It’s taken half a season, but tonight the Padres finally emerged victorious against the Giants. Andrew Cashner twirled a gem against the division rivals, holding them to one run on four hits in his six-inning stint while fanning nine in the process. All-Star Madison Bumgarner lasted six frames and struck out nine as well, but he got stung for four runs, two of them coming on solo shots from the still red-hot Friar lineup.
With Drew Pomeranz off to Boston, Wil Myers is the sole remaining All-Star in San Diego, and he showed why tonight, going 2-for-3 with two runs, a homer, and a walk. With one out in the first, he got ahead of MadBum 2-0, fouled off the next three pitches, and then drew two more balls to take a walk. One out later, Yangervis Solarte worked a full count of his own before smacking a line drive down the third base line to put the Padres on the board.
The Giants got that one back in the top of the second. Brandon Crawford hit a liner to center for a leadoff double and then came around when Conor Gillaspie followed with a single. The inning could have gotten worse from there, but Cashner rebounded to punch out Gregor Blanco. Norris fired the strikeout pitch straight back to second base to catch Gillaspie stealing for the double play.
A little small ball in the third put the Padres back on top. Derek Norris got the rally started with a one-out single to left. Myers followed that with a screamer to third that Gillaspie couldn’t snag, instead deflecting it into shallow left field. Matt Kemp then plated the go-ahead run with a grounder straight up the middle for another single. That would have been enough for a win, but there were still insurance runs coming.
Adam Rosales led off the fourth inning by taking a ball and then ripping a 90 mph fastball just to the fair side of the left field foul pole. Bumgarner made another mistake the very next inning, hanging a slider right in the middle of the strike zone for White Queso, who powered it all the way into the right-center field beach for his 20th homer of the season.
Myers wasn’t the only Padre into queso tonight, though. After scoreless innings from Brad Hand and Ryan Buchter, Brandon Maurer came in for the save. After Angel Pagan fell behind 0-2 to start the inning, he skied one toward the third base stands, and Solarte gave chase, flipping over the wall for the grab. He came up with a little something extra: The cheese from a fan’s nachos.
There was more drama to be had on the second out of the inning. When Brandon Belt was called out on strikes, he blew a gasket and started arguing the call. Home plate umpire Mike Estabrook gave Belt the heave ho for that, which brought Bruce Bochy out to argue some more, leading to the San Francisco skipper getting an ejection of his own.
It’s a pretty dumb reason to get ejected, but it’s even dumber when you look at the PITCHf/x data for the at-bat.
Not only was that last pitch in the dead center of the zone, but Belt got two favorable calls earlier in the appearance. This was not the right time for him to throw a temper tantrum, but when you’re on the same team as Bumgarner, hissy fits can be contagious. The Padres were unfazed, and retired Buster Posey to start the second half of the season with a bang.
Luis Perdomo will look to turn this into a winning streak when he takes the mound at 5:40 tomorrow evening.