MIAMI — Final yr, there was the house run chain. This yr, it’s been the polaroids. On Wednesday afternoon in Miami, there was a brand new addition to the Padres’ house run celebration: a big black panther statue.
The statue, which has lived within the Padres’ clubhouse and been taken care of on highway journeys by its “handler,” reliever Robert Suarez, made its first look within the dugout throughout San Diego’s 10-3 victory at loanDepot park.
“I do not even know the place it got here from, it simply confirmed up someday,” stated Jake Cronenworth, who hit a grand slam within the first inning to provide the Padres a lead they by no means relinquished. After the slam, the second of Cronenworth’s profession, he posed with the large cat for his house run polaroid.
“We have been attempting to deliver a brand new spark within the clubhouse, and Feisty Tom appeared to have a bit little bit of that in him,” stated beginning pitcher Mike Clevinger, who allowed three runs on six hits and 4 walks over 4 1/3 innings.
It was Sean Manaea who dubbed the panther Feisty Tom, and it was probably Manaea (in accordance with Cronenworth) who was chargeable for Tom being within the dugout for Wednesday’s matinee.
Manaea denied that he had something to do with Tom’s look.
“No no, not me,” he stated. “He simply confirmed up [in the dugout] truthfully. I walked on the market [today] and he was on the market, I used to be like, ‘Feisty Tom, what’s up?’ That is his title, at the very least that is what I maintain calling him.
“First title that got here to my head. Normally, that is how I title issues, you realize, comes from the center. [Cats, they] wish to be secretive at occasions, and at the moment he simply needed to odor the recent Miami air.”
Wednesday was a becoming time for the large cat and potential spark plug to make an look. Cronenworth’s slam marked the primary lead the Padres had held over the Marlins within the three-game collection and was the spotlight of an inning crammed with the offensive prowess seemingly absent from the primary two video games of the set.
It began with back-to-back singles from Juan Soto — who prolonged his on-base streak to 22 video games — and Manny Machado, who had his eighth multi-hit sport in a row. Then Josh Bell gave a masterclass in endurance, loading the bases after he fouled off a fastball on a 3-2 depend, then took a excessive four-seamer for the two-out stroll. Then, the Crone Zone.
“[The early lead] proved to be value it at the moment for certain,” Clevinger stated. “However yeah, it all the time provides you a bit peace of thoughts, helps you to sort of attempt to assault the zone a bit bit extra. I used to be simply having a bit little bit of challenge discovering the zone at the moment.”
Clevinger’s points discovering the zone — which account for the righty recording only one strikeout on the night time — didn’t matter a lot due to the lead Crone handed him earlier than he even took the mound. Plus, Clevinger had some assist from the bullpen.
Adrian Morejon struck out a pair after loading the bases with a hit-by-pitch when he entered within the fifth. 4 relievers (together with Morejon) mixed for 4 2/3 shutout innings, and allowed only one hit, which got here within the seventh vs. Suarez.
Suarez allowed a leadoff single to Jon Berti earlier than hanging out a pair and inducing a groundout to get out of the seventh unscathed. That was the Marlins’ solely try at a rally, and it was squashed as shortly because it began.
The Padres weren’t quieted so simply, stringing collectively hits and walks within the prime of the ninth following a leadoff double from Bell, who entered the sport 0-for-his-past-23. A number of batters later, and with the bases loaded, Ha-Seong Kim hit a bases-clearing double.
“All these issues [especially walks] ended up perhaps not being the sexiest factor within the field rating, however ended up offering us higher at-bats and extra manufacturing after that,” supervisor Bob Melvin stated.
When requested in regards to the massive cat he’s chargeable for, Suarez stated that had no concept the way it received into the dugout or the place it got here from.
“I do not actually consider in luck,” Suarez stated through an interpreter. “However you realize, if the opposite guys suppose it brings us good luck, then I’ll ensure that to care for it.”
“Feisty Tom comes on board and simply, you realize, it is a good presence within the dugout,” Manaea stated, although he wouldn’t decide up the panther for an image when requested by a reporter.
“I don’t actually mess with massive cats like that.”