The San Diego Padres took three out of four against the Los Angeles Dodgers to end the first half of the season on a high note.
What a way to roll into the All-Star break for the San Diego Padres.
There was an ominous feeling surrounding the final series of the MLB’s first half. In the midst of a four-game losing streak, which included being swept by the National League West cellar-dwellers, the Padres were tasked with four more games against the NL West juggernauts.
The Friars’ offense had struggled to carry their June success into July. All of the momentum generated by sweeping the Baltimore Orioles and the series win against the St. Louis Cardinals was quickly lost when the San Francisco Giants came to town. The Padres were outscored 11-30 against the 27th-ranked team in the league for runs scored.
From March through May, San Diego was averaging a .235/.296/.417 slash line with 113 runs per month. The summer brought the heat, however, as the Padres hit .266/.340/.474 and scored 153 runs in June alone.
And now, the San Diego Padres have handed the Los Angeles Dodgers their first series loss in LA since the beginning of April, riding a three-game win streak into the season’s halfway point.
Fernando Tatis Jr. led the Friars on Sunday afternoon, rocking the first multi-home run game of his career to become the youngest Padre to do so.
The first was a solo homer during the first at-bat of the game, and his second came in the fifth inning — a 3-run shot to put the Padres up 5-1. Tatis Jr. ended up going 2-for-4 with four RBIs.
Hunter Renfroe and Manuel Margot had themselves fine afternoons as well. Renfroe went 2-for-4 with a couple of singles, while Margot also went 2-for-4 with a single and a solo homer.
Overall, Renfroe put on a good series against the Dodgers — despite only going 4-for-16 this weekend, he had two important go-ahead home runs in Games 2 and 3. He owns a .271 batting average on the year but a 3.73 wOBA, likely due to the impressive number of home runs he’s hit.
More from Friars on Base
- Padres fighting with hated rival to sign quality veteran relief pitcher
- Jurickson Profar free agency update likely rules out Padres reunion
- Fernando Tatis Jr. may not take to outfield move after Xander Bogaerts addition
- Padres News: Fernando Tatis Jr. trade rumors, Seth Lugo chase, Manny Machado
- Padres barely missed out on high-end veteran starting pitcher
Meanwhile, Joey Lucchesi orchestrated a solid outing, allowing three runs through 6.1 innings with four strikeouts and no walks.
Aside from an excellent game against the Milwaukee Brewers, Lucchesi had been struggling through his past few starts, giving up 13 runs off of 19 hits in four games. He’s still improved upon his rookie year when he had a 4.08 ERA and 4.31 FIP, however, and he stayed relatively constant between the first and second halves.
While his ERA ballooned nearly a run and a half from 3.34 to 4.88 in 2018, his FIP remained steady throughout the year, indicating that his overall performance as a pitcher fluctuated minimally. We’ll see how he responds after the All-Star break, as he’s certainly earned his spot in this lineup.
Finally, hats off to Kirby Yates, who earned his 30th save of the season. All-Star Game worthy, indeed. In fact, kudos to the entire bullpen, who, despite struggling this season, really stepped up in LA.
The Padres now sit squarely at 45-45, only 2.0 games back from the NL wild card. The All-Star break will be a chance to reset and evaluate the first half of the season, while the series win in LA will provide some momentum going into the second half.
For complete coverage of the San Diego Padres’ 2019 season, continue following Friars on Base all season long.