HomeMLBAustin Nola logs 4-hit sport in Padres' win

Austin Nola logs 4-hit sport in Padres’ win

OAKLAND – Austin Nola’s first full season with the Padres did not go as planned as he suffered injuries that have limited him to a handful of appearances. So the last few days have been a significant step forward.

Nola was at the center of San Diego’s 8-1 win over the A’s on Tuesday, scoring a total of four hits, two RBIs and one run on his best offensive night of the season.

“I felt good,” said Nola, who was not in the line-up for the series finale at the Colosseum on Wednesday. “Just getting more at-bats and trying to get a good view of the field, see it the best you can and get a good swing in a good place in the zone, and give my teammates a good at-bat. That’s what they do. “

Tuesday was only the second four-hit game in Nola’s career. With the backstop now on a five-game winning streak, Nola is headed in the right direction, a great sign of how this season has been going so far.

In mid-March, Nola suffered a broken middle finger on his left hand due to a foul tip. He missed the first 25 games of the season and didn’t make his debut until April 28. Less than a month later, Nola hit the injured list on May 28 with a sprained left knee that resulted in him missing out on all of June and most of July. The injuries left Nola, who acquired San Diego in a deal with top 100 contender Taylor Trammell last season, frustrated.

Nola’s fate has turned in the last few weeks. Since his return from the injured list, Nola .364 / .400 / .455 has made over 25 record appearances and at the same time ensures a constant presence behind the record.

“Had some big hits for us and is still catching very well behind the plate,” said manager Jayce Tingler. “The way he receives and the game calls. The way he gets back there. Many positive aspects with his growth and only with his health. Many positive steps in the right direction.”

Also this season, in the limited time, Nola has proven how valuable he is to San Diego’s championship aspirations. In 25 games, Nola has .265 / .381 / .368 with a 113 wRC + this season with a Defensive Run Saved, numbers that are all the more encouraging since he had no playing time.

Nola was supposed to provide San Diego with much-needed production behind the plate. Without him in the line-up, the San Diego catchers have a combined fWAR of -0.9.

Victor Caratini, who was the starting catcher of the Padres in Nola’s absence, has experienced a drastic drop in production with the increased workload.

A career high of 586 1/3 innings behind the plate (Caratini’s previous season high was 426 innings), he was worth -8 Defensive Runs Saved, ranking in the 21st percentile of Friday’s framing. These numbers are shocking as he was a positive defender with the Cubs, but not too surprising considering how much extra responsibility he’s taken on.

With Nola back in the group, not only is San Diego getting his starter back, but Caratini has a chance to rest more, which could make him more effective when he steps on the field.

The Padres’ quest to consistently work at full speed took another detour when Fernando Tatis Jr. landed on Saturday’s injured list, but with Nola back and producing, San Diego is just a little bit closer to being the most complete team that is possible.

Fighting OFs have big games

The past few weeks have not been friendly to either Tommy Pham or Trent Grisham, both of whom were in cold spells. Tuesday night, however, was a step in the right direction for both struggling outfielders.

Both had two hits, two RBI nights, with Pham starting the team’s eight-run game with a lead-off homer ahead of A-starter Sean Manaea. Grisham didn’t clear the fences, but the National League Gold Glove Award midfielder made one of the best defensive games of his career, diving in to rob Elvis Andrus of extra bases. With a catch probability of only 25 percent, Grisham’s dive grave was a five-star catch.

“That ball that he ran down the center right was one of the better games I’ve seen and that says a lot,” said Tingler.

As of July 20, Grisham and Pham have been a combined 11-for-85 (0.129 batting average) on Wednesday, slumps that coincided with San Diego’s low attacking numbers in recent weeks.


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