Ever since the starting lineup was released earlier today, we have anxiously been awaiting the return of Fernando Tatis Jr. and he did not disappoint. With the crowd on their feet and “Fernando” by Cher playing in the background the young super star stepped into the batter’s box for the first time in a Padres uniform since his injury in April and let me tell you Patrick Corbin wanted nothing to do with him. Corbin painted around the edge of the strike zone giving Tatis Jr. a leadoff walk. Offensively, Tatis Jr. got 2 BBs, and 1 single off his 4 trips to the plate. Defensively, it was as if Tatis Jr. never left. He slid back into his spot at shortstop making, should be hits, look like routine ground balls.
With a rough first inning for Joey Lucchesi throwing 34 pitches and allowing four runs. It looked like the Padres were yet again struggling in the pitching department. Throwing another 30 plus pitches in the second inning, miraculously Lucchesi got out of it unscathed. After the never ending first two innings, Lucchesi seemed to find his groove on the rubber and took the Padres through 5 innings only allowing four hits. Unfortunately, San Diego had to turn to the bullpen earlier than hoped for once again, in what felt like the movie “Groundhog Day”. However, Andy Green’s faith in his pitching staff was justified tonight as they went on to retire the next 9 National players in order before bringing in the closer, Kirby Yates. Tonight, was the first time all week Yates came in at the top of the 9th with a lead and lived up to his name taking down all three batters he faced with only 9 pitches.
At the plate, the Padres as a whole continued to put their bat on the ball, knocking in 5 runs off of 6 hits. Hunter Renfroe was at it again, showing why he’s becoming a regular in the lineup. Hitting a 2-run homer in the 2nd inning and making a, highlight reel worthy, diving play in the 8th inning, surely robbing Anthony Rendon of extra bases.
After their rally in the 5th, San Diego was able to hold on to their one run lead and walk away with a well-deserved win to open the 4-game series against Washington.
Final score: Padres 5-4