“It ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.”
Rocky Balboa said that famous quote in “Rocky”, teaching resilience. The Padres showed they had a lot of resilience in an extra innings win over the Brewers.
The Brewers rallied to tie the game in the eighth inning, but Tim Hill left the bases loaded in the eighth, before sending the game to the tenth with a scoreless ninth. The Padres had not picked up a hit since the fifth inning, but a single and Jake Cronenworth’s clutch three-run home run gave the Padres the win. The momentum swung all the way to Milwaukee, but the Padres got right back up, hitting the knockout punch.
The Padres utilized their pitching tandem, as Mike Clevinger and Nick Martinez pitched for the first seven innings. Clevinger made his return to the Padres after a stint on the injured list, starting the game. He pitched three innings, allowing one run. The lone run came on Kolten Wong’s leadoff home run, which also was the only hit Clevinger allowed. Clevinger did walk a pair of Brewers, but he struck out five of the twelve batters he faced, looking solid. He was not incredibly efficient, needing 60 pitches to work the three innings, but it was a step forward as he works back from his triceps strain.
The Padres’ offense was inconsistent for much of the game, as they picked up just three hits in the first four innings of the game. Two of the three hits were infield singles from Luke Voit, as former Padre Eric Lauer dominated the Padres offense. However, the Padres broke through in the fifth, scoring three times. Trent Grisham started off the inning with a ground-rule double, before an error by the Brewers put runners on the corners with no outs. Jurickson Profar and Jake Cronenworth hit back-to-back singles, putting the Padres ahead. Profar then scored on a Voit groundout, giving the Padres a two-run lead. Unfortunately for the Padres, Cronenworth’s single was the final Padres hit before a 0-for-15 streak, in which they reached base only via a Trent Grisham walk.
After Clevinger, Nick Martinez came into the game, making his first appearance since a start against the Cardinals on May 30. Martinez allowed a single to Andrew McCutchen, the first batter he faced, before retiring 12 of the next 13 batters he faced. Martinez had pitched very well in his first appearance out of the bullpen, on May 18 against Philadelphia. After looking in complete control in the seventh inning, Martinez was sent back out for the eighth inning. Pablo Reyes led off the frame with an infield single. Wong then came up, hitting his second blast of the game. All of a sudden, the game was tied.
After Martinez, Robert Suarez was the next pitcher out of the bullpen for the Padres. He was nowhere near his best, struggling with control throughout his time on the mound. He threw 18 pitches, 11 of which were balls. The Brewers drew two walks, as well as a single off of Suarez, who left the game with the bases loaded. Suarez did pick up two outs before Tim Hill came into the game. Hill came up huge for the Friars, inducing a pop out from Jace Peterson, sending the game to the ninth tied. Hill came out again for the ninth inning, looking to force extra innings. Victor Caratini led off the inning with a chopped ground ball that bounced over Hill, but he stayed calm. Jose Azocar made a good play on Pablo Reyes’ line drive, before a groundout and a strikeout ended the inning.
The Brewers used their stellar closer Josh Hader, who recorded his 38th straight scoreless appearance in the ninth inning. This meant that the top of the Padres order faced off against Trevor Gott in the tenth inning. The Padres made Brewers manager Craig Counsell pay for his interesting decision. Jurickson Profar led off the frame with a line drive single, before Jake Cronenworth belted his second home run in two days. Cronenworth’s home run gave the Padres a three-run lead, meaning Taylor Rogers had plenty of cushion to try a nail down the win.
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Rogers immediately induced a dribbler from Christian Yelich. Andrew McCutchen singled down the right field line, scoring Tyron Taylor, who started on second base. This brought Rowdy Tellez to the plate, representing the tying run. Tellez grounded into a double play, as the Padres finished the Brewers off.
The win helped to secure a win in the season series over the Brewers, which is the first playoff tie-breaker. It was the third consecutive win for the Padres, who showed how strong their mental fortitude is.
Sam is a Senior in High School. He has been writing for three years, and started at EVT in June of 2021. He’s headed to Syracuse’s Newhouse School of Communications in the fall of 2023.