The San Diego Padres continue to free fall as the 2021 season comes to an end, losing 8-6 to the San Francisco Giants Wednesday night.
The loss for San Diego continues their losing streak, now at five in a row. They have also lost 10 of their previous 12 games, making for one of their worst stretches at the most critical time of the season.
After being in the second Wild Card spot for most of the summer, the recent poor play has knocked San Diego six games behind the St. Louis Cardinals with just 11 games remaining.
The tone was set early on Wednesday night, with the Giants scoring three runs in the bottom of the first on a bases-loaded double by Kris Bryant. In his second start as a Padre, Vince Velasquez surrendered the runs and would only last a single inning, putting more strain on San Diego’s bullpen that has been stretched thin throughout the season.
In the bottom of the fifth, still trailing 3-0, the Padres had loaded the bases with nobody out. The golden opportunity resulted in only a lone run, courtesy of a catcher’s interference call with Jake Cronenworth at-bat. Following Cronenworth, Manny Machado came to the plate with still no one out and would strikeout. Still, in a good position with only one out and the bases loaded, Tommy Pham grounded into a double play to shortstop Brandon Crawford, ending any chance at a rally.
Immediately following the fifth inning run by San Diego, San Francisco tacked on two more runs to extend their lead to 5-1. The Giants scored three runs on four hits in the top of the seventh inning, blowing the game open with an 8-1 lead.
San Diego answered right back in the bottom of the seventh, scoring three of their own to cut the lead to 8-4. The first of the three runs came on Fernando Tatis Jr.’s 40th home run of the season. Tatis became one of five Padres in history to hit 40 home runs in a season.
“What an accomplishment. It’s been three IL stints as well. To be able to do that by missing a significant amount of time is super impressive,” said Padres’ manager Jayce Tingler about Tatis’ 40th home run.
Others on the list included Phil Nevin, Greg Vaughn, Adrian Gonzalez, and Ken Caminiti. The home run also puts Tatis in an impressive category in baseball history, becoming just the tenth player ever to hit 40 home runs at the age of 22 or younger.
“It’s been a long year. A lot of ups and downs, especially coming back from those injuries. At the end of the day, from my standpoint, I’m pretty happy,” said Tatis Jr. about his milestone home run.
Trailing 8-4 heading into the bottom of the ninth, the Padres gave themselves a chance to tie or win the ballgame, scoring twice before Tatis came to bat with two on and two out. He put a charge into a fly ball to left but came up short of the warning track, giving the Giants the victory for the second game in a row at Petco Park.
The loss puts the Padres just one game above .500 at 76-75. San Diego will look to avoid a sweep at the hands of the Giants Thursday afternoon. Yu Darvish will take the mound for the Padres at 1:10 PM.