I’m sure you saw all of the home runs hit on Saturday—five combined by Xander Bogaerts, Juan Soto, Manny Machado and Fernando Tatis Jr. They all deserve credit for the jobs they did but I wanted to take the time to highlight some of the other Padres that helped get the job done this past weekend in a unique environment.
Joe Musgrove didn’t have his best outing on Saturday but some of the guys in the bullpen came up big before the offense broke out in the eighth inning. Tim Hill struck out Michael Conforto to leave the bases loaded in the sixth. Tom Cosgrove came in and kept the game tied in the seventh. And Nick Martinez didn’t allow a run in his two innings of work to finish off the 16-11 win. Let’s not forget Jake Cronenworth, who displayed tremendous defense in the top of the eighth when it was still a one-run game.
Based on how many runs were being scored Saturday, batters other than the big four still had to step up and the following three guys did. Nelson Cruz had a five-hit game, homering in third and getting a pair of RBI singles. Austin Nola singled in Cronenworth in the third and Trent Grisham doubled in two in the eighth for insurance.
That’s a lot of production from guys not named Tatis, Soto, Machado or Bogaerts. It didn’t stop on Saturday either.
San Diego trailed by four runs at one point and Machado struck out four times on Sunday but that was okay because the others were able to come through. Nola hit his first home run of the year and Cronenworth singled in the game-tying run in the eighth off of Camilo Doval, who was throwing 102 mph. Then Matt Carpenter flipped one into shallow center which was good enough to bring in the go-ahead runs.
Pitching-wise, Yu Darvish showed why he is an ace. He went six innings and allowed four runs, which should be considered a quality start based on where the game was being played. Then Luis Garcia and Josh Hader came in and delivered three shutout innings to secure the sweep.
“It was a big, big win today and great job by our pitching staff from top to bottom — bullpen, Darvish, everybody did a great job,” Carpenter said after the game yesterday.
It’s only two games but this series in Mexico showed the Padres aren’t considered World Series contenders just because of their big four. It’s because they’ve got depth around them, too.