SAN DIEGO (AP) — Juan Soto, Manny Machado and unlikely star Trent Grisham stayed quiet for the San Diego Padres, giving the Petco Park faithful little encouragement in the first NL Championship Series appearance since 1998 .
The Padres had just one hit against Zack Wheeler and the Philadelphia Phillies in a 2-0 first loss on Tuesday night, becoming the first team to throw a hit to hold on a hit in the same playoffs.
“We hit the ball but couldn’t find the gap,” Machado said. “We had a few hard hit balls but they were right on the guys.”
Soto, Machado and Grisham combined to go 0-9 with four strikeouts and a walk. The Padres went down in order in all but the first, fifth and ninth innings.
Going into the NLCS, Machado, Austin Nola and Grisham had eight hits in the playoffs. Soto, Jurickson Profar and Jake Cronenworth had seven hits.
Grisham and Nola had helped propel the bottom of the roster, which hit .338 against the New York Mets in the NL Wild Card Series and the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL Division Series. The first six batters were just .201.
Against the hard-hitting Phillies, the Padres’ only hit was a single by Wil Myers in the fifth.
“It’s hard to swallow because offensively we just have to do a better job,” Nola said. “We’re going to turn the page on this one quickly.”
Padres starter Yu Darvish allowed homers to Kyle Schwarber and Bryce Harper, plus a single to Schwarber in seven innings. He struck out seven and walked one.
“These are the kind of games that give you a chance to win,” Padres manager Bob Melvin said. “We just couldn’t do enough offensively.”
The yellow napkin-waving crowd of 44,826 did their part, urging the Padres with chants of support throughout. The Rally Goose also appeared, appearing on the giant video board in the eighth. But the big bird laid an egg.
The Padres adopted the goose as a lucky charm after a real one landed in the outfield at Dodger Stadium in their knockdown of Los Angeles.
With the crowd screaming to their feet in the ninth, Profar drew a one-out walk. This brought Soto to the plate. He was unsuccessful in picking a defenseman at third, but Alec Bohm missed the throw at second for an error.
Machado appeared as the potential go-ahead but flew to the right. Josh Bell swung a cutter for a game-ending strikeout.
“We always feel good when we have a chance to win in the ninth inning,” Melvin said. “It didn’t happen. But it leaves a kind of bad taste in your mouth, so you want to (get back) there as soon as possible.
When the Padres didn’t hit 11 times, they flew or popped or lined up balls in the gloves of the Philadelphia defense.
The Padres faced Wheeler in the first inning, when he threw 24 pitches. Machado saw nine pitches at bat before flying to the left.
San Diego had just two base runners through ninth. Soto walked a walk in the first, but Machado flew to the left and Bell hit.
“We have to go out and swing the bats a little better,” Melvin said. “It doesn’t get much easier.”
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