Good morning, Padres fans! The Padres capped off the regular season with a win last night, downing the San Francisco Giants, 5-4 and also ended the Giants’ bid for the post-season. The win brought the Padres to 37-23 on the year, which is far better than most of us predicted going into this season (except for wegotbrownagain; he practically nailed it!) Sunday’s game was another bullpen performance, with Adrian Morejon getting the start. He performed better than he did previously, going 2.2 innings and giving up 3 hits for 1 ER while K-ing 4 batters. He was then folowed by a parade of arms, as a final tune-up before the playoffs: Dan Altavilla, Matt Strahm, Austin Adams, Tim Hill, Emilio Pagan, and Trevor Rosenthal all came in and pitched. Rosenthal looked especially good in his appearance, K-ing all 3 batters he faced, even if he got some favorable calls from the home plate umpire doing so.
Overall, while not perfect, the bullpen did enough to hold the Giants down and keep the team in the game. The Padres offense came through every time it was needed.
Wil Myers got the scoring going early, as he hit his 15th homer on the year in the 2nd inning. Wil turned around a curveball hung right over the middle of the zone and parked it in the left-center bleachers for a solo shot. Wil also doubled to drive in a run later in the afternoon, showing that the quad injury he suffered earlier in the weekend was no longer an issue.
1B Mitch Moreland also had himself a game, going 2-3 at the plate with a walk. He also hit a double, diving in a run in the 4th inning to break an early tie.
Swing and a drive with Two Bags in the trunk pic.twitter.com/TKvMnz9rzo— San Diego Padres (@Padres) September 27, 2020
Jorge Mateo, coming in to give SS Fernando Tatis Jr. some time off, also had a key hit. He smashed a shot down the left field line that hopped the wall for a ground-rule double, scoring Jake Cronenworth. Ever-reliable Greg Garcia followed, and drove in Jurickson Profar on a sac-fly to left. Wil Myers then hit his aforementioned double to cap the scoring, diving home Mateo, and that was all the Padres would need.
All in all, a solid win, as the Padres end the year on a winning streak as they prepare for the Cardinals. Let’s get into news and notes:
- Statistically, 2020 will go down as the best year in Padres history, at least by winning percentage. The team’s .617 winning percentage just edged out the mark set by the 1998 club of .606. While that mark will no doubt have an asterisk, given the fact the 2020 Padres only played 60 games, they did finish with the 2nd best mark in the NL. The club also finished with a .796 OPS, the 4th highest in MLB, and the pitching staff’s 3.86 ERA ranked 8th.
- Before last night’s 0-4 performance, it looked like LF Tommy Pham was finally starting to look like a player rounding into form. Pham had a hit in 6 of 7 games previously since his return from hamate surgery, good for a 28-day stay on the IL. “Trying to get back to being the player I am in this league,” Pham said. “I hold myself to a very high standard. I just haven’t been able to do that these two months of the season. I’ve got to take that as a wash this season. Unfortunately, things aren’t going to be able to even out. I’ve got to get back to the player I’ve been and help the team in the postseason.”
- Unfortunately, since Fernando Tatis Jr. didn’t hit a home run last night, he finished 2nd in the NL in homers with 17 on the year, just behind Atlanta’s Marcell Ozuna (18). If he had, Tatis would have become just the 2nd Padre in franchise history to stand atop the NL home run leaderboard; Fred McGriff still remains the only Padre, having led the league in 1992 with 35 homers.
- 1B Mitch Moreland seems to have hit his groove, and just in time for the post-season. With last night’s performance, he has slashed .300/.333/.600 with 1 HR, 3 Rs, and 4 RBI in his last 6 games, along with 3 doubles.
- Myers’ 15th homer made him the 3rd Padre with 15 or more homers on the year, joining Fernando Tatis Jr. (17) and Manny Machado (16). It also made the Padres and Dodgers as the only teams in MLB with 3 players to have 15 or more homers on the year.
- Jurickson Profar made some personal history over the weekend. Subbing in for the injured Wil Myers on Friday, Profar covered down in right field, a position he had never played previously in his MLB career. He followed that up by making his first start in right field on Saturday, a fact made more notable as Oracle Field’s fight field is generally considered as one of the most difficult spots in MLB, given its nooks, crannies, expansive terrain, and the swirling winds coming off the San Francisco Bay. It also marked the 4th defensive position Profar’s played for the Padres: 1B, for 2 innings; 2B, for 138 innings; LF, for 282.1 innings; and RF for 13 innings. And that was before he played 9 innings in his 5th position for the team by appearing in CF last night. On the year, Profar’s slashed .278/.343/.428 with 7 HRs, 28 Rs, 25 RBI, and 7 SBs. He also just might be FTJ’s best buddy on the team:
That’s it for today. I’ll be back later either today or tomorrow with the big questions the team will need to have answers for in the playoffs, and maybe even a preview of our first victim/old playoff nemesis, the St. Louis Cardinals.
Game 1 of the NL Wild Card Series will be Wednesday, 30 SEP, with first pitch set for 1400 Pacific time. Time to exorcise some demons.
GO PADRES!!! RESPECT SAN DIEGO!!!