What a trip.
There was a game that set records and another that included a few minutes of intense fear. There was rain and then more rain. For some, there was an All-Star Game at the start.
“Almost over,” closer Mark Melancon, one of the four Padres who left San Diego the night of July 11 to participate in the All-Star Game, said before the Padres played Sunday afternoon. “Been a long one.”
In the end, it was a disappointing one for the team. At least the way it ended.
The Padres were routed 9-3 by the Marlins at loanDepot park, their second loss in a row after winning the first two here.
“We wanted this one, wanted it bad to finish off a good road trip,” manager Jayce Tingler said. “Especially after having the first two here, it’s frustrating.”
They finished 5-4 on the trek that began July 16 in Washington and also took them to Atlanta.
On Sunday, Yu Darvish did not pitch all that effectively, reliever Austin Adams had an inning unlike any he had in the past three months and the Padres didn’t run the bases very smartly.
They also didn’t get much going against seven Marlins pitchers, managing five hits and nine total baserunners. They had two hits in their final 19 at-bats, including Brian O’Grady’s two-out home run in the ninth.
In the four games here, they hit .190 and scored a total of five runs after the third inning.
If there was any emotion stronger than the disappointment of letting two games against a last-place team slip away, it was relief at getting on a plane that was headed to San Diego with an off day upcoming.
The Padres talked before the All-Star break, during the break and after it about this trip being an ending of sorts. Before a new, refreshing beginning without as much time on planes or at the ballpark.
“It’s definitely going to be nice to catch a break,” right fielder Wil Myers said this weekend. “These last two road trips were pretty tough with weather and travel and this other crap, too. It’s definitely going to be good to get some days off, get some rest and not (be) feeling like you’re waking up, going to the field and then doing it all over again.”
That’s what every season feels like at times. But the Padres play longer games, on average, than any team in the major leagues. And that’s without the rain that has followed them lately.
This trip began with them playing the longest nine-inning game in franchise history. They scored a team-record 24 runs in the four-hour, 15-minute contest in Washington.
The next night was the first of the trip’s two suspended games. The first, stopped when there was a shooting just outside Nationals Park on July 17, was made up the next day before the regularly scheduled game was played. The other, a makeup of Monday’s rainout in Atlanta, was started Wednesday as the second game of a doubleheader but not finished because of more rain.
“It’s going to be really beneficial travel-wise,” first baseman Eric Hosmer said. “Especially for the final stretch, the pennant race, to have some of the off days.”
They have played more games than any other team. Now, they have almost as many days off the final 70 days of the season (11) as they did the first 116 days of the season (13).
Sunday’s game was their final one in the Eastern Time Zone — unless they return in the playoffs. This was the fourth trip to the East. The last two featured seven rain delays.
They got all four in without incident at loanDepot park, which has a retractable roof.
The Padres were the only thing that couldn’t finish here.
They won the first two games of the series despite large gaps in which they didn’t hit very much and didn’t score at all. They took a 2-0 lead Saturday with home runs in the first and third and lost 3-2 after going hitless in their final 17 at-bats.
After going 22-for-44 with runners in scoring position in three games in Washington at the start of the trip, the Padres went 4-for-38 in the final six games.
They took a 1-0 lead Sunday largely thanks to a runner alertly taking a second extra base, lost a chance at another run when a runner blew through a stop sign and was throw out at home and had another runner picked off trying to steal second base.
That was all in the first three innings. Later, with runners at first and second and the Padres down 4-2, Fernando Tatis Jr. ran into the second out of the sixth inning when he was picked off trying to steal third base.
The lead was earned in the first inning when Tommy Pham hit a slow chopper to third base and was safe when first baseman Jesus Aguilar could not handle the throw. Pham easily took second base as the ball sailed to the side wall. And when Aguilar failed to call timeout and just held the ball near the wall, Pham took off for third and slid in safely.
With the infield in, Hosmer’s grounder went through the right side for an RBI single.
Jurickson Profar followed with a double to right-center field that had third base coach Bobby Dickerson waving Hosmer around — until Hosmer stepped on third and Dickerson held up his hands as the relay throw got to shortstop Deven Marrero. But Hosmer kept running, and Marrero threw him out by several feet.
“Hos saw we were going to try to score and hit the base and then Bobby slammed on the brakes,” Tingler said. “Hos was in score mode at that point.”
Trent Grisham was hit by a pitch leading off the second inning but was caught in a rundown as he took off for second.
In the bottom of the inning, Marrero sent a high slider in the top of the zone the other way and over the wall in right field to tie the game.
Manny Machado led off the fourth inning with a line drive home run that just cleared the wall in straightaway center to put the Padres back ahead 2-1.
With two outs in the bottom of the fourth, the Marlins tied the game when Darvish again missed his location and sent a slider high that Brian Anderson launched for another opposite field homer to right, just over the wall and just inside the foul pole.
Things got away from Darvish in the fifth, as he yielded a one-out single to Marrero, the No. 8 hitter, and with two outs gave up an RBI double to Magneuris Sierra and RBI single to Starling Marte.
He was relieved by Adams to start the sixth. The right-hander, who had allowed just two earned runs (and six in all) over 31 2/3 innings in his previous 40 appearances, walked the first two batters he faced and was replaced three batters later having recorded one out and given up two runs. The first batter Nabil Crismatt faced, Lewis Brinson, hit a three-run homer, with two more of those runs charged to Adams. His ERA, which was 1.60 when he arrived in Miami and 1.82 at the start of Sunday’s game, rose to 2.83.
“We’ve got be got be a little cleaner, a little tighter,” Tingler said. “All areas. … Couldn’t get the bats going, probably a little too aggressive on the bases trying to make things happen. We weren’t clean enough. … We just didn’t play good enough today. I don’t know about fatigue. It was a 10-day road trip, but we’re coming off the All-Star break. I do think the off day is well-needed. We’ve got to get charged back up and be ready to play well at home.”
1:53 p.m. July 25, 2021: This article was updated with postgame quotes.