There is no way to truly understand what happened in Saturday night’s game between the Padres and Brewers at Miller Park in Milwaukee. This game was simply odd. So let’s look at some numbers and try to make something resembling sense of it:
2 = number of times the Padres hit back-to-back home runs
4 = number of errors the Padres committed
8 = number of pitchers used by the Padres
20 = number of total players used by the Padres, leaving them zero position players left on the bench
39 = number of total players used by both teams
12 = number of innings played
1 = margin of victory
And that only begins to tell the tale. The Padres found a way to get an 8-7 win during one of the strangest ballgames we’ve seen in a while.
The Padres got a pair of runs in the first inning, one on a Matt Kemp single that scored Travis Jankowski and the other when Melvin Upton Jr. doubled home Kemp. San Diego needed to get off to a good start because injuries forced rookie Luis Perdomo in to the first start of his young MLB career.
Perdomo had trouble finding the strike zone, throwing just 32 of his 61 pitches for strikes, and left in the 3rd inning. In came Brad Hand, who was stellar in relief. Hand threw 4.0 shutout innings, striking out five, and was in line for the win when he left in the 7th.
The Padres built a 6-2 lead when Wil Myers and Matt Kemp hit back-to-back home runs in the 5th inning. Kemp had three hits and drove in three runs. Milwaukee got a couple back in the 7th inning but things went really nutty in the bottom of the 8th.
With two runners on, Brandon Maurer got Aaron Hill to ground out to shortstop to end the inning. At least, that’s what we thought happened. Padres catcher Hector Sanchez, making his first appearance in a San Diego uniform, was called for catcher’s interference (replays showed it was the right call) so Hill was safe at first and the bases were loaded.
Alex Presley hit a ground ball to first base, where Wil Myers couldn’t field it cleanly. The ball bounced towards second base, where Jose Pirela grabbed it and tried to throw to Maurer covering the bag but threw it over Maurer’s head and all the way to the backstop. Two runs scored, the game was tied, and on a night where the Padres used nothing but relief pitchers from the very beginning, went to extra innings tied 6-6.
In the 12th inning Derek Norris, who entered the game at first base as a defensive replacement for Wil Myers after Myers pulled up lame with a calf injury (the Padres expect him to be able to play in Sunday’s series finale), hit a monster home run to left field to put the Friars on top 7-6. Upton followed with another solo shot, which looked like insurance but turned out to be the game-winner.
Carlos Villanueva surrendered a solo homer to Jonathan Lucroy in the bottom of the inning but was able to hold on to get his first save of the season.
Cesar Vargas gets the start against Zach Davies on Sunday. Given the state of their bullpen, the Padres rookie might get to throw a few more pitches than normal.