Padres win Game 1 with Tatis homer, rain out Game 2 in Atlanta
The San Diego Padres came into Wednesday in Atlanta with a doubleheader on schedule, thanks to a rainout on Monday night. With game one starting just after noon in Atlanta, the Padres and Braves looked to complete at least 14 innings before the rain came in Atlanta again.
The Padres used strong pitching and timely hitting to hold off the Atlanta Braves for a 3-2 victory in game one of their doubleheader. The Padres knew going into the second game of the doubleheader that they were going to have to be economical with their bullpen, and that was exactly what Chris Paddack gave San Diego.
Paddack dominated the Braves for one of his better starts of the summer, going five innings without allowing a run. Throwing only 77 pitches in five innings, Paddack totaled only a single strikeout but got a lot of important outs staying aggressive in the zone and inducing pop-ups and double plays in big spots to escape any semblance of trouble.
“The story for me today was Paddack, and how efficient and how good he was. Using all the quadrants of the zone and just aggressive,” said manager Jayce Tingler when reflecting on the game’s takeaways.
The offense got going in the top of the fourth inning with Ha-Seong Kim driving in the game’s first run on a sacrifice fly, scoring Jurickson Profar who had a 2-for-3 day, including a double that he scored on via the sac fly.
In the following inning for the Padres’ offense, Tommy Pham was able to draw one of his two walks of the game ahead of Fernando Tatis Jr., who followed with a two-run home run to left field and put the Padres up 3-0. The homer for Tatis Jr. was his 29th of the season, while also recording his 65th and 66th RBIs.
Flex like Fernando 💪#HungryForMore pic.twitter.com/F2VW4BcD0E
— San Diego Padres (@Padres) July 21, 2021
Drew Pomeranz came in to pitch the bottom of the sixth inning, which in seven-inning doubleheaders, acts like the typical eighth inning. Pomeranz was a bit shaky, allowing a pair of runs on two hits. He was able to escape the sixth with the Padres still holding a 3-2 lead, and Mark Melancon shut down the Braves in the seventh.
Melancon struck out two in the inning, earning his 28th save of the season, and gave the Padres the victory in game one, with an afternoon affair still to be played.
Game two started around two hours after game one had ended, with first pitch at 2:20 PM PT. The rubber match between the Padres and the Braves was scheduled for seven innings like game one.
The Padres’ offense jumped on Braves’ starter Bryse Wilson right away. Four of the first five Padres reached base safely, with all four scoring in the top of the first. The highlight of the energetic top of the first was Ha-Seong Kim scoring two on an RBI double which put San Diego ahead 4-0.
It's gotta be the hair.#HungryForMore pic.twitter.com/zwJXMms0Jc
— San Diego Padres (@Padres) July 21, 2021
The Padres struck again in the top of the second, with Jake Cronenworth driving in Trent Grisham on a double that put San Diego ahead 5-0. At that point, it looked like the Padres would be cruising to a second win of the day.
That feeling did not last long, with the Braves scoring four in the bottom of the second to cut the Padres’ lead to 5-4. San Diego starter Reiss Knehr only lasted 1.2 innings, allowing three runs and walking two. Knehr was effective in the first inning, getting the Braves in order, but couldn’t carry his momentum into the second inning.
“I really liked, especially the first inning, I liked the way he threw the ball. These experiences right now, they can be really good for growth, for development,” said Padres’ manager Jayce Tinger postgame regarding Knehr’s first inning.
After walking the first two batters in the second, Knehr lost his command. Braves outfielder Guillermo Heredia hit an RBI RBI double, followed by an Orlando Arcia sacrifice fly, and all of the Sudden Knehr was out of the game in a 5-2 San Diego lead.
The Braves would go on to score two more in the second, making it a 5-4 Padres’ lead after two. The score stayed the same through the next inning and a half, and then the Atlanta rain came, putting the game in a rain delay.
For around three hours, the game was in a delay with the hope of playing again. Around three hours later, it was announced that the game was being delayed with action to resume at a time and date unknown.
When it does eventually pick back up, San Diego and Atlanta will resume the game at the beginning of the top of the fifth inning with the score remaining 5-4 in favor of the Padres.
Kevin is a San Diego Native covering the San Diego Padres and their affiliates