Madison Bumgarner threw a breaking ball to Fernando Tatis Jr. leading off the 7th inning that missed the strike zone by a hair. Clearly a ball to anyone outside of a Giants uniform, but still a good 2-2 pitch to a good hitter. To this point, the Padres had already cut a 5 run deficit to 2 with home runs by Tatis Jr. and Wil Myers, but still had work to do.
Bumgarner and the Giants had already expressed frustration with the strike zone of home plate umpire Jeremie Rehak, which made the 2-2 ball call even more critical. Moments after the call was made, Bumgarner spun around in disgust and never recovered.
He then threw a fastball at Tatis Jr’s calf, hitting him for the second time in the game. The hit by pitch was then followed up by a Francisco Mejia double on an 0-2 count, a few feet away from being a tying home run. Bumgarner was pulled from the game after that, and the Padres never looked back. A ground out by Manny Margot scored Tatis Jr. from 3rd brought the Padres within a run with the pitcher’s spot due up.
Franmil Reyes, entering Monday with a .091 batting average, pinch hit for Eric Lauer and pummeled a hanging slider 426 feet through the misty San Francisco night.
The home run completed the comeback, which the bullpen secured with 3 scoreless innings, giving Kirby Yates his 6th save to go along with a 1.29 ERA. It was the fourth come-from-behind win of 2019 and the largest since September of the 2017 season.
The Padres now sit at 7-4 with noticeable confidence that no deficit is too steep. “Not even if we’re down by 10 in the 9th inning. Never give up,” Reyes said after the game. “That’s something you guys are going to see about the Padres this year.” This sentiment has been exhibited by different players in each of the Padres’ wins, with Monday being the most impressive. A successful baseball team has to have contributions from everyone, and so far the Padres have done just that. Whether it be Reyes on Monday, Austin Hedges in St. Louis, or Myers on Opening Day.
This win not only highlighted the team’s ability to claw back when needed, but also revealed a cohesiveness among the group that leads to the never-die attitude. These qualities are as important to success as talent is. The Padres have shown both through 11 games, while playing with a joy that only winning brings.
San Diego will look to improve to 5-1 against the Giants tonight in game 2 of the 3-game series, with Joey Lucchesi (2-0, 0.00 ERA) leading the charge.
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