A night after the San Diego Padres were eliminated from the 2021 Wild Card picture. They continued on their losing ways that have haunted them since around the trade deadline.
Playing without their star shortstop, Fernando Tatis Jr, the Padres offense was mostly lackluster on Sunday against the Atlanta Braves except for the bottom of the fifth, where they scored three runs that tied the game at the time.
“Ultimately, I thought it was best to get him off his feet until later in the game,” said Padres’ manager Jayce Tingler regarding Tatis Jr. starting the game on the bench.
Atlanta took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the second on a Joc Pederson home run off of Padres’ starter Joe Musgrove. For Pederson, it was his 17th home run of the season and was a no-doubter for the first run of the game. With a 1-0 lead heading into the top of the fourth inning, the Braves scored two more runs on a double by catcher Travis d’Arnaud and then a single by pinch hitter Ehire Adrianza.
Down 3-0, the Padres mounted a comeback in the bottom of the fifth inning after a Jake Cronenworth triple scored two runs, followed by a Manny Machado single that scored Cronenworth. These RBI hits for the Padres tied the game at three, with momentum on San Diego’s side.
Unfortunately for the Padres, that is the only scoring they would be able to muster up for the rest of the game. For the Braves, they were able to score one more run in the top of the sixth, which put them up 4-3, which would hold for the rest of the game.
The Padres had a golden opportunity to tie or win the game in the bottom of the ninth but were unable to capitalize on their opportunity. After walking the first two batters, Braves’ closer Will Smith struck out pinch-hitter Tatis Jr. and then walked Tommy Pham to load the bases with one out. Smith would go on to strike out the next two Padres to hold on to the 4-3 victory.
For the Braves, they held on to their AL East division lead, ahead of the Philadelphia Phillies by 2.5 games. For the Padres, who are no longer contenders for the playoffs, they fall to .500 at 78-78. With six games to go on the road against the Dodgers and Giants, San Diego will be fighting to hold a winning record after a promising start to the season. Padres’ fans will be hoping for at least that from their team.
“Impressive all year, maybe most impressive today… we’re out of it and had huge support today, so huge shout out from the staff the players. Makes it fun to come to work,” Tingler said regarding Padres’ fans and their support of the team throughout the season.