In 2-month game of oddities, Tatis HR wins it

September 25th, 2021

SAN DIEGO -- Technically, hit his 30th homer of the season on Friday night, bringing his total for the year to 41. Make sense?

Meanwhile, , who was not a Brave when this game started, homered off Daniel Hudson, who was not a Padre when this game started. Following?

Finally, Padres closer locked down saves in both games of a doubleheader -- one in Atlanta in July and one in San Diego in September. Got it?

Indeed, the resumption of the July 21 game between the Padres and Braves featured all sorts of quirks. But it ended the same way they left it -- with the Padres up by one run at a soggy ballpark. On the strength of Tatis’ homer, the Padres beat the Braves, 6-5, completing a game they led, 5-4, when it was suspended because of rain at Truist Park in Atlanta.

The Braves, technically still the home team, tied it in the bottom of the sixth on Duvall’s home run. That increased Duvall’s home run total to 38, but it will officially go down as his 22nd because he entered July 21 with 21 homers. Strangely enough, Duvall’s Marlins actually faced Hudson’s Nationals on July 21. Both would be dealt before the Trade Deadline the following week.

Tatis put the Padres on top again in the top of the seventh inning (the final inning of the game, which was originally part of a doubleheader). Similar to Duvall, Tatis was credited with his 30th homer, picking up from his stats on July 21. He took a 3-2 fastball from Braves lefty Will Smith and sent it to the beach area at Petco Park -- rarefied territory for a right-handed hitter.

“You always feel good with Tatis at the plate,” said Padres manager Jayce Tingler. “That was just a great at-bat. He was on some pitches, laid off some tough pitches, got it to 3-2. To be able to drive the ball just a touch right of center, in the night -- impressive. But we’ve seen him do it.”

The game even started where it left off two months ago in Atlanta -- in a rain delay. San Diego saw its first weather delay of the season (though technically, it occurred in a Braves home game). The delay lasted an hour and five minutes, before took the mound to face, strangely enough, pinch-hitter Jorge Soler, who was on the Kansas City Royals when the game began.

“You’re like, ‘It’s raining in San Diego?’” Tingler said. “I had to go outside when somebody said that. For a moment, it’s like, ‘This game’s not supposed to happen,’ or whatever, when it starts to rain in San Diego.”

At long last, two months and three days after it started, the game reached its dramatic conclusion when Melancon got Ozzie Albies to hit a flyout to the warning track in left field -- a few feet shy of what could’ve been a Braves walk-off home run at Petco Park. Instead, Melancon, who had saved the first game of the doubleheader on July 21, picked up another save.