A question looms over the quirk about whether anything will carryover from the last meeting.
San Diego opens a three-game series at Colorado Monday night and it will take place less than two weeks after the teams engaged in a benches-clearing brawl.
Monday is the 10th meeting between the two. In the ninth meeting on April 11, Padres starter Luis Perdomo threw a 96 mph fastball behind Nolan Arenado in the third inning, Arenado charged the mound, threw punches at Perdomo and a melee ensued.
Arenado was suspended for five games and finished serving the suspension last week. Rockies outfielder Gerardo Parra was suspended four games for his part in the fight.
Parra began serving that suspension Sunday and will miss the three-game series with the Padres.
The Padres were upset that Rockies pitchers hit four of their batters — one on April 2 and another on April 3 at San Diego, another on April 10 and one more in the second inning after Perdomo hit Rockies shortstop Trevor Story with a pitch in the first. Perdomo won’t be involved in this series, since the Padres optioned him to Triple-A El Paso on Thursday.
Asked about the possibility of another incident, Arenado said:
“Hopefully another one doesn’t happen. I don’t know what’s going to happen. If it happens again, I can’t really predict that.
“But I hope I don’t get thrown at on purpose. We’ll see. I don’t plan to fight, but I don’t know what’s going to happen.”
Rockies second baseman DJ LeMahieu said he thought “tensions will still be high” but the teams are likely done fighting. Asked whether the Padres aggression is the result of a young team trying to establish itself, LeMahieu pointed the finger at Padres manager Andy Green.
“I think their manager thinks he has to act a certain way,” LeMahieu said. “I don’t think that comes from the players. I think the players play the game the right way.”
Chad Bettis, who is 3-0 with a 1.44 ERA will start for the Rockies against Bryan Mitchell, who is 0-2 with a 5.03 ERA and has 17 walks and seven strikeouts in 19 2/3 innings in his four starts.
The Rockies are unbeaten in Bettis’ starts, and he is 2-0, 0.63 in his past two games, allowing one earned run in 14 1/3 innings in that stretch.
Bettis, who is 4-2, 2.96 in 12 starts against the Padres, beat them and Mitchell on April 2 at San Diego.
In Colorado’s 7-4 win that night, Bettis gave up two runs in five innings, while Mitchell allowed a season-high five runs in five innings.
Mitchell, who is 0-1, 9.00 in one start against the Rockies, gave up three runs and five hits in six innings against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday in his last start but wasn’t involved in the decision as the Padres lost 7-3 in 12 innings.
Losers of three of their past four games, the Rockies (12-11) are 3-6 at Coors Field and have dropped their first three home series this season, losing two of three games in each series. In a 9-7 loss Sunday to the Chicago Cubs, the Rockies scored their most runs since the 7-4 win at San Diego on April 2.
The Padres (8-15) have lost five of their past six games and have scored 18 runs in that stretch. Eric Hosmer was 0-for-3 as the Padres struck out 15 times in Sunday’s 4-2 loss at Arizona.
Hosmer is hitting .241 overall but is 3-for-28 since getting two hits in the last meeting with the Rockies.
“It’s tough because from a team standpoint, you want to be a guy to break the team (slump) up and get the big hit to loosen everybody up,” Hosmer told reporters. “Individually, it’s the same battle. You want to get the hit to feel good and gain some ground in the box. Right now, it’s just not happening. We got to continue to put the work in and trust it, and hope it turns.”
The Rockies are 4-3 against the Padres this season, having won three of four at San Diego and lost two of three at Coors Field. Hosmer went 6-for-12 in the last series at Colorado when the Padres scored 16 runs.
Arizona shortstop Nick Ahmed hit a two-run homer in a four-run fourth inning and left-hander Patrick Corbin became the fourth four-game winner in the majors with the Diamondbacks’ 4-2 victory over the San Diego Padres at Chase Field on Sunday.
Ahmed’s homer, his third of the season, made it 3-0 lead and Corbin’s two-out single drove in the final run of the inning as the Diamondbacks (15-6) tied a franchise record for the best 21-game start to a season. Arizona is the first team since the 2003 San Francisco Giants to win its first seven series.
Christian Villanueva broke up Corbin’s shutout with a two-run homer in the sixth inning as the Padres (8-15) lost for the fifth time in six games.
Corbin (4-0) gave up two hits and two runs in six innings, with 11 strikeouts and one walk. He joined Washington’s Max Scherzer, the Yankees’ Luis Severino and Boston’s Rick Porcello as the only four-game winners in MLB.
In his last three home starts, Corbin has given up four hits and two runs in 22 1/3 innings while striking out 31. He took a no-hitter into the eighth inning of his Tuesday start against the Giants before losing it on a two-out, check-swing single. His ERA is 1.89.
Archie Bradley got the final four outs for his second save, pitching around a one-out double by Villanueva in the ninth inning.
Villanueva’s homer, his seventh, came after Wil Myers struck out on a pitch in the dirt but made it to first on a wild pitch. Since his major league debut last Sept. 17, Villanueva has 11 homers in 104 plate appearances.
Rookie Joey Lucchesi (2-1) gave up five hits and four runs, with four walks and four strikeouts. He had given up only one earned run combined in his previous three starts over 17 innings.
Paul Goldschmidt, who had two of Arizona’s six hits, walked to open the fourth inning before A.J. Pollock singled to right field. Goldschmidt took third on a fly ball to center and scored on Lucchesi’s errant pickoff throw to first after Pollock broke for second.
Ahmed hit the next pitch for his third homer of the season for a 3-0 lead, and Corbin singled in the fourth run of the inning after Deven Marrero walked and stole second.
–Field Level Media
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“I’m just being more patient at the plate,” the rookie third baseman said before Saturday’s game against the Diamondbacks. “Just trying to wait for my pitch and not chase bad pitches.”
Or like Franchy Cordero.
“I’m trying to swing at pitches in the zone and trying to leave the pitches out of the zone exactly where they are, which is out of the zone,” the rookie outfielder said before Friday’s game here.
Sounds simple enough.
It’s just not that easy, as the Padres continued to show in a 6-2 loss Saturday night.
Against another starting pitcher whose offspeed offerings rarely cross the plate, the Padres swatted at pitches in the dirt too often, as Zack Godley struck out eight in 5 1/3 innings.
“Godley can be tough with the breaking balls,” Green said. “We chased that a number of times.”
The Padres, who did send a number of balls to the warning track, never even threatened to score after Arizona manager Torey Lovullo went to his bullpen, which has the majors’ lowest cumulative ERA.
With 10 total strikeouts, the Padres moved into a tie with Baltimore for the major league lead with 221.
They have struck out an average of 8.6 times in their eight victories and 10.9 times in their 14 losses.
The Diamondbacks chased Padres starter Clayton Richard after his 95th pitch was ball four to Chris Owings leading off the sixth inning.
Richard left with the Padres down 3-2, having allowed two runs on three hits in the second inning and a A.J. Pollock’s solo homer in the third.
After Adam Cimber came in and got the first out on a pop-up, catcher Austin Hedges threw out Owings trying to steal second. But three straight hard singles brought in another run. (Hedges would notch another caught stealing in the seventh.)
The Diamondbacks reached the final margin with two runs off Jordan Lyles in the seventh.
The Padres had at least a hit in each of the first four innings, but after Cordero’s two-out double in the first inning drove in Jose Pirela and Villanueva, who had both singled, the Padres went 0-for-6 with runners on the rest of the way against Godley.
The night before, they had put together a rare string of timely hits – and simply put balls in play with men on base – to score three runs in the ninth inning and beat the Diamondback 4-1.
It’s something manager Green and his staff have practically implanted on their hitters’ eyelids – selectivity, stubbornness, contact.
Speaking specifically of a Villanueva single in the ninth inning that gave the Padres a 2-1 lead on Friday, Green said, “All he had to do was put it in play. That’s what we’ve been waiting for all year – that big hit that puts us ahead late in the ballgame.”
They are 1-11 when trailing after six innings, 0-11 when trailing after seven. Saturday was the first time in seven such games they lost after scoring first.
Meanwhile, Villanueva and Cordero continued renaissances of selectivity that were until recently almost unimaginable.
Even not putting together the entirety of excellent at-bats he has of late, chasing early in counts, Villanueva was 2-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to eight games. He is 13-for-22 with three homers and five walks (.591/.645/.1.000) in those games.
In his eight games that preceded the streak, Villanueva was 1-for-22 and did not walk. Basically, he was swinging when the pitcher let go of the ball.
After his first-inning double, Cordero walked in the third inning, singled in the sixth and grounded out in the ninth.
A notoriously free swinger who has struck out 13 times, he didn’t whiff Saturday and has seven hits in his past 25 at-bats, plus his only two walks. He is seeing an average of almost one more pitch per plate appearance his past 22 times up than he did in his first 16 plate appearances.
If the two rookies can do it, maybe everyone eventually can.
After a half-century of near-misses, all that stood between starting pitcher Tyson Ross and the franchise’s first-ever no-hitter were four outs.
Just as it’s been in the franchise’s first 7,834 games over 50 seasons, it simply wasn’t meant to be.
With four outs looking to become three, Arizona Diamondbacks pinch-hitter Christian Walker roped a double that just cleared the glove of center fielder Franchy Cordero. Many believe it’s a play Cordero could have made, and perhaps should have made. He clearly didn’t get a good read off the bat. By the time he recovered, all he could do was give his best effort.
It wasn’t enough.
When Walker’s double landed, not only did Ross lose his no-hitter, he lost his shutout and his opportunity to win the game. Earlier in the inning, he’d walked Nick Ahmad. When Ahmad was erased at home plate on a fielder’s choice, he was replaced on the bases by Deven Marrero. It was Marrero who then raced around with the tying run.
Ross, a 30-year-old right-hander who left the Padres in free agency following the 2016 season, only to return this winter, was immediately removed by manager Andy Green. Reliever Brad Hand recorded the final four outs to secure San Diego’s 4-1 victory and the 29th one-hitter in franchise history.
Ross was probably facing his final batter regardless. His final pitch was his 127th of the game. That’s a number very few pitchers reach anymore, let alone one just 18 months removed from surgery to fix thoracic outlet syndrome. Opportunities to throw a no-hitter create special circumstances, but Green would have had to think long and hard before allowing Ross to continue.
Ross struck out 10 and walked three over his 7.2 innings. As they often do, the Diamondbacks extended at-bats and ran up Ross’ pitch count by taking a lot of close pitches and fouling off others. That, in turn, makes Ross’ effort even more impressive. Arizona’s loaded lineup wasn’t taking Ross or the Padres for granted. They were battling. Ross was just better.
As I was reading the Tell it to the Chieftain letters recently, I read a letter that had me laughing out loud. I mean, here is a Pueblo writer from an alternate universe where the mainstream media is biased toward the Republican Party, where billionaires like George Soros and Mark Zuckerberg…
Myers, who hit two home runs in his three-game rehab assignment in Lake Elsinore, is set to come off the disabled list before the 6:40 game. Villanueva, who was hit in the left hand by a pitch Wednesday, is also expected to play.
Villanueva has 10 hits (including two doubles and three home runs) in 17 at-bats during a six-game hitting streak. He has walked five times and been hit twice in those games.
Myers had three hits, including a home run, in the five at-bats that preceded his leaving the Padres’ April 2 game against the Rockies with nerve irritation in his right arm. His return puts the depleted Padres outfield closer to full strength.
Center fielder Manuel Margot, on the DL since April 11, had six at-bats in extended spring training games Thursday and is playing there again Friday. He is eligible to come off the DL on Saturday.
The Padres will likely send down reliever Tyler Webb, who was called up Wednesday and pitched in the final two games of the Dodgers series. Reliever Kirby Yates (ankle) is also coming off the DL in time for Friday’s game.