The San Diego Padres nearly hit rock bottom Saturday night. Instead, they rallied for arguably their most dramatic -- and certainly their most important -- win of the 20211 season. Phillies righty Aaron Nola retired the first 18 batters he faced Saturday and was still on the mound trying to protect a 3-1 lead in the ninth inning.
With his team down to its final out, Padres do-it-all guy Jake Cronenworth crushed a dramatic game-tying, two-run home run to center field on Nola's career-high 117th pitch.
Cronenworth is the fourth Padres player with a game-tying multi-run homer in the ninth inning this season, joining Fernando Tatis Jr. (three-run homer vs. Astros on May 29), Eric Hosmer (two-run homer vs. Reds on June 17) and Trent Grisham (three-run homer vs. Rockies on Aug. 16).
The Padres walked off with the win in the 10th inning on Connor Brogdon's wild pitch (SD 4, PHI 3 in 10 innings). Brogdon spiked a changeup in front of Phillies catcher Andrew Knapp, who had little chance to block it. The win snapped San Diego's four-game losing streak and is only its second win in its past 10 games.
Earlier on Saturday the Reds beat the Marlins (CIN 7, MIA 4), so the Padres and Reds remain tied for the second National League wild card spot. As recently as 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 postseason spot every day since June 17.
Based on opponent's winning percentage, the Reds have the second easiest remaining schedule in the National League. The Padres have the toughest. San Diego still has 10 games remaining with the Giants and nine with the Dodgers. The Reds have only 14 games remaining against teams with a winning record.