Jake Cronenworth hits dramatic homerun in ninth inning, Padres win on wild ground to stay in wild card position
The San Diego Padres almost hit rock bottom on Saturday night. Instead, they rallied for arguably their most spectacular – and certainly the most important – victory of the 20211 season.
Phillies right-hander Aaron Nola struck out the first 18 batters he faced on Saturday and was still on the mound trying to secure a 3-1 lead in the ninth inning. With his team in his last game, Padres handyman Jake Cronenworth crushed a spectacular two-run home run tying the game down center on Nola’s career-high 117th pitch.
Cronenworth is the Padres’ fourth player with a multi-run homerun tying the game in the ninth inning this season, joining Fernando Tatis Jr. (three-point round against Astros on May 29), Eric Hosmer (two-point round against the Reds on May 29). June 17) and Trent Grisham (a three-run homerun against the Rockies on August 16).
The Padres won the 10th round on the wild terrain of Connor Brogdon (SD 4, PHI 3 in 10 innings). Brogdon spiked a change in front of Phillies wide receiver Andrew Knapp, who was unlikely to block him. The victory ended San Diego’s four-game losing streak and is just their second victory in their last 10 games.
Earlier on Saturday, the Reds beat the Marlins (CIN 7, MIA 4), so the Padres and Reds remain tied for second place in the National League wild card. Just 10 days ago, the Padres had a 4 1/2 game lead over the Reds in the standings. San Diego has held at least a share of a playoff berth every day since June 17.
Based on the opponent’s winning percentage, the Reds have the second easiest remaining schedule in the National League. The Padres have the toughest. San Diego has 10 more games to play with the Giants and nine with the Dodgers. The Reds have just 14 games left against teams with record wins.