While the Fernando Tatis Jr. suspension news rocked the clubhouse and fanbase prior to the game, the San Diego Padres super-powered offense seemed to be vaulted into a higher gear. Trent Grisham blasted a three-run home run as part of a seven run fifth inning, which the Padres rode to a comfortable win.
Jurickson Profar started the game off with a 104.9 mile per hour double, setting the tone for a Padres offense that would eventually explode. After every single Padre recorded a base hit on Wednesday, all nine starters reached base in Friday’s win.
The Washington Nationals were handed a golden opportunity to jump on Padres’ starter Mike Clevinger early. Clevinger, who allowed a leadoff single, hit recently traded Padre Luke Voit, before walking Yadiel Hernandez. The right-hander had struck out Nelson Cruz, but Hernandez’s walk loaded the bases with just one out. Clevinger induced a crucial double play from Joey Meneses to work his way out of trouble, keeping the game tied.
Clevinger battled his way through his five innings, as he clearly did not have his best stuff. He walked four batters in the five frames, with just 56 of his 94 pitches going for strikes. Clevinger did allow just three hits, and struck out three, allowing one run in five innings. He left six runners on base in the five frames, with the Nationals going 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position against Clevinger.
The Padres offense, who had just one hit in the first three innings, finally broke through in the fourth. Brandon Drury put a double down the left field line, before coming around to score after Ha-Seong Kim singled through the 5.5 hole.
After some offense leaked through in the fourth, the dam finally broke in the fifth. Cory Abbott was chased from the game after walking Profar and allowing a double to Juan Soto, who was making his return to Nationals Park. Victor Arano came into the game for Washington and the Padres offense exploded. San Diego sent 12 batters to the plate in the frame, seven of which scored, including Trent Grisham’s 442 foot home run. The Nationals attempted to turn a double play off Jake Cronenworth’s ground ball, but shortstop Luis Garcia was over-ambitious and instead did not retire anyone.
Brandon Drury’s third home run in nine games since joining the Padres also brought home Manny Machado, bringing the Padres’ tenth run of the day home. It was just the second time this season where the Padres scored 10 or more runs in back to back games. San Diego could’ve extended the lead even more, but Austin Nola struck out with the bases loaded.
Nabil Crismatt surrendered a run in the sixth inning, but he did not allow a run in the seventh, helping to save the Padres bullpen. Robert Suarez worked a 1-2-3 inning in the eighth, as he continues to improve following his knee surgery earlier this season.
Tayler Scott retired just one of the six batters he faced, leaving with the bases loaded, with Nick Martinez entering the game. Martinez did allow one of Scott’s runners to score, but he managed to close out the victory.
Wil Myers picked up a pinch-hit double in the ninth inning, Myers’ first extra base hit since May 23.
While the day was a disappointing one for Padres’ fans, San Diego’s offense showed just how talented they are, even without their 23 year old phenom.
The Milwaukee Brewers, who came into the game trailing the Padres by a game, but their loss to the St. Louis Cardinals extended the Padres lead for the final wild card spot.
It was the Padres third straight win, having righted the ship after a five game losing streak. Yu Darvish (10-5, 3.28 ERA) will take on Anibal Sanchez (0-5, 7.56 ERA) in Saturday’s game as the Padres seek to win the series.
Prior to the game, A.J. Preller, who publicly criticized Fernando Tatis Jr.’s maturity, told the team, “We have a good team. We have a good group. The goal is to win a World Series.”. The Padres certainly looked plenty good on Friday night.