Wil Myers, 1B, Padres
What’s up: September baseball works in strange and mysterious ways. Remember when Milwaukee’s Tony Gwynn Jr. hit a ninth-inning, two-out triple off San Diego closer Trevor Hoffman in the penultimate game of the 2007 regular season? Gwynn’s hit helped the Rockies sneak into a tiebreaker game against the Padres and eventually advance to the World Series. The point is, even teams that are out of the hunt can ruin opposing teams’ postseason plans. Which brings us to Myers and this year’s Padres team. Counting this weekend, seven of the Rockies’ final 15 games are against San Diego.
Background: It has not been a great season for Myers, whose sizzling performance last June landed him in the 2016 All-star Game. He entered this weekend batting just .244 with a .327 on-base percentage, but he had smacked 27 homers and driven in 70 runs, making him the Padres’ most dangerous hitter. Arizona discovered that last Saturday when Myers hit two home runs and helped the Padres overcome a sixrun deficit and beat the Diamondbacks 8-7. Myers’ batting average dipped to .231 on Sept. 1, but he’s heating up as the season winds down.
Saunders’ take: Myers traditionally haunts the Rockies. Entering Friday, he had played 45 games against them, batting .328 with 11 homers, 36 RBIS and a 1.017 OPS (on-base percentage, plus slugging). In 22 games at Coors Field, Myers has batted .353 with seven homers and 20 RBIS. Like the Diamondbacks’ Paul Goldschmidt, Atlanta’s Freedie Freeman and other slugging first baseman, Myers is capable of turning a game upside down. San Diego’s .233 team batting average is by far the lowest in the National League, and its 172 homers rank 11th. On paper, the Rockies should handle the Padres, but September games are not played on paper.