Blake Snell flat-out dominated the Dodgers, and the Padres offense punished Ryan Pepiot with a pair of home runs in an easy 6-1 win for San Diego.
The Padres are probably finishing the season below .500, and not only this series’ results but how they came about just make that all the more baffling.
This was one of the classic glass half-empty, half-full situations for the young Dodger starter in the evening.
Eric Karros stated as much on the broadcast that Pepiot was, in fact, pitching at a higher level than his results would indicate. The right-hander pitched a fine game, except when he didn’t, and when he didn’t, the Padres made him pay.
In the first couple of innings, Pepiot earned a very impressive nine whiffs while striking out four, as that fastball-changeup combo looked nasty. By that point, the Friars had already scored a run on a solo shot from Juan Soto in the top of the first, but the big blow came in the third.
With a couple of men on, as Fernando Tatis Jr., and Soto reached to open the frame, Pepiot hung a changeup to Luis Campusano, and the Pads’ catcher did not miss it, depositing it over the left-field wall.
What hurt about both of those long balls was the fact that on each occasion Pepiot had the count in his favor. And just flat-out missed location with the pitch, missing where you can’t afford to, particularly in such a favorable count.
Pepiot was 0-2 on Soto in the first before serving up a four-seamer right down the pipe, which Soto crushed it. Against Campusano, once again ahead 0-2, Pepiot served a changeup that caught a whole lot of the plate as well.
At the end of his outing, Pepiot managed to go a full six innings, allowing a baserunner per inning, with no walks, and five strikeouts.
Putting it like that it sounds rather positive, and in a way it was, but the four runs took on a different light as the National League Cy Young Award hopeful Snell stifled the Dodgers the entire night.
The NL pitching field is in a weird spot this season, in which the Cy Young award is still very much so up in the air, and will likely go down right to the wire.
Facing the best offense in the NL this side of the Atlanta Braves, Snell was outstanding, and if not for Mookie Betts the Dodgers wouldn’t have any baserunner against him across six frames of excellent work.
Snell allowed one hit and a walk, both to Betts and proceeded to strike out eight Dodgers, getting seven of the nine hitters at least once.
Home runs: Kolten Wong (4); Juan Soto (30), Luis Campusano (6)
WP — Blake Snell (14-9): 6 IP, 1 hit, 1 walk, 8 strikeouts
LP — Ryan Pepiot (2-1): 6 IP, 6 hits, 4 runs, 5 strikeouts
The Dodgers are off Thursday, traveling up the coast to Seattle for a weekend set against the playoff-hopeful Mariners, in the middle of a fierce race in both the American League West and AL wild card. The first game Friday night (7:10 p.m.; SportsNet LA, MLB Network) will be a battle of two exciting young right-handers in Bobby Miller and George Kirby.