Here's a little look into the writing process for us folks who cover the Padres is like on a day like today. The lede for this story at the 7th inning stretch looked like this:
"The Padres finally did what they've been struggling to do all year long, getting knocks with runners in scoring position and surviving another roller coaster ride from Blake Snell in a win over the Nationals, giving them their first series win since early May."
The lede after the 7th inning was slightly different:
"For the first 48 games of the year the Padres have been terrible at hitting with runners in scoring position. On Thursday the Nationals put on a RISP clinic to send the Friars to another series loss, this time to a last-place team that is firmly in rebuild mode."
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Then the lede after the top of the 9th inning:
"GOD BLESS YOU, ROUGNED ODOR. GOD. BLESS. YOU."
So is life when dealing with a team that's still trying to find itself. But, for the first time in a while, things seem to be looking up. On Thursday in Washington, D.C., the Friars got the kind of win that's eluded them for most of the year, losing a lead then taking it back on a monster 3-run home run from Rougned Odor in the 9th to push the Padres to an 8-6 win and a much-needed series win (they'd lost five straight).
After Snell allowed a 1st inning run that was not entirely his fault (an error on an infield miscommunication allowed the runner to reach base) Trent Grisham hit an opposite field-2-run homer to make it 2-1 Padres. They were actually able to add on this time.
Snell got through 5.0 innings allowing just that one run, striking out six but he walked four and twice had to escape bases loaded jams. When he left it looked like the game was fairly well in hand.
In the top of the 5th Xander Bogaerts got a rare hit with runners in scoring position, singling home Fernando Tatis Jr. from 3rd base with one out to make it a 3-1 game. A couple of batters later Odor got an even more rare hit with runners in scoring position and two outs, doubling home Juan Soto and Bogaerts to pump the Padres lead up to 5-1.
Then the 7th inning happened.
Tim Hill started the inning and gave up two singles and a double to make it 5-2. He was replaced by Nick Martinez, who allowed RBI singles to Corey Dickerson and Dominic Smith to cut the lead to 5-4. Then the Padres defense that's been extremely good all year let them down. Alex Call bunted back to Martinez, whose throw went into right field and let the tying run come home. Keibert Ruiz followed with another single to put Washington on top 6-5.
Most of the year that would mean a loss. In fact, San Diego was 0-and-22 when trailing after the 8th inning. This could be the day those fortunes changed.
Jake Cronenworth and Soto singled to lead off the 9th. Bogaerts and Nelson Cruz struck out, bringing up Odor as the Padres final hope. For the last week or so, he's worn a cape to the plate.
Odor ripped a laser down the right field line and just over the 335-foot sign for a game-winning 3-run shot. Odor has driven in 11 runs over his last four games and been a massive boost to a team that, after losing 11 of 13, has won three out of four as they head to the Bronx for a 3-game weekend set against the Yankees.
Unfortunately, the excitement of the day was tempered by an injury to one of their most popular players. In the 2nd inning Ha-Seong Kim hit a foul ball off the inside of his knee and went down in serious pain. He was helped off the field, unable to put weight on his left leg. Manager Bob Melvin said x-rays didn't find any breaks and Kim should be able to avoid an Injured List trip, but likely won't be able to play in New York on Friday.
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