Petco Park- San Diego, California
The most important players in the game are the two starting pitchers.
They will dictate the action of the game. If they are lights out, it’s a pitcher’s duel. If they get hit early, it’s a slugfest. Typically their importance comes entirely from their performance on the mound. For Yu Darvish, he shined both on the mound and at the plate.
“The first four innings just flat out dominate. McCann put a really good swing on a two-strike pitch that got out, but that was really about it. He gave us exactly what we needed,” Jayce Tingler said about his ace in this game.
The San Diego Padres needed a lights-out performance from Yu. They had just been swept in Chicago, had a few injury scares, and the pitching was getting overworked.
In the last outing, Darvish gave up four earned runs which tied his season-high. This time around, he returned to form. In 5.1 innings pitched, he struck out five, walked one, and allowed two earned runs. Darvish and the Padres pitching staff stopped the New York Mets from making much hard contact. In total, they only allowed seven hard-hit balls (a hard-hit ball is defined as one with an exit velocity of 95 mph or higher).
The results spoke for themselves. Darvish allowed only two runs, one of which was from a James McCann home run. Then Emilio Pagan nearly gave up a home run to Billy McKinney but had to settle for an RBI triple.
At the plate, the Padres were constantly getting hard hits, including Darvish. One of his highlights of the night was when he hit a single up the middle at 107.3mph off the bat. That was the highest exit velocity for anyone in the potent Padres lineup. But that wasn’t his only highlight hit of the night. In the 4th inning, he would double to put runners at second and third. The runner on third, Victor Caratini, would later score.
The offense was also helped by a guy named Fernando Tatis Jr. You may have heard him as he is tied for the home run lead despite two trips to the IL.
Well, he was back in the lineup after dealing with right oblique tightness. Tatis was back and ready to make big plays. In the bottom of the 3rd, he got the offense going with a two-run homer.
— Bally Sports San Diego (@BallySportsSD) June 4, 2021
He wasn’t done there. In the 5th inning, he singled and eventually made his way to third base. The shortstop then capitalized on a passed ball to score the fourth run of the game.
While his bat continues to be electric, his defense still needs refinement. In the 6th inning, he messed up a routine double play. Tatis missed the feed from Ha-Seong Kim and caused the bases to be loaded with one out in the inning. Luckily for Tatis, just two pitches later on another routine double-play ball, he and Kim were able to turn two and end the inning.
This game marks the 11th straight win at home for the San Diego Padres.