After producing several outstanding performances during last week’s lengthy winning streak, the San Diego Padres’ pitchers are suddenly struggling.
Taking the mound for the first time since his best outing of the season, Jon Garland(notes) looks to put an end to that trend when the Padres and Marlins continue their series Tuesday night in Florida.
San Diego (11-8) suffered its most-lopsided defeat of the year in Monday’s series opener, losing to the Marlins 10-1.
“You’re going to have those from time to time,” manager Bud Black said. “That’s the first one this year. We’ve laid it on a couple of teams, but tonight it was their turn.”
The Padres have now dropped two in a row after winning eight straight. They’ve allowed 14 runs in the last two games, equaling the total they gave up during the entire winning streak.
Garland gave up one run and six hits in seven innings of a 5-2 win over San Francisco on Wednesday after allowing 13 runs - six earned - over 15 innings in his first three starts. The right-hander, who signed a one-year contract with the Padres in the offseason after pitching for Arizona and the Dodgers in 2009, credited his change-up for the improved showing.
“It’s just a matter of keeping it down, keeping everything down,” Garland said.
San Diego’s opening-day starter will now face a Marlins team he shut down twice while with the Diamondbacks last season, giving up two earned runs over 14 innings to win both starts.
While San Diego’s pitching certainly struggled Monday, the offense didn’t do much, either.
After being knocked around for nine runs over 12 innings in his first two starts, Sanchez yielded one run and nine hits in 6 2-3 innings of a 5-1 win at Houston on Thursday. He did a better job of attacking the strike zone, throwing 65 of 89 pitches for strikes and not allowing a walk after issuing five in his first two outings.
Florida manager Fredi Gonzalez said he’s been preaching to his pitchers the importance of avoiding walks.
“Usually, the big innings are two hits strung in a row, with a base on balls, and another hit,” Gonzalez said.