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Paddack in top form in his final 2019 start

Righty caps rookie year with five innings of one-hit ball
September 18, 2019

MILWAUKEE -- Chris Paddack knew there was a good chance Tuesday night could mark the last time he stepped on a mound for the 2019 season. If it was, he wanted to make it count. And after striking out nine while allowing just one hit in the Padres’ 3-1 loss

MILWAUKEE -- Chris Paddack knew there was a good chance Tuesday night could mark the last time he stepped on a mound for the 2019 season. If it was, he wanted to make it count.

And after striking out nine while allowing just one hit in the Padres’ 3-1 loss against Brewers at Miller Park, Paddack felt like he accomplished all he could during an impressive rookie season.

“I just came to the ballpark ready to pitch," Paddack said. “I just kind of made some things personal. I wanted to get my 10th win of the season. I wanted to stay on this streak I've had in September.”

Box score

Paddack didn’t get that 10th win, but he lowered his ERA to 3.33. His ERA in his final four starts was 0.77.

Padres manager Andy Green confirmed after the game that Paddack’s next outing will come in 2020.

“From our perspective,” Green said, “it doesn't make a lot of sense, given our current situation, to ask for one more [start] from him. It's fun to watch him go out there and compete, but, at this point in time, he's ending the season healthy and strong. He grew a lot, he learned a lot and he pitched dominantly a lot of times.”

Paddack pitched 140 2/3 innings this season -- 50 2/3 more than the 90 he logged last year between Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore and Double-A San Antonio. He missed the 2017 campaign following Tommy John surgery.

Paddack’s final five innings of 2019 were as electric as any, a reminder of why the Padres were willing to let him jump Triple-A and start this season in the Majors at age 23.

“I knew Austin [Hedges] was behind the plate and [the Brewers] are a good team in a playoff hunt,” Paddack said of his final start. “There was a lot of positive going into my start, but tonight was something special.”

Paddack’s only blemish came on a solo home run by Lorenzo Cain in the third inning. Other than that, he allowed one walk while throwing 54 of his 84 pitches for strikes.

“He was really good,” Green said. “You go out there punch out nine guys, give up one hit and one walk against a playoff-caliber club -- he was great tonight and did everything he could to help us win a baseball game.”

Since tying a season high with six earned runs in 2 1/3 innings against the Red Sox on Aug. 23, Paddack has been nothing short of dominant. While compiling his 0.77 ERA over four starts (23 1/3 innings), he struck out 32 and issued only four walks.

After Cain’s homer, Paddack retired his next seven batters, notching three more strikeouts in the process. Eric Thames drew a one-out walk in the fifth to snap that streak, but Paddack struck out Cain and pinch-hitter Tyler Austin to bring his day -- and his season -- to an end.

“He was absolutely amazing today,” Hedges said. “Obviously, it wasn't the result we wanted but he's given us so many glimpses of what to expect for the future. He's about as good as it gets and I'm looking forward to the rest of his career.”

Paddack went 9-7 in 26 starts and held opponents to a .204 batting average.

“He's navigated his rookie season really well,” Green said. “He's learned a lot going through the experience. He's talked to the veterans; he's talked to the coaches. He asks the right questions. His mind is on looking to get better.”

Paddack lobbied for another inning but understood Green’s decision. He, too, has his eyes on the future and only had to look across the diamond at the Brewers, who are fighting for a potential playoff berth, for motivation.

“My goal for the rest of the year is to be a good teammate, a good leader for the guys and come to the ballpark the same way I would [if pitching],” Paddack said, “because next year at this time, it's going to be a different story. We're going to be the ones in a middle of a playoff run.”

Back to full action after missing nine games with a right ankle sprain, right fielder Hunter Renfroe struck out and walked in his first two at-bats but took Paddack off the hook for a loss when he led off the seventh with a home run off Matt Albers. The game-tying shot was Renfroe’s 32nd of the year but just his fifth since the All-Star break.

Mike Moustakas led off the bottom of the seventh with his 35th home run of the season, a solo shot off Matt Strahm, to put Milwaukee back ahead. The Brewers added an insurance run in the eighth inning on Trent Grisham’s sacrifice fly.

San Diego’s six-game losing streak ties a season high. The Padres also dropped six in a row from April 14-20.