After watching the Dodgers and Giants get stronger at the deadline, the Padres were beaten on the field on Friday night. Most worryingly of all is that shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. left the game with another injury to his left shoulder.
In the first inning, Padres starter Ryan Weathers retired the first two batters before walking C.J. Cron on a close pitch that appeared to be strike three. Fortune smiled back on the Padres one batter later, as Charlie Blackmon’s double wedged itself in the left-field wall, which stopped Cron from scoring, at least for the moment.
Two batters later, Ryan McMahon sent Ryan Weathers’ pitch over the left-center field wall, quickly putting the Padres down four runs. Weathers has been a fantastic surprise for the Padres this season, but he’s struggled more recently, putting up a 4.45 ERA since June. Unfortunately for the Padres, being unable to find a starter at the trade deadline, Weathers is needed for the Padres starting rotation. Moving him to the bullpen to have him figure out his issues isn’t an option.
While the top of the first damaged the Padres’ chances of winning Friday’s game, the bottom of the first inning sent Petco Park into dead silence.
After a 112 mile per hour single to put Fernando Tatis Jr. on base, and after a botched ground ball by Ryan McMahon, he raced to steal an uncovered third base. Tatis Jr., playing the game harder than anyone else (as always), dislocated his left shoulder while unsuccessfully avoiding the tag of Rockies pitcher Jon Gray. He rolled around in immense pain before walking off under his own power. It’s the third time in the regular season and the fourth time in 2021 that Tatis Jr. has left the field with an injury. Always to his left shoulder. After the game, manager Jayce Tingler spoke to the media, “Very similar to the past with the shoulder dislocating. It’s back in now. Range of motion and strength is better, but it’s “wait and see” … will know more information tomorrow”, Tingler said.
The likelihood of surgery grows with each injury. The Padres need Tatis Jr., but they also need him for the next thirteen seasons.
Weathers’ troubles continued in the fourth inning, with two-run home runs from Connor Joe and Brendan Rodgers ending Weathers’ night, putting the Padres in an eight-run hole. It’s the worst start in Weathers’ young career, as the Rockies punished three mistakes, sending them all over the wall. Nabil Crismatt relieved Weathers, and while he allowed a home run to Elias Díaz on his second pitch, he bounced back, throwing three more innings without giving up another run.
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Manny Machado was the only bright spot on offense for the Padres, picking up three of the Friars’ six hits, two of which left the yard. The two home runs, both of which were two-run shots, were the extent of the Padres’ scoring. Machado’s been on fire since June 1, slashing .324/.382./607, hitting twelve home runs in the process. In terms of wins above replacement, or WAR, the 2021 season’s been Machado’s most valuable in a Padres uniform. If Tatis Jr. is out for a significant amount of time, the Padres other 300 million dollar man will need to perform at the absolute highest level.
The Dodgers are 12-11 in July, and the Giants are 13-9 over the same time frame. The Padres are 11-12. They’re sitting there, lying just outside, touching distance of the division leaders. There are still two months of baseball left, but the Padres are by no means guaranteed to find themselves in the postseason. The team that’s been so hungry, that’s won big games all year long, needs to go out and grind out wins.
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.