Margot, Myers power SD to win with HRs in 8th

August 11th, 2019

SAN DIEGO -- Even without Franmil Reyes, the Padres' outfield keeps rolling.

Since the Trade Deadline deal that sent the hulking slugger to Cleveland 10 days ago, San Diego’s outfielders have been red-hot. They may have never been better than they were Saturday night.

The Padres rallied for an 8-5 victory over the Rockies at Petco Park, with breaking a tie with a two-run homer in the eighth inning. It capped a 3-for-4 night from Margot, and it plated right fielder , who went 3-for-3 with a walk, two doubles and a home run.

Josh Naylor, who started in left, reached base three times, before being replaced by in a double switch. Myers then added an insurance run with a pinch-hit solo homer in the eighth.

“Everyone here had to step up,” Margot said through an interpreter.

They’ve done exactly that. Here’s how the quartet of Padres outfielders have slashed since the Reyes trade:

Margot: .375/.444/.958
Myers: .303/.324/.455
Renfroe: .294/.351/.529
Naylor: .286/.400/.667

“We were sad to see our teammate go,” Myers said. “But we knew we had to step up. He was a big part of our lineup, a big part of our team. We had to find a way to fill a hole that was pretty big.”

When the Padres mulled trading Reyes, they did so knowing they could give increased playing time to their other outfielders. They wanted to see how Myers might fare with regular playing time again. They wanted to get the best of Margot by starting him against lefties and tinkering against righties. They wanted Naylor as a prominent left-handed bat in a lineup that needed one.

“We believe in all of them -- and have,” Padres manager Andy Green said. “And that's why you feel comfortable doing that [trade], as much as we love the guy who walked out the door that day.”

Margot’s contributions have been particularly noteworthy, given his early-season struggles. He slumped to a .242 average in the first half and a sub-.300 on-base percentage. But he’s made significant adjustments to his approach, and his strike zone has shrunk as a result. Margot is walking more, and he’s doing more damage when he gets pitches to hit.

“When you put in all the work, you expect that work is going to show up,” Margot said. “That's what's been happening.”

Case and point: Margot laid off two pitches just below his knees, and he fouled off two more on the fringes against Rockies reliever Jairo Diaz. Then, Diaz grooved a 2-2 fastball, and Margot crushed it 415 feet into the left-field seats. Petco Park erupted. The Rockies wouldn’t threaten from there.

Afterward, Green reflected on the success of his outfielders. All four are scorching, and he was quick to note that in a few hours, he’s going to put one of them on the bench.

“Tough decision tomorrow,” Green quipped. “Don't have four spots out there.”

Paddack’s up-and-down night
Chris Paddack bounced back from a tough outing in Los Angeles with a quality start. But that wasn’t good enough for the hard-throwing 23-year-old right-hander.

“I still felt like it wasn’t my best,” Paddack said. “I’m never really going to settle for being all right, when I know that I could’ve done a little better job of making some pitches.”

Paddack was mostly sharp, but he was hurt by a few mistakes. He hung a curveball to Yonathan Daza in the second, and Daza roped it to center field for an RBI single. Two innings later, Paddack grooved a changeup to Nolan Arenado, which landed in the second level of the Western Metal Supply Co. Building.

Afterward, Paddack lamented the fact that he left those two pitches at the bottom of the zone. They were meant to get chases below it.

Paddack allowed three runs on five hits, striking out five. He was removed after six innings and 86 pitches. Paddack almost certainly would’ve worked the seventh, but the Padres made consecutive defensive blunders in the sixth, loading the bases and running his pitch count up.

Paddack escaped the threat by getting Daza to bounce to second.

Bringing the heat
Andres Munoz hasn't even pitched in the big leagues for a month, and he's already breaking his own velocity records on a seemingly nightly basis.

Munoz pitched a scoreless eighth inning Saturday, earning his first MLB win and stranding two runners when he got Chris Iannetta to whiff on consecutive sliders. But -- as is always the case with Munoz -- it was his heater that took center stage.

Munoz threw a 102.8 mph fastball to Ryan McMahon, who was late and managed to foul it into the left-field seats. That's the hardest pitch Statcast has ever tracked from a Padres pitcher. (Munoz has thrown each of the top 44.)

Mired in an 0-for-19 rut, Manny Machado laced a game-tying RBI double into center field in the fourth.

In his eight-year career, it was only the second time Machado had fallen into a hitless drought of 19 at-bats. He’s never been 0-for-20.

Going streaking
With his opposite-field triple in the eighth, Fernando Tatis Jr. extended his hitting streak to 14 games. That’s the longest by a Padres player this season and the longest active mark in the big leagues.

If Tatis gets four plate appearances on Sunday, he will qualify for the Major League leaderboards, and his .324 average should put him in the thick of the race for the National League batting title. He’s 12 points behind Christian Yelich.