Padres learn they’ll host playoff series, split doubleheader, lose Lamet

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SAN FRANCISCO — The San Diego Padres won the second game of a doubleheader on Trent Grisham’s walk-off home run, so that was something.

Because otherwise, things are not going well for the Padres.

Their brightest spot right now might be the possibility a cortisone shot takes in Mike Clevinger’s elbow and he can pitch for them in the Wild Card Series that begins Wednesday at Petco Park.

Oh yeah, the Padres secured the No. 4 seed Friday night and will be the hosts for their first playoff series in 14 years.

How that will go and who will be playing for them seems in doubt with every passing day.

The latest potential significant blow was starting pitcher Dinelson Lamet leaving the second game of a doubleheader at Oracle Park in the fourth inning with what a source said was feared to be an elbow injury of unknown severity. The Padres had yet to confirm the injury.

After losing the opener 5-4, the Padres took the nightcap 6-5. In that game, Fernando Tatis Jr. also hit his first home run in 52 at-bats.

The Padres were batting in the bottom half of each inning in the second game because it was a makeup of a game postponed Sept. 12 at Petco Park due to a positive COVID-19 test by a Giants player.

Lamet departing was a punch in the gut that will leave the Padres short of breath until they find out his status. The 28-year-old right-hander, who had Tommy John surgery in 2018, was having a season worthy of Cy Young consideration.

The Giants had scored a run in the fourth inning with help from two errors when Lamet signaled for catcher Jason Castro to come to the mound after throwing a first-pitch ball to Evan Longoria. Castro waved to the dugout shortly after arriving on the mound, and Lamet quickly walked off the field and into the clubhouse with an athletic trainer at his side.

Emilio Pagan came in and ended the inning on one pitch, a fastball Longoria grounded to third base. Pagan followed with a scoreless fifth.

At the start of the fourth inning, Jurickson Profar had jogged out to right field to replace Wil Myers. It was not known why Myers departed.

Lamet, who entered Friday’s game with the National League’s second-lowest ERA (2.06), was the Padres’ likely starter in the playoff opener. That may have been the case even if Clevinger had not left his last start with what was announced Friday as an elbow impingement.

After getting the anti-inflammatory shot Friday, Clevinger will throw in the next couple days. At that time, it will be determined whether he can pitch in the Wild Card Series.

The Padres are running short on options, regardless.

One of the pitchers they really needed to show them he was ready for the playoffs did not do so in Friday’s opener.

Chris Paddack allowed five runs (four of them on three home runs) in 3 2/3 innings in the opening game.

He and the Padres offense continued along a similar path in the waning days of the regular season.

The young right-hander did not last four innings, and the Padres offense made only a nominal showing in the opening loss.

The Padres entered Friday having hit .196 in their previous seven games. Profar’s double leading off the seventh (and last) inning was their fifth hit off Giants starter Tyler Anderson.

Anderson departed, and the Padres scored three times after Tony Watson replaced him.

That did not mitigate the fact they had hits in just three of the seven innings.

“We went through a dead period,” manager Jayce Tingler said. “That’s been our kryptonite of late, having some empty innings.”

The Padres are averaging 3.5 runs over the eight-game slide after averaging 5.7 runs in their first 49 games.

At least Paddack has been good every other game or so.

The 24-year-old right-hander was coming off a start in which he held the Seattle Mariners to one hit over six scoreless innings. But Friday continued a nearly season-long habit of following a good start with a bad one. His 4.73 ERA in 12 starts is 1.40 points higher than in 26 starts his rookie season.

“There’s a lot of things I’ve got to put behind me because when October comes around, everybody starts with the same record,” he said. “I have to be able to clear my mind when the regular season ends. I’ve got to get ready for Sept. 30.”

That would be the date the Padres begin the playoffs.

The St. Louis Cardinals losing made what happened the rest of this weekend essentially moot.

That doesn’t mean the slide isn’t disconcerting.

The Padres took a 1-0 lead in the second inning on a single by Austin Nola and a double by Tommy Pham.

Brandon Crawford tied the game with a homer to center field in the bottom of the second.

The threatened in the third inning when Grisham led off with one of the longest triples possible, a 418-foot shot that hit three-quarters of the way up the wall in the farthest nook of right-center field. But he ended up still standing on third base three outs later.

Paddack did not survive the fourth inning after surrendering a lead-off home run to Wilmer Flores, a double to Evan Longoria, a two-out RBI single by Joey Bart and Mike Yastrzemski’s two-run homer into San Francisco Bay


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