Petco Park- San Diego, California
The San Diego Padres haven’t clinched a playoff spot since 2006.
They had their chance Saturday night. As the Chicago White Sox defeated the Cincinnati Reds, the Padres had their chance to clinch that elusive playoff spot.
Unfortunately, it will have to wait for another day.
With Mike Clevinger ruled out with biceps tightness, Luis Patino was called upon for his first career start. After only 50 pitches and 1 2/3 innings, Patino was pulled from the game to begun an impromptu bullpen game.
Combine the bullpen game with baserunning blemishes, and San Diego concocted a recipe for a 4-1 loss to Seattle.
The chance to clinch a playoff spot remains. However, the math is so complicated that Sir Isaac Newton, the esteemed creator of calculus, to break his chalk in confusion.
If the Reds lose again tomorrow, San Diego will indeed clinch a playoff spot. But they still have to clinch both the second-place spot in the National West and the fourth seed in the playoffs.
Patino ran into trouble early in the first as two walks brought up Ty France, the former Padre now sporting number 23 in honor of Fernando Tatis Jr. Patino fell behind 3-0 before working the count to 3-2.
Then France fouled off the next pitch. Then the next… then another one. France kept fouling pitches off until lining an RBI single to left field on the eleventh pitch of the at-bat.
Luis Torrens, another former Padre, strode up to the plate in the third inning against one of the men he was traded for in Dan Altavilla. A 2-1 Altavilla slider leaked over the heart of the plate, and Torrens redirected it to left field. Two runners scored, and Seattle took a two-run lead.
It seemed as if the Padres had yet another come-from-behind victory in the works. Multiple blunders at the plate and on the basepaths kept those hopes at bay.
Eric Hosmer, who returned from the injured list after a fractured left finger, was at the plate for two such errors. Manny Machado was picked off in the first inning at second base after trying to pull a fast one on Mariners’ starter Justus Sheffield while Wil Myers was picked off trying to steal second base in the third inning.
Before Myers got on base in the third, he was preceded by Tatis Jr., who has been mired in the worst slump of his young career. Leading off, Tatis Jr. took the first pitch to deep-left field for a double. Machado drove him in two pitches later for San Diego’s first and only run of the game.
— Fox Sports San Diego (@FOXSportsSD) September 20, 2020
Seattle held a 4-1 advantage over the playoff-hopeful Padres, but San Diego wasn’t going to lose without putting up a fight. Back-to-back-to-back singles loaded up the bases as Padres’ fans dreamed of yet another grand slam.
San Diego still hasn’t clinched the playoffs. However, with seven games remaining, the team must embrace the words of the late Al Davis.
Just win, baby.