Petco Park- San Diego, California
Nick Margevicius has a very calm demeanor about himself. The left-handed pitcher never allows a situation on the mound to get the best of him. In his last few starts, at the major league level, he has been challenged. Getting professional hitters out at the highest level is not easy.
Before the game on Saturday, Andy Green indicated that the lefty had been tested recently. The manager states that the team has plenty of confidence in him, but he needs to locate his pitches better and do the little things to get the job done.
Next up for the pitcher, on Friday, was the Washington Nationals who dropped game one of the series to the Padres after getting out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning. The Padres bullpen had been taking a lot of flack in recent days, but they responded on Thursday with an excellent performance.
Margevicius retired the first batter he saw on the night as Trea Turner popped up to Eric Hosmer to start the game. The left-handed pitcher from Ryder University made it through the first inning on 14 pitches. His command of the fastball was better, but there were a few pitches left down the middle of the plate.
In the bottom half of the first inning, Fernando Tatis Jr. showed why he is one of the best young players in the game. After smashing a leadoff single to right, he advanced on a swinging bunt by Wil Myers and then promptly stole third base. Tatis was able to score on a weak groundball by Manny Machado and presto the Padres had a 1-0 lead over the Nationals.
The Padres were scolding the ball off Eric Fedde early but had little to show for it in the game. Nick Margevicius himself even hit a ground ball at 102.8 mph off the right-handed pitcher. Pretty amazing stat, as Margevicius hadn’t allowed a baseball to be hit over 98.3 mph which Anthony Rendon did in the first inning, as he singled off the left-handed pitcher.
In the top of the fourth, Margevicius was removed by Andy Green after allowing a two-out base hit off of the bat of Howie Kendrick. It was a bit of a surprising move. The manager said after the game that this was by design. Margevicius was only expected to throw a few innings on Friday. The Padres liked using Miguel Diaz to relieve Margevicius against the Nationals mostly right-handed lineup.
Miguel Diaz relieved Margevicius and did well for the Padres. He went two innings and allowed two base hits while striking out three in his night’s work. Green indicated before the game that Diaz was a candidate to start on Sunday for the Padres, but with two innings pitched on Friday, that is probably a longshot. Andy Green did say after the game that Diaz could still pitch on Sunday in some manner. That remains to be seen.
Fernando Tatis Jr. put on an absolute show on Friday night. The young infielder came back strong from his hamstring injury. He had been frustrated over missed time and has taken out his frustrations on Washington National pitching. He launched a two-run homer in the sixth inning on a full-count pitch to give the Padres a 3-0 lead on Friday. At this point in the game, the score was Fernando Tatis Jr. three and the Washington Nationals zero.
Matt Wisler, the man with an awesome slider, was roughed up a bit as he allowed three runs to score in the seventh, giving up four hits in the inning. The last was a bloop single off the bat of Trea Turner that just fell in front of a diving Wil Myers to plate two runs with two men out. Myers dove and stretched out for the ball, just missing it in shallow center. The game was now tied at three as we headed into the last few innings of the contest. Andy Green said after the game that Wisler allowed a lot of weak contact on Friday and that he was not concerned about the pitchers outing.
— San Diego Padres (@Padres) June 8, 2019
A rough ninth inning by Adam Warren gave the Nats a 4-3 lead headed into the bottom of the ninth.
It would take a Padres’ walk-off to pull out the victory, and that is exactly what the fans got. Manny Machado struck out to begin the inning off of closer Sean Doolittle. Eric Hosmer then promptly tripled to right centerfield which energized the home crowd. That brought up Franmil Reyes with a chance to end the game. Reyes fell behind 0-2 and chased a high fastball to strike out. He was clearly frustrated, breaking his bat on the ground as he stormed away from the plate.
Josh Naylor was next, and the rookie singled up the middle on the first pitch he saw. Naylor said after the game he was looking for a fastball from Doolittle. He also indicated to the media that he choked up a bit on the bat, which is quite refreshing. The game was now tied with two outs, and the Padres had once again shown great heart on the baseball field.
Naylor stole second base on the first pitch to Austin Hedges, and that set up the Padres for the win. Naylor said after the game that Doolittle does not throw over to first and he is slow to the plate. He had all the confidence in the world he would make it. In his first career walk-off hit, Austin Hedges singled to left scoring a sliding Naylor, and the Padres walked-off against the Nationals 5-4 to the cheers of a roaring crowd.
Next up is Max Scherzer on Saturday night, which is sure to be a tough contest.
7:10 game time at Petco Park.