Mistakes cost Clemens, but not Padres
The 28-year-old pitcher hoping to stand out from the crowd of rookies, projects and journeymen who’ve migrated to the Padres’ roster emerged from the dugout before the fourth inning Saturday night in a new jersey – “Player,” No. 91.
There are both better and worse ways to gain notoriety.
Paul Clemens must’ve learned at least that much in the Padres’ 9-7 win over the Phillies, a curious outing in which his jersey mysteriously disappeared, he was booed roundly by a crowd of 37,453 for not running out a bunt attempt and exited two outs shy of qualifying for his first win in the organization.
A victory was certainly there for the taking even with the Padres’ three errors tying a season-high.
Bullying rookie Jake Thompson in his big league debut, Christian Bethancourt and Yangervis Solarte each drove in three runs and Travis Jankowski continued to play the role of the pest atop the order, reaching base four more times, scoring four runs and stealing his 24th base in production that should have propped up Clemens’ third start in the Padres rotation.
His last start shortened by tightness in his lower back, Clemens struck out the first two batters he faced Saturday and had allowed just one run through the first three innings.
Of course, that hit was 420-foot homer off the bat of Ryan Howard in the second inning.
Clemens survived a rare Wil Myers’ error and a hit batter in the third only to surrender two runs in the fourth as he took the field in the “Player” No. 91 jersey.
One crossed the plate – after Maikel Franco’s single and Ryan Howard’s ensuing double – on Alexei Ramirez’s throwing error and another scored on shortstop Freddy Galvis’ groundout to second, shaving the Padres’ lead to 4-3.
Those were hardly the last of the Padres’ miscues, too.
None were panned more than Clemens’ failed bunt attempt in the bottom of the fourth, the pitcher slamming his bat down instead of running swiftly to first as the ball bounced to the pitcher.
Thompson whirled to second for the second out and Galvis threw to first to complete an easy double play.
Clemens, at least in the correct jersey, was booed loudly as he walked off the field.
The next inning, Clemens was lifted for Buddy Baumann despite retiring the first batter of the inning with three runs – two earned – allowed on four hits in 4 1/3 innings. He threw 49 of his 71 pitches for strikes and didn’t walk a batter in 4 1/3 innings.
Thompson’s night was rockier.
Much, much rockier.
The 22-year-old rookie allowed the first three batters to reach, gave up a three-run double to Christian Bethancourt before getting out of the first and was finally chased in the fifth inning with six runs allowed on seven hits and two walks and a hit batter in 4 1/3 innings.
Myers doubled in a run in that inning off Thompson before Schimpf’s sacrifice fly to the warning track in right off Luis Garcia plated the final run charged to Thompson.
Solarte’s two-runs single the next inning opened up an 8-3 lead that the bullpen preserved despite Clayton Richard committing an error and allowing a run on two hits in 1/3 of an inning in his return to the Padres.
Baumann recorded three strikeouts over a perfect 1 2/3 innings before Richard entered, Hand bailed the Padres out of the seventh inning and Ryan Buchter turned in a scoreless eight.
The Phillies scored two in the ninth on Jimmy Paredes’ 413-foot homer off Brandon Maurer and another run on Aaron Altherr’s two-out double.