Padres earn loud boos at Petco Park as Rockies complete a lopsided sweep



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SAN DIEGO — Loud boos filled Petco Park for a second consecutive day as the San Diego Padres lost 8-0 to a last-place Colorado Rockies team that ended a streak of 93 games without a shutout win and swept a three-game road series in front of fans for the first time since 2019. In postgame comments to the media Wednesday afternoon, the fans’ ire drew slightly diverging responses from Padres players and their manager, although frustration was a consistent undertone.

“I think we’re fully deserving of it if we were playing that poorly,” starter Michael King said of the booing. “I continue to think that we have some smart fans here and they know when they’re watching bad baseball.”

“We all want to play well, and we want to contribute,” second baseman Xander Bogaerts said. “If you don’t like the boos, play better. That’s all I can say.”

“Yeah, it sends a message,” manager Mike Shildt said. “People show up and want to win. I get it. I’ll answer for it. It’s interesting how a couple of days changes the complexity of how people react.”

Three days after the Padres (22-24) won a fourth consecutive series by beating the first-place Los Angeles Dodgers, Shildt defended his team’s play after a series in which San Diego never led. The Rockies (15-28) narrowly won Monday despite issuing 11 walks, then built and maintained significant advantages each of the next two days.

With the sweep, they secured a seventh consecutive victory, the longest active streak in the majors. They also doubled their number of road wins this season.

“I’m gonna take exception with the word ‘outplayed,’” Shildt said when a reporter posited that the Padres had been outplayed. “We lost three games. … It just didn’t work out for us for three days. I can’t explain that. Am I happy about it? Is that clubhouse happy about it? Are we going to alibi anything? No, we’re not gonna alibi anything. But I’m also going to look at this thing rationally and go, ‘OK, how did you win four series in a row?’ And you do some of the very exact same things. You don’t give anything away. You don’t walk anybody. You play clean defense. You compete well. You have good at-bats.

“And (Rockies starter Austin Gomber) threw well today. We’ve (faced) some good pitching in the past. Sometimes you tip your hat. … There’s not an overreaction from me moving forward. Now, if we were throwing balls all over the place and hitting guys and walking guys and not hitting balls on the barrel and having an approach, yeah, you’d hear something different out of my mouth. But that wasn’t the case for me.”

The Padres, in Shildt’s estimation, played sound baseball in most facets. The manager noted that he tracked the offense’s number of hard-hit outs during Wednesday’s game. He acknowledged that they did not play “perfectly clean.”

Right fielder Fernando Tatis Jr., for example, was ruled out in the first inning after he failed to retouch second base as he retreated to first base on a lineout. King surrendered six runs five days after pitching perhaps the game of his career against the Dodgers. The Rockies outhit the Padres 12-4 as the home team fell to 10-15 at Petco Park, which has drawn the majors’ second-highest average attendance.

“You got to handle these types of teams,” King said. “I know they came in hot. But we just didn’t execute.”

“We played bad,” Bogaerts said. “We didn’t play the way we wanted to, the way we hoped to. And these guys came out the last two games and they kicked us in the butt.”

Shildt was not the only member of the team to credit the Rockies for their recent surge in productivity. Bogaerts pointed out that Colorado played cleanly and opportunistically. Third baseman Manny Machado said multiple times, “You got to tip your cap.”

Still, the boos that rained from the stands both Tuesday and Wednesday highlighted a gulf in expectations for the two teams.

“Honestly, I’ve been focusing on the game — I didn’t really hear,” Machado said. “So if they did boo, yeah, we played really bad baseball. That’s deserved.”

Shildt, for his part, said he was “surprised” by the vociferousness of the booing. He pointed out the Padres’ top-10 ranking in multiple statistical categories. He bristled at a question about the team’s lack of consistency.

“It’s interesting that we don’t talk about consistency when we win four series in a row for the first time in three years,” Shildt said.

The Padres, in fact, won six series in a row to end the 2023 season. That late surge proved too late: San Diego missed the playoffs by a few games, manager Bob Melvin left to take the same job with the San Francisco Giants, and Shildt, a former Manager of the Year with the St. Louis Cardinals, ended up as his replacement.

Now, 46 games in, the Padres are two wins better than they were at this point last season. Yet they already have compiled five losses in seven meetings with the Rockies — the kind of losses that came back to haunt San Diego in 2023. It remains relatively early, but some of the team’s rhetoric already bears a resemblance to last year’s messaging.

“The sky’s not falling in our clubhouse. I can tell you that,” Shildt said. “All of the frustration that is real with losing because it’s an in-game result, I get it. But I also appreciate the fact that our team is going in a good direction in a lot of areas, and we just got to be able to string it together with our pitching and our hitting to be able to put together some more wins, some more series wins like we’ve done more recently.”

(Photo of Michael King: Orlando Ramirez / USA Today)





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