Citizens Bank Park- Philadelphia, PA
The San Diego Padres dropped their second straight game while being shut out by Zack Wheeler before clawing back to tie it in the ninth inning. After the Padres couldn’t score in the tenth inning with the runner on second, they lost on a walk-off 4-3.
A first for everything: It's the first time in franchise history that the Padres have been walked off on consecutive days in different cities.
— AJ Cassavell (@AJCassavell) July 3, 2021
The Padres had a chance to take the lead in the top of the tenth inning. With Victor Caratini ending the ninth inning, Padres manager Jayce Tingler opted to pinch-run Jorge Mateo, the second-fastest player in the majors by top sprint speed, for Caratini and pinch-hit Ha-Seong Kim for the pitcher’s spot. These moves left only Webster Rivas on the bench, who would be needed to replace Mateo at catcher in the bottom half of the inning, so basically emptying the bench.
After Kim took the first pitch for a ball, Kim bunted a line drive on the 1-0 pitch straight to the Phillies’ third baseman for an out and did not advance Mateo. By bunting, the Padres basically played for a run while emptying their bench, knowing the Phillies will also get the runner on second in the bottom half of the inning.
“Just understanding where our pen is at, we were trying to play for the big inning,” Tingler said. “With Kim up there, we were gonna give him the option to swing it get it over. After the first pitch, I think he saw the third baseman kind of go back, and he decided to get Mateo over that way and just got underneath his bunt and stayed up enough for Bohm to get.”
Tingler doubled down by saying that Kim had the option to either swing or bunt.
Before the Padres got to extras, Wheeler absolutely dominated them. He lasted 7 2/3 innings while only allowing four hits and walking nobody. Three out of the four hits Wheeler allowed were singles, while the only extra-base hit he allowed was a two-out double by Fernando Tatis Jr.
Wheels just keeps on rolling. pic.twitter.com/wN68KmLZd6
— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) July 3, 2021
“He didn’t leave much over the white part of the plate,” Tingler said. “We knew we had our hands full.”
Joe Girardi, the manager for the Philadelphia Phillies, felt obligated to let Wheeler pitch as long as possible, given recent struggles from his bullpen. When the Padres’ lineup turned over for the fourth time around, Girardi opted to go to his bullpen and was showered with “boos” from the Philadelphia crowd.
Girardi called on Jose Alvarado to close the door. Like many pitchers in the Phillies bullpen so far this season, he failed to close it. After Alvarado allowed a run and walked the tying run on base, Girardi went to Ranger Suarez for the save. Suarez got Hosmer to ground out, but Profar lined a ball down the third-base line to drive in Tatis Jr. and Trent Grisham to tie the game.
— San Diego Padres (@Padres) July 3, 2021
Chris Paddack started for the Padres and gave one of his best performances all year. He allowed two runs in the first inning and then proceeded to retire the next 13 batters before allowing a home run to Didi Gregorious. When Paddack finished his day, he pitched seven innings while allowing just three runs with four hits and a walk, an outing the Padres certainly did not want to waste.
Yu Darvish will start on Saturday for the Padres when the game is being nationally broadcasted on FS1 at 1:05 PT.
Dominic is currently a Senior at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, studying Sports Journalism. He also hosts the “Devils Talking Padres” podcast and is the producer and co-host of the “Padres EVT Podcast.