Wednesday’s game was an alarming game.
Jayce Tingler made critical managing mistakes that caused a blown lead in the eighth inning. This morning Kevin Acee reported that multiple members of the team have talked to general manager A.J. Preller about Tingler. He is losing the confidence of his team, and his job is on the line.
Thursday was a vital opportunity to bounce back. A win could have eased the tension and got the team back to playing baseball.
The lineup represented the Padres season quite well, scraped together due to injuries from the long season. At the beginning of the season, the main problem for Tingler was selecting which players to put in his starting rotation from a large group of qualified candidates. Now he was forced to start someone with a 6.30 ERA. To be fair, Vince Velasquez brought on out of desperation, not as a legitimate rotation contender.
Unusual sights in the lineup were Webster Rivas, Jake Marisnick, and Ha-Seong Kim. Rivas was a career minor league catcher who only got called up because Austin Nola was injured, and Luis Campusano has struggled in the big league appearances.
Marisnick is maybe the seventh man in line to start in the outfield. He found himself starting because Tommy Pham and Jurickson Profar have minor injuries. Trent Grisham and Jake Cronenworth received the day off.
Kim has received the most playing of the trio listed. He has served as a backup infielder and took over shortstop when Tatis was moved to the outfield.
This team performed as expected, poorly. The Dodgers got the action going early when Mookie Betts and Corey Seager combined for back-to-back solo shots in the first inning. This would not be the only time the longball hurts Velasquez. In the fourth inning, the Dodgers repeated themselves. This time it was Justin Turner and AJ Pollock hitting back-to-back home runs.
To the credit of Velasquez, that was all the damage he would allow. Outside of the four home runs, he would allow a double and single, and that never produced anything. He went 4.2 innings, struck out seven, and only allowed one walk.
The Dodgers would still do some damage to the Padres bullpen. In the sixth inning, they grinded three runs off of Shaun Anderson, using four singles to get the runs in. In the seventh, Corey Seager topped of his great day with another home run, this time off Austin Adams.
Still, those four runs that just Velasquez gave up would be more than the Padres would match all game.
In the second inning, Kim hit the eighth home run of his rookie season. Despite the rough season, there is a lot of optimism around him. He showed great adjustments to MLB pitching after playing in the KBO. He found a way to hit the ball hard, ranking in the top 85th percentile in Max Exit Velocity. Then in the field, he was one of the best players for the Padres.
The final two runs for the Padres came on one of the biggest hits all season. Fernando Tatis Jr. launched, and I mean LAUNCHED, the ball out of the stadium for a two-run home run.
— Bally Sports San Diego (@BallySportsSD) October 1, 2021
The ball went an estimated 467 feet. That was his 42nd home run of the season, which places him second in the Padres single-season home run list.
Tatis and his MVP race represent the last bit of hope for an otherwise disappointing season. He has three games left to make his case.