Walking the opposing pitcher is a bad idea. Walking the opposing pitcher with two outs in a close game is a worse idea. Walking the opposing pitcher with two outs in a close game to bring up Mookie Betts is begging to take a giant L.
All of those things happened on Saturday night at Dodger Stadium and it cost the Padres again in a 5-4 loss to L.A.
With Jake Cronenworth out after suffering a finger fracture in Friday night's game, Fernando Tatis Jr. returned to shortstop. He really likes it there. In the top of the 4th inning Tatis launched a 2-run home run off Cy Young candidate Walker Buehler. At the time it tied the game 2-2.
In the 5th, however, Chris Paddack made a mistake. With one on and two outs he walked Buehler on four pitches. With his pitch count at a not terribly efficient 96 manager it was time for manager Jayce Tingler to go to the bullpen. In came veteran Craig Stammen to face Mookie Betts, who is one of the last people on the planet you want to give a chance to hit with runners on base.
Betts crushed the first pitch he saw to left-center for a 3-run home run.
In the 8th inning Blake Treinen replaced Buehler and the Padres tried to mount a rally. Adam Frazier was hit by a pitch, stole 2nd base, and scored on a single up the middle by Manny Machado ... who stole 2nd base and scored on a single to left by Tatis (his 3rd hit of the night), who took 2nd base on the throw to the plate by Gavin Lux.
Eric Hosmer, as usual, grounded out but did move Tatis up to 3rd base with one out. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts pulled Treinen and brought in Joe Kelly to face Wil Myers.
This is the kind of situation the Padres have not been taking advantage of. Tying run at 3rd base with less than two outs, there are plenty of ways to get that runner home.
Striking out is not one of them. Myers punched out swinging at a breaking ball nowhere near the strike zone. Tommy Pham followed with a punchout of his own and the Friars didn't threaten again.
The Reds lost to the Cardinals so San Diego and Cincinnati remain tied for the last National League Wild Card spot. On Sunday the Padres try to avoid getting swept with the red-hot Blake Snell takes the mound against Max Scherzer.
LISTEN: With NBC 7 San Diego's Darnay Tripp and Derek Togerson behind the mic, On Friar will cover all things San Diego Padres. Interviews, analysis, behind the scenes...the ups, downs, and everything in between. Tap here to find On Friar wherever you listen to podcasts.