SAN FRANCISCO -- The Padres needed just two big swings to beat the Giants in a 12-inning thriller on Sunday, 5-2.Hector Sanchez tied the game against his former team with a two-run blast in the ninth. Then William Myers effectively won it three innings later with his second three-run shot
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Padres needed just two big swings to beat the Giants in a 12-inning thriller on Sunday, 5-2.
Hector Sanchez tied the game against his former team with a two-run blast in the ninth. Then William Myers effectively won it three innings later with his second three-run shot in as many days.
It was the type of quick-hitting comeback that left the Giants scratching their heads -- and perhaps justifiably so. Statcast™ data shows that the pair of late-inning homers were extremely unlikely in their own way.
First, Sanchez's blast: The veteran backstop turned around a Mark Melancon cutter and sent it soaring over the right-field wall at AT&T Park. The ball left his bat at 103 mph, according to Statcast™, and it traveled a projected 367 feet.
"I was anticipating the cutter," Sanchez said. "I know he throws a lot of cutters, so I was waiting for that pitch, and threw me a good pitch. I put a good swing on it."
Cutter was probably a good guess with Melancon. But plenty of hitters have guessed correctly on that pitch; few manage to hit it with such authority.
Last season, opposing hitters posted an average exit velocity of 83.6 mph against Melancon's cutter. That was the lowest mark for all pitchers with 100 batted balls on the pitch.
In the Statcast™ era, Melancon had allowed only four home runs against his cutter and eight barreled balls. Afterward, he had a rather obvious theory as to why Sanchez was able to square it up.
"[It was] just down the middle, right where he was looking," Melancon said. "You leave pitches out over the plate, and that's what's going to happen."
Three innings later, Myers completed the comeback.
A Myers home run certainly doesn't qualify as a surprise. (He leads the Padres with seven dingers and 16 extra-base hits.) But this particular long ball was out of the ordinary.
The ball left Myers' bat at 98 mph with a launch angle of 33 degrees. Batted balls of that nature have only a 35 percent hit probability, according to Statcast™. And balls with that specific combo of exit velocity and launch angle have gone for a homer just 25 percent of the time.
Of course, the homer on Sunday comes in stark contrast to Myers' no-doubter Saturday, which capped an eight-run sixth inning. That ball left his bat at 112 mph and traveled a projected 433 feet. Afterward Myers noted, "That's all I got."
That wasn't the case Sunday.
"I didn't get all of the one today," Myers said. "I just got a good pitch to hit. I was looking to stay away right there, because I figured they were trying to get me into a double play. I was really looking away and was able to get a good pitch in. I stayed inside of it."
It left the yard -- however unlikely -- and the Padres emerged victorious.
AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.