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Washington Nationals hammered in second-half opener, 24-8 San Diego Padres in D.C.

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This is not the start to the second-half the Nationals were looking for...

San Diego Padres v Washington Nationals Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images

Erick Fedde was out after 1 13 innings pitched in which he gave up three hits, four walks, and six earned runs. Jake Cronenworth completed the cycle with an infield single in the sixth, after doubling in the second, hitting two-out triple in the third, and a homer in the fifth, and it was 13-4 in the San Diego Padres after 4 12 innings with the Nationals in the nation’s capital, and 24-8 when this one ended. Yeah, baseball is back. Uh...yep. Let’s all hope tomorrow will be better.

Padres score 24 on 22 hits, go 12 for 23 with RISP, and nine left on base...

Fedde vs the Padres: After tossing 12 scoreless innings in his return to the rotation after close to a month off (mid-May to mid-June) following a positive test for COVID-19, Erick Fedde, who had another IL stint for an oblique tweak last month, struggled over a three-start stretch heading into the All-Star break, with a 9.45 ERA (14 ER in 13 1/3 IP) and a rough .361/.426/.607 line against in those outings.

Fedde’s bad run included a 4 1/3-inning outing in San Diego on the last road trip in which he gave up eight hits and six earned runs.

The Nats’ righty, 28, gave up eight hits, three walks, and three runs in five innings in his final start before the break, in a 3-1 loss to the San Francisco Giants on the road in Oracle Park.

Looking back on his first half of 2021 after that outing, Fedde said, “... overall I was really happy with it, probably up until this last couple starts. but I think that’s part of the season, your ups and downs, I think at this point I just got to take what I can from the first half and try to finish strong.”

His first start of the so-called “second-half” began with a leadoff walk, to Trent Grisham, but the lead runner was forced out on a grounder to short by Fernando Tatis, Jr., who beat out a throw to first on the relay to avoid the double play, then stole second, and took third base on an errant throw by new Nationals’ catcher René Rivera, before scoring on a slow roller to the left side off Manny Machado’s bat, 1-0.

Machado moved to second base on another infield single by Tommy Pham, and scored on a two-out grounder to left by Eric Hosmer, 2-0. A double steal, in an 0-2 count, with Wil Myers up with runners on the corners, allowed Pham to come home after Rivera threw to second, surprising Alcides Escobar, who was not on the bag, and whose throw home arrived late, 3-0.

Given a clean slate after Juan Soto hit a 3-run home run to right in the bottom of the first, 3-3, Fedde walked three batters around a sac bunt, loading the bases with Padres in the top of the second before manager Davey Martinez went to the bullpen...

Erick Fedde’s Line: 1.1 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 1 K, 57 P, 29 S, 2/0 GO/FO.

Paddack vs the Nationals: Padres’ starter Chris Paddack got knocked around when he went up against the Nationals in Petco Park last week, giving up nine hits and nine runs (8 ER) in a two-inning outing in what ended up a 15-5 loss for the home team in San Diego.

“I never slowed the game down,” Paddack said, as quoted by San Diego Union-Tribune writer Kevin Acee after that outing.

“That’s something we’ve been talking about over the past year-and-a-half. You have to be able to step off and slow the game down. Tonight, it kind of snowballed.”

Going up against the Nationals again tonight, in the nation’s capital this time, Paddack took the mound with a 3-0 lead, and gave it right back, with Alcides Escobar singling to lead off the bottom of the first, Trea Turner walking, and Juan Soto homering on a 3-1 fastball he hit out to right field for a game-tying blast, 3-3. Soto’s 12th this season.

Paddack settled in with scoreless innings in the second and third as the Padres built up a 12-3 lead, but Josh Harrison tripled to start the Nationals’ half of the fourth inning, and scored on a groundout by Jordy Mercer, to make it a 12-4 game after four innings in Nationals Park.

An 11-pitch, 1-2-3 fifth left Paddack at 80 pitches overall, and with the club up 19-4 after 5 12 the Padres went to the pen.

Chris Paddack’s Line: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 2 Ks, 80 P, 52 S, 8/1 GO/FO.

Soto HR/DP: Juan Soto, fresh off a nice showing in the HR Derby, hit his 12th home run of the season in the bottom of the first, tying things up at 3-3 with the three-run blast, but the second time up, he stepped in after a Trea Turner single in the third, and grounded into his 14th double play of the season, in his 80th game and 332nd plate appearance, after he grounded into 12 total in 197 games and 855 PAs between 2019-20. Soto homered for the second time in the game in the bottom of the sixth. So, there’s that...

Bullpen Action: Andres Machado inherited a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the second, after a brief, but rough outing for Erick Fedde, and Jake Cronenworth lined a 2-2 sinker to left field in the first at bat for the reliever, where Josh Harrison ran it down, but stumbled as he tried to field it, allowing two runs to score on what was ruled a double. With runners on second and third base, in a 5-3 game in the Padres’ favor. Manny Machado walked in the next at bat to load them back up, and Tommy Pham hit a grounder toward third on the next at bat, and baserunner interference on Cronenworth who got in Jordy Mercer’s way to the ball while running to third, was ruled out on the play, so no run scored. And Gameday broke for a couple innings. Eric Hosmer lined a single to right to drive in run No. 6, 6-3, and 10-3 when Wil Myers hits a grand slam off new pitcher Paolo Espino an at bat later. Also, Victor Robles left the game somewhere in there. I mean, who knows that’s going on, really...

Paolo Espino returned to the mound in the third, and walked Fernando Tatis, Jr. with two out, issuing the 6th walk of the game by Nats’ pitchers, and Tatis scored on a triple down the right field line off Jake Cronenworth’s bat, 11-3.

Tommy Pham and Eric Hosmer hit back-to-back doubles off Espino to start the fourth, 12-3 Padres.

Sam Clay took over on the mound for the Nationals in the fifth, and gave up a 2-out solo shot to right by Jake Cronenworth, 13-4.

Wander Suero gave up a solo home run to center by Tommy Pham in the first at bat of the Padres’ sixth, 14-4, and after a walk to Eric Hosmer, Wil Myers hit his second home run this evening, a two-run shot out to right field, 16-4.

Yadiel Hernández overran a fly to the line in left with a runner on base, leaving two runners in scoring position at second and third, and Tatis drove them both in with a single, 18-4.

Jake Cronenworth singled in the top of the sixth, adding to his RBI double in the second, two-out triple in the third, and home run in the fifth, to complete the cycle.

Congrats, Jake.

An RBI single by Tommy Pham later in the inning made it a 19-4 game.

Miguel Diaz gave up Juan Soto’s second home run of the game and 13th of the season on a 94 MPH 3-1 fastball that went out 427 feet to right. 19-5 Padres.

Diaz walked two in front of Gerardo Parra, who hit a 2-out, 3-run home run to right field get the Nationals within 11 runs, 19-8.

Ryne Harper came back out for more work in the top of the seventh, after he took over for Suero in the sixth, and worked his way around an ROE and a single for a scoreless frame.

Nabil Crismatt worked around a two-out single by Juan Soto (3 for 4, 2 HRs) in a scoreless bottom of the seventh.

Jefry Rodríguez gave up a two-out walk and back-to-back singles as the Padres added to their lead, 20-8, and Brian O’Grady drove in two more, 22-8, and 23-8 on a Trent Grisham RBI single.

Two one-out singles and a two-out walk loaded the bases with Nationals in the bottom of the eighth, but they left them loaded when Alcides Escobar grounded out to shortstop Ha-Seong Kim, who made a slick spinning play and toss to second for the force.

Jorge Mateo homered off Rodríguez in the top of the ninth, 24-8.

Juan Soto connected for his fourth hit of the night in the home-half of the ninth, but got thrown out trying to stretch it into a double.

That’s it. That’s all that happened. Why have you read this far? Really. Did you need to relive that marathon? Go watch a movie or something and we’ll memory-hole this one...

Final Score: 24-8 Padres

Nationals now 42-48