Padres Melvin Upton Jr Continues to Flash the Leather
The Padres were disappointed to learn that Jon Jay would hit the DL with a broken forearm. Melvin Upton Jr.however didn’t miss a beat taking over in center field for the injured Jay in Tuesday’s loss to Baltimore.
The Padres saw Upton Jr. rob JJ Hardy of a home run, reaching full over the wall to bring the ball back and complete a double play. That was a half inning after he hit the longest recorded home run by a Padre in Petco Park history.
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Baltimore had scored already as Upton Jr led off in the bottom of the first inning against Ubaldo Jimenez, and he uncorked to straight-away center field with an exit velocity of 108.8MPH according to Statcast. That tied the game at 1 which looked like that was being threatened as JJ Hardy came to the plate with a runner on first in the 2nd inning.
He raced back on Hardy’s blast, seemed to put his glove up and over the wall and just see what would happen. It worked – and after bringing it back he fired a three hopper to first base to complete the double play. Even Upton was pretty impressed with his own effort:
“Honestly, that one, I just kind of jumped for it and was surprised it ended up in my glove,” Upton said when asked where that play ranks among his all-time favorite catches. “Yeah, [it’s] definitely No. 1.”
Not to mention that throw was on a line to first base from straight away center field. On three hops.
In the game Wil Myers continued his amazing June with another home run, 3 walks, a stolen base, and 3 RBI.
Next: Padres Pitchers at the Plate
The home run steal was his third of the season already, and it is a luxury the Padres have as they lose Jay to have another Gold Glove caliber center fielder ready to replace him in center field.
Erik Johnson didn’t pitch bad in this one – allowing 4 runs in 5 innings – but it was Carlos Villanueave who allowed 7 runs in 2/3 of an inning on 6 walks that sealed the win for the Orioles. The Padres came back with three in the 7th and 9th but it was too little, too late.