There’s a reason to the speculation that Bruce Bochy could be the San Diego Padres’ manager in the future. For a team that entered the season with World Series aspirations, current manager Jayce Tingler has come up short.
That’s certainly how Giants fans felt Wednesday night, too.
As the Giants downed the Arizona Diamondbacks 1-0 at Oracle Park, it looked like the Padres were about to do them a favor and beat the Los Angeles Dodgers on the road. Instead, the Dodgers pulled off a wild 11-9 comeback win.
The Padres scored three runs in the top of the seventh inning, giving them a 9-5 lead as the Giants game came to an end. It all went downhill after that.
The Dodgers responded with one run in the bottom of the seventh, but it was the eighth inning where disaster struck for the Padres and Giants. Reliever Emilio Pagan replaced Daniel Hudson and immediately gave up back-to-back home runs to Max Muncy and AJ Pollock, to make the score 9-8.
He then got Chris Taylor to pop out before giving up his third homer of the inning, this time off the bat of Cody Bellinger.
And still, Pagan remained in the game with score now tied 9-9.
Following Bellinger’s blast, Justin Turner entered the game as a pinch-hitter for pitcher David Price. Turner doubled, and that finally was enough for Tingler. Pagan was replaced by Nabil Crismatt, who gave up a two-run homer to Corey Seager two batters later, giving the Dodgers their fourth homer of the inning for an 11-9 lead.
“We’re a little bit limited just with where guys are at right now,” Tingler said to the media after the loss. “But as far as Pagan, obviously he hadn’t been throwing the ball to his capability. I was thinking he’s somewhat fresh and look, nobody feels worse about it than EP. He’s been an absolute warrior for us all year both on the mound and he’s one of the leaders down in the bullpen, and I’ve got a ton of confidence in him — I do.
“It was just one of those nights, and I know he’s been prone to the long ball as of late. But with some guys down, I felt good. I felt good with the four-run lead with Hudson and Pagan and going from there. I know with Pagan not quite having the hop up top with the fastball, not getting the sharpness on the cutter and the slider, but he’s gonna battle and give you everything he’s got.”
Pagan entered Wednesday with an 11.74 ERA in September. Opposing batters already were hitting .313 off him, and he already had allowed four home runs in 7 2/3 innings.
His previous appearance against the Dodgers this month ended after recording just two outs. He allowed three hits and three earned runs on a Turner three-run shot at Dodger Stadium on Sept. 12 in an 8-0 loss.
The Dodgers’ win kept the Giants’ magic number at three as they hold a two-game lead over the Dodgers in the NL West with four games to go.