The San Diego Padres came back and won against the Nationals on Thursday night.
Right away, it looked like the Padres would have an improvised bullpen game. Just like Chris Paddack the day before, Darvish surrendered three runs in the first inning. This wasn’t the end of his struggles. When the top of the order came around in the third inning, they once again went off against him.
Trea Turner, who went 3-for-4 with two home runs in this game, led off the third inning with a single and promptly stolen second base. It took a single and double to score him. Starlin Castro knocked in Juan Soto with a sac fly, and Trent Grisham committed an error. Then later in the inning, Josh Harrison, who made some fans with his banter in left field, singled to score Josh Bell.
That would be it for Darvish. The outing was by far his worst outing as a Padre and a highlight of where he is trending. June was a rough month for him as he only reached the seventh inning once. He also recorded a 3.07 ERA after putting up a 2.20 ERA in May. This trend has only gotten worse in July. In his two starts this month, he has a 10.00 ERA.
In the fourth inning, one of the stars of the game, Daniel Camarena, came in to pitch. In his two innings pitched, the only damage he gave up was a two-run homer by Turner. What makes his outing so special is actually what he did with the bat.
Headed into the bottom of the fourth inning, the Padres were down 8-0. Fernando Tatis Jr. continued his MVP campaign with his 28th home run of the season. This was the start of a rare Scherzer breakdown. He would hit Manny Machado and Eric Hosmer while allowing a single to Trent Grisham in between the two batters. This loaded the bases for Wil Myers, who worked a nine-pitch walk.
Victor Caratini struck out after Myers at-bat. So, with the Padres still in an 8-2 game with two outs and already into the bullpen, Jayce Tingler allowed Daniel Camarena to take his at-bat. This was just his second MLB at-bat and his 30th in professional baseball since being drafted in 2011. The pitcher belted a fastball that was below the zone to right field for a grand slam and his first career hit.
“I definitely couldn’t have dreamed this. It’s so electric out here. Padre fans are awesome, love you guys. What a big win for us 8-0 a comeback that was just awesome,” Camarena said after the game. “I was just hunting the fastball. Just trying to put something in play. Just give us a chance. I didn’t think I would ever do that.”
Camarena is a local kid who went to Cathedral Catholic high school. In 2011, the Yankees drafted him in the 20th round. He bounced around the minors with the Yankees, Cubs, Giants, Twins, and then eventually landed in the Padres organization. Just over 10 years after being drafted, he made his MLB debut with the Padres. He was called up from the minors on Thursday to get some fresh arms in the bullpen after Nabil Crismatt threw five innings yesterday. Little did he know that he would be the player of the game in one of the biggest comebacks of the season.
One of the biggest stories of the game was his families’ reaction to watching him hit the grand slam. Seeing him make a huge impact on a big-league roster.
— Bally Sports San Diego (@BallySportsSD) July 9, 2021
The fourth inning rally wasn’t even done yet. After Camarena brought back Slam Diego, Tommy Pham doubled. Then in his second at-bat of the inning, Tatis was able to score him on a bloop single.
After that, the tables obviously turned. The Padres went from trying to save their arms to preparing them for a battle. They were just down by one, headed into the fifth inning. In the seventh inning, Myers and Pham were able to both double to tie up the game. The game would sit at eight apiece, heading into the ninth inning.
Pham led off the inning with his third hit of the game. When Machado came to the plate, the Nationals opted to face Grisham instead. After that intentional walk, Grisham lined a single to right field. The comeback was complete. The Padres were down 8-0 and ended up winning 9-8 in a wild one.
“You just keep playing. You play for the 27 outs. You just keep playing your game. And these things line up usually. Tonight, it didn’t look good early. Just so damn proud of the group for just continuing to play ball. Just continuing to go out; obviously, you can go all across the lineup card tonight, and everybody got in and is contributing,” Jayce Tingler said after the game.
The Padres managed to tie the series. Now they turn their attention to the Colorado Rockies in a three-game matchup before the MLB All-Star break.