Last night Eric Stults hit a three-run homer to give the Padres an early lead. The lead didn’t last, as seemingly per usual, but the Padres did rally to win, which is not been the norm in 2013 and was a welcome change. Stults’ HR prompted a question – when was the last time a San Diego pitcher hit a 3-run jack? Thank goodness for Baseball Reference. Prior to Stults’ epic blast, five Padre pitchers had knocked in three with one swing. Two had ties to last night.
- Sean Bergman vs Reds, 6-12-96, third inning. This gave the Padres a 3-2 lead in a game they’d eventually lose 9-4.
- Calvin Schiraldi at Dodgers, 9-23-89, fourth inning. He hit this one off Fernando Valenzuela. Schiraldi, better known for his Game 6 pitching while with the Red Sox three years before, toiled for the Padres in 1990 as well before being released just prior to the start of the 1991 season.
Schiraldi got the win, Bergman did not figure in the decision. Bryce Florie took the loss in 1996. Rest of the list after the jump.
- Fernando at Pittsburgh, 6-17-95, third inning. Funny that Valenzuela appears as a victor and a victim on this list. His blast was part of an 8-run inning that gave San Diego an 11-0 lead. They’d hang on to win 11-8. Florie got the win this time.
- Tim Lollar vs Giants, 9-20-84, second inning. Lollar took current Giants broadcaster Mike Krukow over the wall to cap a 5-run inning. San Diego held on to win 5-4.
- Tim Lollar vs Cardinals, 4-11-84, second inning. Man I wish I’d been able to see Lollar hit; I may do a post about him in the future. In limited research he appears to be the best hitting pitcher San Diego’s ever employed. His HR on this day started a 5-run inning later capped by a Graig Nettles 2-run shot. Padres went on to win 7-5 and started that season winning 6 of their first 7. A Padres team with early-season success. I’ve almost forgotten what that looks like.
- Dave Roberts (no, not that one) at Cincinnati, 7-9-70, second inning. Dave came up in mid-1969 to the expansion Padres. On this July night, his round-tripper started the 5-run uprising that gave the Padres a 6-1 lead. They eventually led 9-1 but the Reds tied it with six runs in the eighth inning. San Diego scored the winning run in the top of the 10th inning on a Steve Huntz sac fly. Roberts and stayed with the club through the 1971 season, and was traded to Houston over that winner. He pitched in the Majors until 1981. He passed away in 2009.
The Padres have won all but 1 of the games in which their starting pitcher hit a 3-R HR. None of those wins came easy; they included the opponent storming back to make it a game again. In that respect last night’s game matched the pattern exactly. Nice to see the Padres pull out the win, even if the winning margin scored without benefit of a hit (sac fly/bases loaded walk/double play).
Running the numbers is fun. So is reviewing and learning the Padres history. Have a memory of any of these games? Feel free to share it in the comments or with me @Padres_Trail.