Myers gets 100th HR, and a first, in one swing

April 16th, 2019

SAN DIEGO -- celebrated his 100th career home run, by sending it where he's never hit a baseball before.

Not even in batting practice.

Trailing 5-1 in the ninth, Myers demolished a 2-2 fastball from Rockies reliever Scott Oberg, sending it just to the right of the center-field batter’s eye. It caromed off the structure and onto the walkway that links the stadium with the park beyond the outfield.

"I've never hit one like that," Myers said after the Padres' 5-2 loss. "That was struck."

The ball left Myers' bat at 110.2 mph with a 29-degree launch angle -- a fairly perfect combination of violence and precision. Myers hadn't struck a home run ball that hard since 2017, and he disagreed with Statcast's projection of 428 feet.

"I was shortchanged," Myers joked.

Of Myers' 100 home runs, 81 have come with the Padres. If he can add 19 more, he would become just the eighth player to hit 100 dingers for San Diego. Myers is currently tied for 15th with Will Venable on the franchise’s all-time list.

More important, in Myers' eyes, his long ball nearly sparked a late rally. With two outs in the inning, Austin Hedges doubled and Luis Urias worked a walk, before Ian Kinsler struck out to end the game.

"Any team that has that feeling that knows no matter what the score of the game is, there's always a chance, that just shows what a good team does," Myers said.

Lucchesi saves the bullpen

Lefty wasn’t his sharpest self on Monday night. He allowed five earned runs on seven hits, and he walked a pair. But Lucchesi managed to do something no other Padres starter had done this season: work into the seventh. It came at a useful time.

The Padres’ bullpen has been overworked during the first three weeks of the season. Entering play Monday, closer Kirby Yates was first in the National League with 10 appearances, and setup man Craig Stammen was tied for second. The burden hasn’t been much easier on the rest of the ’pen.

In some ways, that's by design. San Diego has three starting pitchers whose workloads are being monitored. Lucchesi isn't one of them. If the Padres can get length from the 25-year-old left-hander, they'll take it.

"I want to do that all the time," Lucchesi said. "I told myself, 'Joey, you're going seven today.' I did go seven. Unfortunately, I gave up too many runs, but I'm going to keep improving."

Reyes goes oppo

Myers' home run was a rocket. But it wasn't even the highest exit velo on a Padres homer Monday night.

Right fielder launched an opposite-field missile that left his bat at 112.5 mph in the fourth. It was the third-highest exit velocity for a Padres hitter this season. Reyes occupies each of the top four spots, before Hunter Renfroe checks in at No. 5.

Kinsler or Mejia?

With the tying run due up in the ninth, Padres manager Andy Green had to choose between the righty-hitting and the lefty-hitting to bat for the pitcher.

"We liked Kins right there," Green said. "Wade Davis has been incredibly tough on left-handed hitters, so you're looking for the righties. Most of his walks, most of his struggles are against right-handed batters. That cutter in is incredibly tough on those left-handed bats."

Indeed, lefties posted a .485 OPS against the Rockies’ closer last season, while righties had a .739 mark. Kinsler worked the count full after falling behind, 0-2, but he couldn't check his swing on a shoulder-high cutter.