Good baseball teams find ways to win games. Bad baseball teams find ways to lose games.
Right now the Padres are the latter.
San Diego lost a 1-0, 10-inning decision to the Astros in Houston when the winning run scored from 2nd base on a batted ball that didn't even make it past the pitcher's mound.
Houston's Derek Fisher was on 2nd with two outs when Alex Bregman hit a pop-fly on the infield. Catcher A.J. Ellis stood behind the plate and pointed at it. Pitcher Phil Maton stood on the mound and pointed at it. 1st baseman Eric Hosmer, who was about 115 feet away from where the ball landed, tried to cover the ground in time but came in a little too far.
The ball landed behind him, about 15 feet in front of home plate, as Fisher scored and the Astros celebrated Bregman's walk-off single as if they were going back to the World Series.
The Padres pitching staff deserved better than this. Starter Bryan Mitchell made his second Padres start and held one of the best lineups in baseball scoreless through 5.2 innings. After that the stellar San Diego bullpen kept throwing up goose eggs.
Craig Stammen got the final out of the 6th then struck out the side in the 7th. There was a disconcerting moment in the 8th inning. Kirby Yates threw just one pitch before being removed with an ankle injury. He was replaced by Kazuhisa Makita, who threw a scoreless 8th inning.
Robbie Erlin was called on to pitch the 9th and 10th innings. He allowed a leadoff single in the 10th to Brian McCann, who somehow snuck a ground ball through the shifted defense. Fisher pinch-ran for McCann and stole 2nd base before Erlin go the next two hitters on a flyout and a strikeout before being lifted for Phil Maton, who induced the fateful fly from Bregman.
All the while the Padres offense was struggling against Houston starter Gerrit Cole, who struck out 11 in 7.0 shutout innings. The Friars punched out 14 times in the game, four of them by Jose Pirela. Everyone in the San Diego lineup whiffed at least once.
San Diego has only allowed two runs in 19 innings in Houston and split two games. They can still win the series on Sunday if Tyson Ross can beat Charlie Morton.