ATLANTA -- The Padres were this close to a doubleheader sweep of the Braves on Wednesday afternoon. And then the skies broke loose.
Ultimately, they still might complete that sweep, but they’ll need to do so at a later date. The second game of Wednesday’s doubleheader in Atlanta was suspended with the Padres leading, 5-4 in the middle of the fifth inning. San Diego had won Game 1, 3-2, on the strength of five scoreless innings from Chris Paddack and a two-run homer by Fernando Tatis Jr.
There has not yet been a date set for a potential resumption of the game, which would still be scheduled for seven innings. But the Padres and Braves are currently slated to meet for a three-game series in San Diego from Sept. 24-26. Atlanta would first have to agree to a venue change for that plan to become a reality, though.
The game would be resumed from the spot it was halted at 7:26 p.m. ET on Wednesday night. Had the two teams managed to complete the bottom of the fifth inning, the contest would have been official, and -- presuming they still led -- the Padres would’ve been victorious. Instead, as San Diego took the field for the fifth, a downpour ensued, and the two teams would endure a three-hour, three-minute delay before the matchup was finally called.
“If we stayed here throughout the night, they just weren’t confident that it was going to open up enough for us to get 2 1/2 innings in,” said Padres manager Jayce Tingler.
The Padres jumped out to an early lead with a four-run first inning. Ha-Seong Kim delivered the biggest blow with a two-run double, continuing an excellent day for the backup infielder. Kim spelled Eric Hosmer in Game 1 and Manny Machado in Game 2 and was impressed defensively, while going 2-for-4 with three RBIs at the plate.
The Padres held a 5-0 lead before the Braves scored four of their own, getting to spot starter Reiss Knehr in the second inning. (Knehr was the team’s 27th man on the roster, called up for the doubleheader.)
“His stuff was really good, certainly in the first,” Tingler said. “You get up to that 5-0 lead, and the command ran away [from him]. But I liked the way he threw the ball. And these experiences right now, they can be really good for development.”
Wednesday’s game wasn’t the first time in the past month the Padres have endured troubles with the weather. On their road trip through Philadelphia and Cincinnati, they suffered through six rain delays (equalling the total number of rain delays in Petco Park’s 18-year history). On top of that, Monday’s game against Atlanta was rained out, setting up Wednesday’s doubleheader.
As things stand, with the Padres leading 5-4 after 4 1/2 innings, their win probability sits at 59.3 percent, according to Baseball Savant. Should the game be resumed in September, as seems possible, it’s easy to envision it being a critical matchup between two teams vying for their respective division titles.
For now, after a month’s worth of weather trouble, the Padres can take solace in one fact: They will be under a roof for their four-game series in Miami this weekend, then their next 16 games will take place in California.
“Very happy [there’s a] roof in Miami for the four games,” Tingler said. “And then super excited about, after that, getting back to San Diego.”