Padres win suspended game, lose finale to Nationals
The San Diego Padres finished the last three and a half innings of the Saturday night game against the Nationals before playing all nine innings of Sunday’s scheduled game. The Padres split the two games, but they missed an opportunity to pick up a sweep on the road.
They finished off the first game, winning 10-4. Tommy Pham drove in a pair for the only runs that were scored after the game was suspended due to the shooting incident that occurred outside the ballpark on Saturday. Fernando Tatis Jr. excelled, as usual, going four for five, driving in a pair, and putting together an exceptional game on the base paths. The bullpen locked it down after Blake Snell allowed four runs in four innings, pitching five scoreless to get the win.
In the second game of the day, Joe Musgrove, who has struggled of late, started for the Padres. Musgrove pitched well for the first two innings but ran into trouble in the third, allowing four runs as all nine Nationals batted in the frame. Musgrove found himself in a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the fifth, but he benefited from a line-drive double play and then struck out Nationals starter Max Scherzer to get out of trouble.
Scherzer, who started the All-Star Game for the National League, didn’t allow a hit to any of the first 12 batters he faced, but things got ugly in the fourth frame for the right-handed ace. After back-to-back singles for Manny Machado and Tommy Pham, he left a fastball over the heart of the plate to Eric Hosmer. Hosmer, who has been white-hot since the All-Star break, deposited the ball into the right-field seats. It was a similar situation to Scherzer’s previous start against the Padres, where one big inning ruined his outing. The Padres offense quickly became dormant again, as Scherzer retired eight of the next nine batters he faced.
Craig Stammen pitched himself into and out of trouble in the sixth, making it nine straight scoreless innings from the Padres bullpen. Drew Pomeranz made his first appearance since returning from the injured list, and he was nasty, striking out two Nationals, with a groundout in the middle.
The Padres offense roared back to life in the later innings, with Jurickson Profar turning on a cutter down the middle from Max Scherzer, picking up just his second home run of a disappointing season for the switch-hitting outfielder. An inning later, Manny Machado made third baseman Jordy Mercer pay for letting Fernando Tatis Jr. reach on an error, unleashing a tie-breaking two-run blast. The home run from Machado put the Padres ahead for the first time all game, but it wouldn’t be the last time they’d need to battle back.
With the lead in hand, Jayce Tingler gave Emilio Pagan the ball, but he didn’t have his best stuff. He allowed two doubles and two home runs, turning a 6-4 Padres lead into a 7-6 Nationals lead. Alcides Escobar hit a solo shot, and Juan Soto continued to show that his swing wasn’t affected by the home run derby. Pagan managed to finish off the inning without allowing any more runs, but the damage appeared done as the Padres were down to their last three outs.
With the bottom of the Padres order up, the chances looked slim, but as they have all season, they battled. Victor Caratini worked a walk-off former Padre Brad Hand, but both Jurickson Profar and Ha-Seong Kim struck out, leaving the Padres down to their final out. The speedy Jorge Mateo pinch ran for Caratini, and he stole both second and third base, setting up Trent Grisham. Grisham, who found himself down to his last strike, just muscled a bloop single over shortstop Trea Turner’s head to tie the game. Hand then proceeded to walk the bases loaded but struck out Manny Machado to send the game to the bottom of the ninth with the game tied.
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Mark Melancon, who also hadn’t pitched since throwing a third of an inning in the All-Star game, came in to try and send the game to extras. After striking out the first batter he faced, he allowed a single and hit Victor Robles on a 3-2 count to put the winning run in scoring position. He did get ahead of Alcides Escobar, but Escobar walked the game off with a single into deep center. Melancon has been struggling for the past month, having an ERA of nearly six in the timeframe.
The Padres offense found clutch hits all day long, but their usually dominant bullpen collapsed, costing them a chance at a sweep.
Sam is a Senior in High School. He has been writing for three years, and started at EVT in June of 2021. He’s headed to Syracuse’s Newhouse School of Communications in the fall of 2023.