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Machado, Tatis playing like All-Stars

Yates only Padre going to Cleveland, but team feels others were close
@AJCassavell
June 30, 2019

SAN DIEGO -- Manny Machado and Fernando Tatis Jr. aren’t headed to Cleveland for the Midsummer Classic on July 9. But they’re sure playing like All-Stars. The Padres’ left-side infield duo was shut out on Sunday afternoon when the full All-Star Game rosters were unveiled. But Machado and Tatis remained

SAN DIEGO -- Manny Machado and Fernando Tatis Jr. aren’t headed to Cleveland for the Midsummer Classic on July 9. But they’re sure playing like All-Stars.

The Padres’ left-side infield duo was shut out on Sunday afternoon when the full All-Star Game rosters were unveiled. But Machado and Tatis remained red-hot nonetheless, as San Diego dropped its series finale against St. Louis, 5-3, in 11 innings at Petco Park.

Machado crushed his 20th home run of the season, a rocket into the left-center-field seats in the first inning, giving the Friars a 2-0 lead. Upon his arrival in San Diego this year, Machado struggled a bit at the plate. But he’s turned that around in a big way, hitting .299/.367/.593 since May 1.

Box score

Tatis, meanwhile, went 2-for-5, and he showcased his otherworldly baserunning instincts in the fifth. With two outs, Eric Hosmer blooped a single into right field, and the Cardinals’ Jose Martinez was slow getting to the baseball. Tatis turned on the jets and scored all the way from first.

St. Louis rallied to tie the game late, then it won it on Matt Wieters’ two-run homer in the 11th. But with the Padres’ series victory, they’ll enter July with a winning record for the first time in nine years.

They’ve done so with contributions from some legitimate All-Star-caliber players, including Tatis, Machado and Hunter Renfroe -- all of whom were surely among the first few National League players omitted.

“We’ve got a lot of guys playing at the level of other guys who are All-Stars,” said Padres skipper Andy Green. “Sometimes it comes down to votes, other times you don’t always get what you deserve.”

Righty Kirby Yates, who worked a 1-2-3 ninth inning, was the team’s lone selection -- and a deserving one, at that. He’s posted a 1.27 ERA this season with more than a strikeout and a half per inning.

And while Yates was clearly thrilled to be headed to Cleveland for the festivities, a part of him was disappointed he’d be going as the team’s sole representative.

“You look at the numbers around this clubhouse, and there's a few guys that are deserving,” Yates said. “Going alone, that kind of [stinks] based on where we're at, the way we're playing and what guys are doing around me. I wish there were a few people joining me.”

But Machado was hindered by his slow start. Tatis missed a month with a left hamstring injury. Renfroe was squarely on the outfield bubble, missing out to the Rockies’ David Dahl.

“It is what it is,” Machado said. “I think all 25 of us that are in here deserve to be there. We've just got to continue and support our teammate that's going to be there.”

Tatis was less diplomatic, saying he felt his first half absolutely warranted a trip to the All-Star Game. The rookie phenom is hitting .337 with a 1.018 OPS. He’s wreaking all sorts of havoc on the bases, and he’s been excellent defensively, as well.

“Of course, I would've loved to go,” said Tatis, who has played 48 of the team’s 83 games. “But I guess it's their call. Nothing I can do about it.”

It’s still possible another position player might back out of the festivities due to injury. If so, the Padres seemingly have at least three replacement candidates to choose from. But in the immediate aftermath of the snub, Tatis didn’t want to entertain that possibility.

“I don’t know,” he said. “If they didn’t pick me at this point, I don’t think I’m going.”

That statement almost certainly wasn’t Tatis spurning the All-Star Game. It was merely a visibly disappointed young player who didn’t want to get his hopes up.

Regardless of Tatis’ All-Star status, the Padres are clearly content with the fact that he’ll anchor shortstop in San Diego for the foreseeable future.

“There are very few in the game with those numbers, especially playing that premium defensive position,” Green said. “What he’s doing is really, really impressive. I’d hesitate to find another person that changes the game on the bases the way he does. Some of the things aren’t even quantifiable.”

Padres unravel late

Clinging to a one-run lead in the eighth, the Padres were undone by two costly errors. With one out, Machado picked up a slow chopper and threw wide of first base, allowing Paul Goldschmidt to reach second on an infield hit.

“Should’ve probably held it,” Machado said.

“He’s trying to make an aggressive play, and he’s capable of great things,” added Green, letting Machado off the hook.

A batter later, Franmil Reyes booted Tyler O’Neill’s single, which allowed Goldschmidt to scamper home with the tying run. The Padres would threaten in the bottom of the frame, loading the bases for Manuel Margot with one out. But he bounced into an inning-ending double play, which was only confirmed after a video review.

The game was still tied in the 11th when San Diego turned to left-hander Brad Wieck with righty Trey Wingenter unavailable. Wingenter is one of a handful of Padres battling the flu.

With two outs and a man aboard, Wieck hung a 1-2 slider to Wieters, who sent it to the third deck of the Western Metal Supply Co. Building. At the culmination of an extremely promising weekend in San Diego, there would be no sweep.

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.