San Diego’s offense took control in the first and eighth inning; that was enough for the Padres to prevail, as the Rockies offense was unable to provide starter Kyle Freeland with run support.
31,884 fans packed Petco Park, riding the Max Scherzer-induced wave of trade deadline buzz into a pitching-induced shutdown—courtesy of Joe Musgrove.
The Rockies were held to just five hits on the night, and some late-inning insurance set the table for Mark Melancon’s league-leading 32nd save. Tonight was San Diego’s third shutout of the Rockies this season, and the head-to-head record is now 7-6 Padres.
Freeland shines in second consecutive start
Six innings of one-run ball: Kyle Freeland made some big pitches to space eight hits on the evening. He picked up four strikeouts:
The Padres reached second base four times with Freeland on the mound. Colorado’s lefty controlled the damage in every inning except the first, as Freeland’s lone blemish on the night came from an RBI double by Fernando Tatís Jr.
Freeland averaged 4 1⁄3 batters faced per inning, and in three different innings, he faced five or more hitters. San Diego was unable to capitalize in some of these longer frames, and Freeland turned over a one-run ballgame to the Colorado bullpen.
Musgrove punches out 11
The Rockies recorded three hits in their first seven innings at the plate. Joe Musgrove allowed one other baserunner by way of a walk, but was otherwise exceptional in a start that lowered his season ERA in the twos.
Musgrove’s continued dominance of the Rockies this year was highlighted tonight with 11 strikeouts. Four or Musgrove’s innings were three-up, three-down. Only two runners made it into scoring position with Musgrove on the mound, and he turned a shutout performance over to the Padres’ bullpen after seven complete frames.
Brendan Rodgers and Charlie Blackmon recorded back-to-back hits in the first inning, but the Rockies were unable to capitalize with one out and two on. The Rockies were unable to cash in Blackmon at third base in the fourth with one out, as Musgrove struck out Ryan McMahon and Sam Hilliard.
All five of the Rockies’ hits came from the top four slots in the batting order. Blackmon was the only one to collect multiple hits, landing a single in the first and smacking a double in the fourth.
Cronenworth’s homer catches the foul pole
Colorado closer Daniel Bard had not pitched in six days entering tonight. He emerged from the visiting bullpen for a non-save situation, but was unable to keep the Rockies within one.
Tommy Pham reached on a leadoff walk. In the fourth at-bat of the frame, All-Star Jake Cronenworth put a ball off the middle of the right field foul pole, cashing in his 43rd and 44th RBIs of the season.
Chacín works a scoreless frame
Another Rockies arm made his return to the mound after a lengthy absence. Jhoulys Chacín returned from the COVID list and worked a scoreless frame. He collected a groundout and a pair of flyouts, preserving the Colorado bullpen after a bullpen-heavy contest on Wednesday. It was Chacín’s first appearance since July 11.
The Rockies will send Jon Gray — trade deadline willing — to the mound on Friday in game two of the four-game set. Gray faced the Dodgers in each of his last two starts, allowing two runs in both and working a combined 12 innings. He will square off against Ryan Weathers, an occasional member of the Padres’ rotation that could find himself in a full-time bullpen role if San Diego lands another starter before the deadline. Weathers has made one appearance since July 12 but has not allowed a run in his last two starts. First pitch is scheduled for 8:10 p.m. MDT.