The Padres in 2016 have set a franchise record for consecutive games with a home run with 16 and counting. They hope to keep that going Tuesday night in St. Louis.
Though they haven’t finished in the top half of the National League for home runs since 2007, this years club has not just Matt Kemp and Wil Myers but also rookie call ups like Ryan Schimpf mashing the ball in and out of Petco Park.
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This year has been a completely different story. Wil Myers is already at 20 with Matt Kemp right behind at 19. Melvin Upton Jr.is at 16 with Norris again already at 12. Not to mention newcomer Ryan Schimpf who already has 5 in just 25 games and Yangervis Solarte with 9 in 53 games. It is very possible the Padres will have 5-6 players with at least 15 home runs.
Matt Kemp was pragmatic when asked about the Padres power surge: “We’ve just been swinging the bat well, having better at-bats,” Kemp said. “There’s really not that much more you can say about it. Everybody’s got a plan, sticking to it and starting to hit the ball hard.”
One help in the lineup was when Solarte returned from the DL, as he is hitting near .300 and adds power along with being a switch hitter. Manager Andy Green for one singled his return as a switching on of the power: “When he was out, it was a little bit short from a power perspective. Now … the first four guys can pretty much leave the yard at any time, and Schimpf’s been an addition to that, too.”.
Of course – it only goes so far in helping the pitching. Last night’s 10-2 loss proved that much, but it doesn’t hurt if you are down later in the game knowing that one swing of the bat can turn it all around.
For the season, the Padres are 6th in the NL with 108 total home runs. The Mets are first at 127 and the Padres are up to 8th overall in total runs scored. Maybe this season would’ve been completely different with some better pitching all year long? Who knows. For now, the Padres are enjoying the power surge and finding ways to win games. They hope to get back in the win column Tuesday evening.