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Coors Field the cure for what ails Myers

@MannyOnMLB
May 11, 2019

DENVER -- Wil Myers was up there thinking bunt. The Padres were leading the Rockies by a run, and the slumping slugger was leading off the seventh inning against Colorado starter Jon Gray. “I saw [third baseman Nolan] Arenado back, and I thought it was a good chance to, especially

DENVER -- Wil Myers was up there thinking bunt.

The Padres were leading the Rockies by a run, and the slumping slugger was leading off the seventh inning against Colorado starter Jon Gray.

“I saw [third baseman Nolan] Arenado back, and I thought it was a good chance to, especially leading off an inning, get a guy on base,” Myers said. “I actually bunted it the way I wanted it.”

Looking back, he’s glad the bunt rolled foul.

Two pitches later, Myers crushed an 86.8 mph slider 468 feet to the base of the mountain-shaped scoreboard in left-center field to help propel San Diego to a 4-3 victory on a cold Saturday night at Coors Field.

Box score

The mammoth shot was Myers’ seventh homer of the season, and ninth at Coors Field, where he entered the contest slashing .348/.411/.670 in 30 games. It was only his second home run since April 16, however, and he had entered Saturday batting .098 with two extra-base hits over his previous 14 games.

Myers’ struggles led manager Andy Green to bench him for two games in order to clear his head. Apparently, it worked.

“I talked to Andy about it,” Myers said. “It was one of those things where, OK, you take a day or two and really just grind in the cage. I’ve done that the last couple of days, and I started to see the results today.”

Those results may have been drastically different if the bunt attempt had stayed fair.

“You’re just trying to do anything at that point in time,” Green said about Myers’ effort to bunt his way on amid a dormant stretch at the plate, even at the hitter’s haven that is Coors Field. “He gets on first base, and he can steal a base and wreak havoc and do what he did in the ninth inning.”

With the game tied, 3-3, in that ninth inning, Myers came to the plate with one out and nobody on. He singled through the hole on the left side of the infield, off both Arenado’s and Trevor Story’s gloves, no small feat in its own right.

Myers proceeded to steal second base, move to third following a pair of walks and score the go-ahead run on a fielder’s choice ground ball from Greg Garcia.

Sometimes, there’s just nothing like Coors Field to remedy a terrible slump, even if only for a game.

But it wasn’t a foregone conclusion that Myers would even be in the starting lineup Saturday, given the cavernous Coors outfield and a defensively superior option on the table, Manuel Margot.

Franmil Reyes and Hunter Renfroe, the corner outfielders, were hitting too well to pull them out of the batting order to fit in Myers, so Green had a choice to make.

In hindsight, he made the right one, and it may just end up paying dividends far beyond a single victory in mid-May.

Renfroe, who launched a 470-foot blast of his own in the fourth, is on a homer binge, with four in his last six games. Reyes is hitting .378 with three doubles and four homers since April 30. Manny Machado is 4-for-9 in the series and has seen his Statcast-measured hard-hit rate jump significantly over the past two weeks.

If his ninth career homer at Coors Field is what jump-starts Myers, the prodigious power potential of the Padres’ lineup -- what Green calls its “damageability” -- could be coalescing.

“You see it all the time,” Green said. “It just takes one swing for guys to get going. Hopefully, that was the swing.”

Manny Randhawa is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @MannyOnMLB.