Friars Fever Pitch: San Diego Padres Fans Bring the Noise, Ready for Game 3

It’s been 14 years since the Padres made it into the postseason and fandom in America’s Finest City is reaching fever pitch as the team gears up for Game 3

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“Let’s go, Padres! Let’s go, Padres!” Sounds of the familiar chant filled downtown San Diego Thursday as the Padres made their biggest comeback of the season to snag an 11-9 win over the Cardinals. Friars fans were hyped. They were ready for this.

At the Diamond Terrace Condos on Ninth Avenue in downtown San Diego, Padres fans stood on the balconies cheering for their team. The condos – like so many other residential buildings in downtown San Diego – overlook Petco Park.

It was the closest fans could get to the playoffs action, the closest they could be to root for their home team.

“Let’s go Padres!” one fan cheered and clapped. “Let’s go, Padres!”

“When we look out and see other people on their balconies, we make eye contact,” the Friars Faithful told NBC 7. “We’ll wave back and forth. I think we know we have something special.”

“It’s very awesome, especially since we can’t be inside the stadium,” another fan at Diamond Terrace said. “We’d love to get into the stadium, but this is the next best thing.”

Due to coronavirus pandemic guidelines and restrictions, the Padres played their Thursday night game without fans in the stands, just as they’ve played all season.

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But, across Petco Park, the tailgate was as loud as ever. People watched the game at restaurants. People wore their Friars gear – including Padres logo face masks. People waved their Padres flags.

“We’re not in there, but we’re definitely watching,” one Padres fan at a downtown-area restaurant told NBC 7’s SportsWrap.

 “This is THE game,” said one man, waving a Padres banner. “The game to win to set the tone for Game 3. We’re coming. We’re coming for you guys!”

And that, they did.

As NBC 7’s SportWrap’s Darnay Tripp recapped here (and as NBC 7's Derek Togerson talked about on NBC 7's OnFriar Podcast Thursday night here), the Padres made a major comeback in Game 2 of their Wild Card series against the Cardinals, winning 11-9 and forcing Friday’s Game 3.

Fernando Tatis Jr. hit to home runs; Wil Myers hit two homers. The Padres trailed 6-2 and came back to win 11-9. Again, the crowd – outside the gates of Petco Park – went wild.

The energy continues Friday.

A spot in the National League Division Series is up for grabs in Game 3. The game starts just after 4 p.m.

Here we go, San Diego. Keep the faith.

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