Having given up only a single run through the game’s first five innings, rookie left-hander Joey Lucchesi entered the top of the sixth inning with a very manageable pitch count. After allowing a single to Michael Taylor and a walk to Trea Turner with nobody out, manager Andy Green removed Lucchesi from the game. He had only thrown 69 pitches.
There were a few circumstances that likely contributed to this; the most evident of them being that Anthony Rendon, who homered off Lucchesi in the at-bat prior, was due to hit next.
“Rendon and Zimmerman clearly saw him well the first could of at-bats.” said Green about the decision after the game. “We had a very fresh bullpen. We have three guys that we really trust in Stammen, Yates, and Hand.”
Still, though, one could argue that removing Lucchesi from the game was premature. In a year of development, letting Lucchesi try and work through the inning might have been the way to go. The Athletic‘s Dennis Lin had this to say about the removal:
Joey Lucchesi's 69 pitches in five-plus innings of one-run ball were a season low. He never threw fewer than 72 pitches in any of his 23 minor-league starts last season.
Adding onto this was the fact that Lucchesi appeared somewhat agitated as he was removed from the game.
“I thought he was really good for us today. We could not have asked much more out of him,” Green stated about Lucchesi.
The controversial move ended up working very well for the skipper. Craig Stammen entered in relief and immediately induced a ground-ball double play off the bat of Anthony Rendon and ultimately got out of the inning unscathed.
Margot records three hit game
Entering Wednesday’s contest, Manuel Margot had been hitting to the tune of a .179/.233/.295 slashline. It had been a difficult go of things early on this season for the second-year outfielder.
Tonight, though, Margot had one of his best games of the season. He tied his career-high in hits, with three. He was involved in both of the Padres’ runs tonight; doubling home a run in the fourth and scoring what ended up being the winning run in the bottom of the 7th.
He also stole a base as well.
Margot has been putting in extra work as of late, and there were definitely signs in this series that his bat is starting to come alive. In three games against Washington, Margot went 5-11 with two extra base hits, two RBIs, and two runs scored.
Bullpen steps up
Relievers Craig Stammen, Kirby Yates, and Brad Hand shut the door on the Nationals from the sixth inning on. The trio combined to strike out six and allow only two hits in four innings of relief.
Craig Stammen earned his first win of the season. Brad Hand recorded his 10th save.
The Padres have not held many leads heading into the late stages of games so far this season. Tonight, though, Andy Green got to use his trio of relievers in the way he envisioned coming out of spring training.
Did not score first? No problem, at least tonight
The Padres improved to 3-22 when the opposing team scores first this season.