splitting the 4-game series. After the Padres took the first two of their 10-game road trip Pham scored both of the St. Louis runs in Saturday’s 2-1 win. If you’re wondering how it took this guy so long to get to the big leagues, the answer is health.

Pham was drafted in 2006 out of high school in Las Vegas. He’s always had a big upside but injuries have slowed his development. Pham has never played more than 114 games in a professional season. Ironically, it’s injuries to Matt Holliday and John Jay that cleared room for Pham to finally contribute in The Show.

For the Padres offense, the last three games have been typically frustrating. Just three hits (all singles) and one run on Sunday. Nine hits (eight singles) and one run on Saturday. Eight hits (six singles) and only two runs on Friday in a game they did win 2-1.

Usually the Padres would be happy to split a 4-game set on the road against the team with the best record in baseball. But when you’ve been struggling and you win the first two, settling for a tie is going to be considered a missed opportunity.

The Friars open a 3-game set in Pittsburgh on Monday night with a good pitching matchup. James Shields takes the mound against A.J. Burnett.

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