2(b.- Schimpf Hits a 3-run Home Run Against the Bad Guys.
I can still feel the glory of this one. The Giants owned the Padres in the first half of the season. They swept every series. They won every game. It was pitiful. It really stung. Then, after the break, it was as if the curse had been lifted right off of the Padres and landed right on the Giants’ heads. All of sudden we were sweeping the series against them.
We were winning the games. Sadly, that streak came to an end last night. Alright, I can accept it. Especially because in the middle of the streak Schimpf twisted the dagger around a little bit before it fell out.
On September 13, the Padres were trailing 4-3 in the ninth inning. There were two outs and Bruce Bochy decided to bring in lefty Steven Okert to close out the game against lefty Schimpf. There were two men on. Okert got ahead in the count 1-2, one strike away from victory and then BAM! Schimpf blasted the 94 MPH fastball out of the park to deep right center field. Brandon Maurer closed out the ninth and the Padres won 6-4. Jerry Coleman would have hung a star on that one.
2(a.- Schimpf’s Big Game on August 19
Early in the season Melvin Upton Jr. was the Padres’ walk off home run go-to (April 16, July 2). Upton’s walk offs were certainly some top moments, however after he was traded someone new had to step into that role. Someone has. On one night in particular it was Ryan Schimpf. On August 19, Schimpf had himself a game against the Diamondbacks. He set a career high with four hits. A double in the second and another in the fourth. He hit a two-run homer in the eighth which tied the game at 4-4. The game went into the 10th still tied and then Schimpf hit a three run blast to walk off the win 7-4. The baton had been passed. This was his first MLB walk off home run and I don’t think it will be his last.
1- Melvin Upton Jr. Steals Home
I still like to call him B.J. When he first came over I had this superstitious idea that if we all started calling him B.J. again maybe he would turn back into his old self. He proved me wrong. He started to produce this season under the new moniker and gave us some straight up gems before being traded to the Blue Jays in July. The greatest of these is, without a doubt, when he stole home on June 3.
It happened in the fourth inning. Chris Rusin was on the hill for the Rockies. Nick Hundley was behind the dish. Drew Pomeranz was at bat and B.J. was on third. There was one out. Rusin paid no attention to B.J. at third and made his delivery to the plate. B.J. was already off and running. He slid a little off the plate with his upper body over Hundley’s tag but swiped his left hand across the plate. It was so beautiful. Mark Grant‘s commentary during that moment in the broadcast is classic, “What in the Jackie Robinson is going on?” A straight steal of home deserves top billing.
Addendum (10/5): Hunter Renfroe Hits a Bomb to the Roof of the Western Metal Supply Building in His First Week in the Majors.
So I wrote this story just a few days too soon. On September 28, 2016 Hunter Renfroe became the first player in Petco Park history to hit a home run reaching the roof of the Western Metal Supply Building during an official game. What hadn’t been done in the 13 years of Petco Park’s existence was accomplished by Renfroe in only his seventh game as a big leaguer. Talk about an attention grabber. The bomb occurred in the third inning and traveled an estimated 435 feet. Honestly, this event was the climax of Renfroe’s short performance with the big club this season but not his only outstanding feat. In 11 games he hit four home runs, including a grand slam, knocked in 14 RBI and put together a .379/.381/.800 slash line. All of this earned him the award of National League Player of the Week. In my estimation, Renfroe’s historic, monster blast is deserving of a tie for the top moment of the season with Upton stealing home. I hereby decree it to be so. It’s an exciting time to be a Padre fan. I know one of my collegues has advised that we temper our expectations on Renfroe. For good reason. I just can’t help but wonder if he’s the one the prophecy spoke of. Maybe he’ll bring back order to the league?
1. Wil Myers became the first 25/25 man in francise history. (This shouldn’t really be just an honorable mention. This is an awesome accomplishment).
So there you have it. These are my top moments of the Padres 2016 season. I think that its been exciting. If I missed any others that deserve mentioning please throw them out there in the comments section below. What are your top moments of the 2016 Padres season?