The Padres bullpen has stepped up to fill a hole in San Diego’s rotation.Eric Hosmer homered Cheap JK Scott Jersey
, San Diego’s bullpen took a perfect game into the sixth inning and the Padres beat the St. Louis Cardinals 4-2 on Tuesday night for their 10th win in 14 games.
This was the third bullpen game for San Diego this season, all since left-hander Joey Lucchesi went down with a right hip strain.
”These guys are all built to kind of grind through a lineup one time or cruise through a lineup or attack a lineup one time through,” Padres manager Andy Green said. ”They’re all built for nine batters pretty easily or 10 batters so it just makes sense to give them those types of pieces of a lineup for a first time through and keep hitters uncomfortable. I like it.”
Padres reliever Matt Strahm started the bullpen game and retired nine batters on 36 pitches, including four strikeouts. Adam Cimber (3-2) retired the next six with two strikeouts before Harrison Bader broke up the perfect game with an infield single in the sixth. Bader was promptly erased in a double play.
”In that situation, I know on a bullpen day, me coming in the fourth inning I’m probably looked at to get at least a few (innings),” Cimber said. ”You still take it one hitter at a time.”
Strahm, a lefty, and Cimber, a submarine righty, make a stark contrast for opposing hitters.
”It’s the opposite end of the spectrum Authentic Jason Sanders Jersey
,” Strahm said. ”He’s down on the right and I’m up on the left. It’s a good combo to come in.”
The Padres’ nine-man bullpen makes the starter-by-committee approach effective. Green said he plans to go with it again Sunday.
”We’ve got seven arms available,” Green said. ”I’m going to guess that’s more arms available than almost every team in major league baseball, so it’s not putting the stress on our bullpen that a lot of people presume it is.”
Brad Hand pitched the ninth for his 20th save.
Hosmer drove the first pitch of the fourth inning to center field to give the Padres a 1-0 lead. It was his second home run in three games.
A.J. Ellis tacked on two more with a two-out hit in the fourth. The Cardinals challenged the safe call on the second run, but replay showed the Freddy Galvis beat catcher Yadier Molina’s tag at home plate.
”Basically the first strike you see you want to be aggressive,” Ellis said. ”I found a pitch to find a hole on.”
Cardinals starter Miles Mikolas (7-2) struck out five in six innings and walked none. He has walked one or less in all seven of his home starts this season, but St. Louis still lost for the second time in three games.
”I felt like my stuff was pretty good today,” Mikolas said. ”I made some pretty good pitches. I think the ball Hosmer hit was a decent pitch.”
Marcell Ozuna’s RBI single snapped the Padres’ shutout bid in the seventh. Ozuna has driven in five runs in his last four games.
”I thought our offense did a pretty good job of getting some things rolling toward the end of the game,” Bader said. ”Just today, it just showed up a little too late.”
Padres: OF Franchy Cordero (right forearm strain) took batting practice and hopes to begin a rehab in a couple of days.
Cardinals: RHP Matt Bowman (right hand blisters) gave up a run in two innings Monday at Triple-A Memphis and could be activated by the end of the week.
Cardinals RHP Luke Weaver (3-5, 4.35 ERA) will get the start in the series finale against the Padres and LHP Eric Lauer (2-4, 6.64 ERA) on Wednesday at 7:15 CDT. Weaver has not allowed a run in 12 innings (two career starts) against San Diego. Lauer gave up six runs in 2 1/3 innings against St. Louis on May 11.
Predators coach Peter Laviolette’s biggest challenge adding Finnish scoring whiz Eeli Tolvanen has been finding a spot for the teenager in his lineup.
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, the Nashville Predators are that deep.
It’s why the defending Western Conference champions have turned in their best season yet with their sights set on finishing what they couldn’t a year ago. Savvy drafting, surprising trades and a handful of salary-cap friendly contract extensions have the Predators on the verge of what could be a dominant run in the NHL.
Boston, the Los Angeles Kings and the Chicago Blackhawks have run into salary cap issues or injuries that slammed the window shut on chasing the Stanley Cup. Dean Lombardi, who won two Stanley Cups with the Kings, said he thinks Nashville general manager David Poile has done the best job yet giving the Predators the chance to compete for the next five years.
”He’s still got to win it, but I think he’s certainly positioned for that,” Lombardi said. ”To put a team of this quality together, which is one heck of a team. They can beat you in so many ways. They don’t have a weakness, and to be flexible going forward, I think is a remarkable job.”
The Predators not only are in the playoffs for an 11th time in the franchise’s 20 years, they head into the postseason having clinched their first Central Division title and Western Conference regular-season title with a 4-3 win at Washington on Thursday night. Then a few minutes later Authentic Martin Kaut Jersey
, Boston’s 3-2 loss at Florida handed Nashville its first Presidents’ Trophy for good measure.
Veteran center Mike Fisher, who unexpectedly came out of retirement in February to rejoin the Predators, sees an even deeper roster than a season ago. Despite not having a single player among the NHL scoring leaders, eight Predators have at least 48 points apiece this season along with four different 20-goal scorers.
”No question it’s stronger than last year for sure, as strong as I’ve been a part of,” Fisher said. ”You look at last year, you lose a couple key guys, and it made it tough. We were still real close. You just never know. Hopefully, we stay healthy. But you just never know. It’s always great to have that.”
Poile didn’t stand pat with a team that lost the final to Pittsburgh in six games.
With Fisher taking until August to announce his retirement , Poile signed center Nick Bonino as a free agent. Poile also signed center Ryan Johansen to the longest and richest contract the Predators have ever given out on their own, signing the then 24-year-old center to an eight-year Authentic Albert Wilson Jersey
, $64 million deal in July a couple days after signing Viktor Arvidsson to a seven-year deal.
Those contracts, combined with a six-year deal in July 2016 for Filip Forsberg, tied up Nashville’s top line through the 2021-22 season for a tidy sum of $18.25 million per year.
Poile joined Ottawa and Colorado in a three-way trade in November, bringing center Kyle Turris to Nashville . Poile also signed Turris to a six-year, $36 million extension, keeping him under contract through 2023-24 like Johansen and Arvidsson. The Predators gave Fisher a one-year deal.
Poile still had enough money to land forward Ryan Hartman at the trade deadline from Chicago, a seller that will finish last in the Central Division.
One deal that could haunt Nashville depends on defenseman Shea Weber, the former captain traded to Montreal for defenseman P.K. Subban . That deal netted the Predators a younger and cheaper defenseman, but Nashville needs Weber to play until he’s 40 to finish the 14-year, $110 million deal first offered by Philadelphia or face a salary cap hit that would cost more in 2025-26 than the Predators’ current defense corps.
The Predators are focused on this postseason with Laviolette taking advantage of his depth not to rush anyone back from injury.
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,” Laviolette said.
To some critics, adding Tolvanen at the risk of needlessly burning a year on the forward’s entry-level contract seemed almost like too much.
Not to the Predators who remember forward Kevin Fiala breaking his leg in their second-round series with St. Louis last spring or Johansen needing emergency surgery for acute compartment syndrome suffered during the Western Conference finals against Anaheim. Johansen said depth matters most in the playoffs.
”We feel like we’re in a great spot right now going into this postseason,” Johansen said. ”We got a lot of bodies that can not only play certain roles, but versatile players that can step up and be great players in any area of the game. So for us, our team feels really confident in what our capabilities are.”