Manny Machado has had hot streaks before. He's put together great seasons. He's on a path to be a not-doubt 1st-ballot Hall of Famer.
I'm not sure he's ever been quite this good.
Machado hit two more home runs on Thursday night to, along with a stellar start from Nick Martinez, help the Padres edge the Marlins 2-1 at Petco Park. Manny went deep in the 1st and 4th innings, both off Miami starter Jesus Luzardo, giving him seven for the season to go with 20 RBI.
Manny leads the National League in hits and OPS, plus he hasn't made an error in the field, putting him right at the top of the MVP discussion. He's been picking up the slack for an offense that's missing Fernando Tatis Jr. and still scoring enough runs to start 17-9 and sit just a half game behind the first place Dodgers in the National League West.
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Certainly not to be overlooked is the outing by Martinez. On Wednesday the Padres played 19 innings on a cold day in Cleveland so they needed their starter to go deep and let as many arms as possible rest. Nick went 7.0 innings and allowed just one run to get his 2nd win as a Padre.
With Mike Clevinger back in the rotation and Blake Snell scheduled to return in the next couple of weeks the right-hander is making the decision of who gets to stay in the rotation extremely difficult, and that's a very good problem for a baseball team to have.
Martinez handed the game to Luis Garcia, who threw a scoreless 8th, and then closer Taylor Rogers converted his 10th save of the season with a prefect 9th inning. It was a nice way for bench coach Ryan Christenson to make his managerial debut. Skipper Bob Melvin was sidelined with a non-COVID related illness so Christenson was the acting manager and handled the game extremely well.
The Padres send Yu Darvish to the mound on Friday night against Miami right-hander Sandy Alcantara.
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