Padres cap '18 with wild walk-off in 10th inning

September 30th, 2018

SAN DIEGO -- The Padres' 2018 season wasn't particularly memorable. But during a period of transition, development and experimentation, there have been shining moments. In their final game of a trying season, the Padres added one more sweet memento.
San Diego walked off in extra innings -- a 4-3 decision against the D-backs at Petco Park on Sunday -- although it wasn't your usual type of celebration.
With one out in the 10th inning, capped a stellar all-around game by tripling off of for his second three-bagger in as many days. But when Barrett's third strike to pinch-hitter got past John Ryan Murphy, Margot hesitated breaking toward home just long enough for the catcher to throw to first to ensure a putout.
Margot raced home, laying out with a head-first slide, en route to the Padres' seventh walk-off of the season. San Diego finished fifth in the National League West with a record of 66-96.
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For Margot, who was acquired from the Red Sox in 2015 in the trade, this game encapsulated what his future with San Diego could look like. He went 3-for-5, including a 408-foot solo homer off of starter Robbie Ray in the second inning.

"There's things he can do that few guys can," manager Andy Green said. "The triple is indicative of that as much as anything. ... We just have to get him squaring up more baseballs more consistently. He works so hard, he's such a good kid. I'm thrilled for him to end the season this way."
Margot has already proved himself as a valuable defender in the outfield, but his season slash line of .245/.292/.384 has raised some concern about the 24-year-old offensively. The Padres are hopeful that those are changes he can make in the offseason as he looks to solidify himself as one of the team's top players next season. 
"It's mostly going to be on the offensive side of the game for him," Green said. "I feel like he can defend center field with anyone right now.
"Hopefully that fires him up going into the offseason and excites him about what he's going to put in and what he knows he needs to work on. For us, Manny's got any chance in the world of being right there in the center of everything we do. He was right in the middle of everything today."

Overshadowed by the theatrics was another emphatic start from Joey Lucchesi. Lucchesi started the second game of the 2018 season as the first pitcher from the 2016 Draft to make his Major League debut, and he finished Game 162 with an impressive outing. He notched six innings of two-run ball, striking out eight and walking none to finish the rookie campaign of a promising career.
On a day when his command was sharp, he had just two mistakes -- but both ended up over the fence. Lucchesi surrendered a home run to to lead off the fourth inning, and was tagged for another solo homer in the sixth inning, courtesy of pinch-hitter Steven Souza Jr. 

"There's a lot of fun things that come from him," Green said. "He's a lot of fun to be around. He's got a great temperament, good personality. He's a funky kid to be around, but he doesn't flinch on the mound."
Lucchesi finished with an 8-9 record and a 4.08 ERA over 26 games. In 130 innings, he struck out 145, and had a K/9 rate of 10.04. 
"I definitely have a lot more confidence," Lucchesi said. "I know what to expect and I've been through it all."

After allowed a go-ahead sacrifice fly from in the top of the ninth, San Diego responded in the bottom of the frame. knocked a soft ground ball to the right side of the infield, where first baseman made a diving stop, but threw the ball away, allowing Reyes to reach. and followed with singles, the latter scoring pinch-runner Javy Guerra to tie the game at 3.

After the Padres were walked off on the last game of the season two years in a row, they finally got some revenge. In 2016, Brad Hand surrendered a walk-off single to the D-backs' Phil Gosselin. In 2017, hit a walk-off home run off .
With the game tied at 2 in the sixth inning, pinch-hit for Lucchesi, and sprinted up the right-field line to beat the throw on an infield single. The D-backs challenged, but the call stood.