ICYMI: Shields solid, offense struggles in opener
The Padres were riding high as they rolled into New York with a three-game winning streak and an 8-3 record in their last 11 games on Monday, but Tuesday night would throw a wrench in the equation for the Swinging Friars. Despite coming into the series opener on a hot streak the Friars offense struggled as the Mets took the first of a three-game set by a score of 4-0 at Citi Field. James Shields made very few mistakes on the evening and pitched seven strong innings to keep his team in the mix, but Shield's start simply wouldn't pan out as San Diego could not solve Mets' starter Noah Syndergaard.
Whereas Syndergaard was nearly perfect on Tuesday, Shields was not far behind him - save for a mistake or two - as he surrendered only three earned runs on seven hits with four strike outs. Shields surrendered an early two-run home run in the bottom of the first inning, but after that he would get into a comfortable groove where he retired 11-straight batters at one point between the third and sixth innings.
After being pulled in the eighth inning after giving up a leadoff double, reliever Shawn Kelley took over for Shields and surrendered another home run to give the Mets a 4-0 lead. Shields ultimately went seven-innings plus on 102 pitches, essentially out-performing himself from his last outing by taking the team into the eighth frame with a solid chance in a very tight pitching duel.
The Padres offense found little solace in facing Syndergaard as they managed to pound out four hits without collecting any runs against the Mets rookie. Will Venable collected the first Padres hit of the night in the seventh inning with a groundball single into center field, while Yangervis Solarte and Yonder Alonso would also collect singles on the evening. Abraham Almonte also made a pinch-hit appearance late in the game for San Diego, collecting a double in the ninth and giving the team their first extra-base hit of the day.
Wednesday presents another opportunity for the Friars to get back to their winning ways, however, as San Diego will send reliable righty Tyson Ross to the mound to face off against the 42-year old veteran Bartolo Colon. In case you missed it, here are some highlights and stories you may not have seen from Tuesday:
Padres post-game recap: Padres' offense can't back Shields in tough loss
Shields allows only three earned runs on seven hits over seven-plus innings
Gyorko robs Granderson of a hit with well-placed fielding in the 3rd
Venable breaks up perfect game, no-hitter with solid single in the 7th
Top stories of the day:
All-Star Upton maintains focus amid trade talks: Justin Upton ignores speculation, focuses on Padres
Padres' leadoff man has rehab shut down: Myers to avoid swinging due to soreness
Pitching maintains luster during Friar's hot streak: Pitching behind Padres' 8-3 surge
Starter Kennedy nominated, Padre great honored: Bob Feller Act of Valor Award nominees announced
Down on the Farm: Poway High grad Dickerson paces streaking Triple-A El Paso
Murph's Musings: Myers' "expected soreness" will keep him from swinging for 5-6 days
Friar Forecast: Colon, Ross face off in middle matchup at Citi Field