Musgrove finally has bad outing in Padres’ loss to Phillies

Padres pitcher Joe Musgrove looks on after a three-run home run by Phillies’ J.T. Realmuto in the sixth inning Thursday at Petco Park.
(K.C. Alfred/The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Padres starter Joe Musgrove gives up five runs in sixth inning, suffers first loss of season

The Padres ran out a lineup Thursday that resembled one of the many off-brand assemblages they put on the field for so many years (decades) of irrelevance.

The difference in this instance was they possessed the third-best record in the National League and had a Cy Young contender on the mound.

But on a night he was working with his slimmest margin for error, Joe Musgrove had his first bad game of the season.

The Phillies scored several games worth of runs against Musgrove in the sixth inning and beat the Padres 6-2 at Petco Park. (Box score.)

“Really the only inning this year that you’ve seen those kind of results from the opposing team off Joe,” manager Bob Melvin said.


Really the only game.

Musgrove (8-1) entered Thursday with a 1.59 ERA, second in the major leagues. He had allowed a total of three runs in his previous five starts (34 innings). He had given up more than two runs just twice in 12 starts this season and never more than two earned runs.

Musgrove, who had COVID last week, acknowledged being fatigued, and he all but abandoned his fastball after the first inning.

Still, until the game unraveled quickly with the Phillies’ two homers, two singles and a double in the sixth, Melvin’s lineup gambit appeared as if it might work.

The Padres took a 1-0 lead on Eric Hosmer’s second-inning home run, and Musgrove did not allow a hit until Didi Gregorius grounded a single through the right side with one out in the fifth inning.

Gregorius advanced to second base on a wild pitch and scored on Odubel Herrera’s single.

Kyle Schwarber’s two-run homer just beyond the wall in center field and J.T. Realmuto’s three-run homer just over the wall in right made it 6-1 in the sixth. Both homers came off sliders.

“Get runners on base, have to do a better job of keeping the ball in the park,” Musgrove said. “And maybe a little bit too predictable with the heavy spin. I threw a lot of breaking balls. I didn’t feel like I had my best fastball.”

It was unfortunate timing because Thursday’s Padres lineup was not comprised to mount a sizable comeback.

With Manny Machado sidelined by an ankle injury and Melvin deeming it prudent to give Jake Cronenworth and Luke Voit a day off, the Padres had almost as many players (three) in the starting lineup batting under .200 as they did (four) batting above .250.

After a single by Trent Grisham and double by Austin Nola, Phillies starter Ranger Suarez was lifted with one out in the eighth. Jorge Alfaro’s groundout drove in the Padres’ final run.