The bullpen door opened. Yet another soggy Padres reliever trotted from the left-center-field warning track to the Yankee Stadium mound. This time, it was Craig Stammen, the sixth San Diego pitcher in a stretch of eight batters.
The skies had opened. The Yankees’ offense had come to life. A once-sleepy ballpark turned electric. Had Stammen wilted, the Padres would’ve had any number of reasons to excuse their late-inning meltdown on a rainy night in the Bronx.
No excuses necessary. Maybe the 2019 Padres really are different. Somehow, they held on for an extremely tense 5-4 victory in New York.