New longest HR of '21! Pham goes 486 ft

"Everybody’s frustrated': Padres explode for three home runs, but take loss

August 18th, 2021

DENVER -- got every bit of that one.

The Padres’ rough road trip continued with a 7-3 loss to the Rockies on Tuesday night, but not before their left fielder took out some frustration by launching the longest home run in the Majors this season -- a 486-foot moonshot that carried to the very back of the left-center-field seats at Coors Field.

In the top of the seventh inning, Rockies right-hander Germán Márquez hung a slider over the middle of the plate, and Pham made absolutely no mistake.

“He’s a strong dude,” said Padres shortstop Jake Cronenworth, who preceded Pham’s blast with his second inside-the-park homer of the season. “Now we know he’s got [486 feet] in there.”

Pham’s home run was the second longest Statcast has ever recorded for a Padre, trailing only Franchy Cordero's 489-footer in 2018. It bested White Sox slugger Yermín Mercedes' 485-foot shot from April 8 at Guaranteed Rate Field by one foot, as projected by Statcast.

Known more for his ability to reach base than his power, it was Pham’s 13th home run -- and his longest this season by more than 50 feet. Pham’s previous career high was a 458-foot shot in Oakland on June 11, 2019.

The home run was an emphatic cap on a wild half inning that saw three Padres hit solo blasts -- the first time they’ve gone deep three times in the same inning this year. San Diego entered the frame looking listless against Márquez, who had limited them to one hit through six innings, despite pitching through a stomach bug.

Trailing 4-0, the Padres bats briefly came to life when Fernando Tatis Jr. opened the frame by launching a 450-foot bomb to center field for his National League-leading 34th of the season.

“He kind of sparked us with that home run to get us going, and you see what happens after that,” said manager Jayce Tingler.

Of course, it’s not every day that a 450-footer from the MVP favorite gets overshadowed so quickly. But Tatis’ moonshot was probably the third most remarkable home run of the inning.

Two batters later, Cronenworth followed with a deep drive that caromed awkwardly off the right-center field wall -- first past right fielder Charlie Blackmon, then past center fielder Sam Hilliard. Cronenworth scored standing up.

“It kicked off the wall, and then I saw Hilliard slide and try to change directions, and once it got by him, I knew I had a good chance,” Cronenworth said.

Both of his inside-the-parkers this season came against the Rockies, and both came on awkward ricochets misplayed by Blackmon. Cronenworth became the third Padre to hit multiple inside-the-parkers in the same season, joining Tony Gwynn Jr. and Gene Richards.

He needn't have hustled so hard. Pham stepped to the plate one batter later.

“I didn’t even see it,” Cronenworth said. “I was taking my stuff off, and he hit it. But that was pretty impressive.”

Quite the half inning for the Padres. The other eight? Not so much. The Rockies responded immediately with three runs in the bottom of the seventh. Blackmon and C.J. Cron took Tim Hill deep, and that was that.

San Diego has now lost six of seven games against three teams squarely out of the National League playoff picture. They’re 1-5 on what’s quickly becoming one of the worst road trips in recent memory.

“It stings, it hurts, everybody’s frustrated,” said Tingler. “It’s just a team slump on a lot of cylinders right now.”

The good news for the Padres -- the Reds also lost, meaning San Diego maintained its 1 1/2-game lead for the second NL Wild Card spot.

“We control our destiny,” Tingler said. “That’s the thing -- it’s not going to matter unless we get it all together here for the final 40 games. But it’s in front of us. We’ve got to go out and take it. No doubt, we’ve got to play better baseball.”