Jonathan Lucroy had never hit cleanup before being penciled in there against the Twins and Jason Marquis on Sunday. The Brewers might want to leave him there for a while.
Lucroy hit his third and fourth homers of the season and drove in a career-high seven runs as part of a 16-4 rout of Minnesota. His grand slam in the seventh was the first of his career.
The big game gave Lucroy the pretty remarkable total of 27 RBI in 37 games this season. He drove in a total of 26 runs in 75 games as a rookie in 2010, and he finished with 59 RBI in 136 games last year.
It also means two of the four seven-RBI days by major leaguers this season have come from National League catchers. Philadelphia’s Carlos Ruiz also knocked in seven runs against the Braves on May 2. Carlos Beltran and Josh Hamilton (eight RBI on his four-homer day) have also had seven-RBI games.
The Padres fired manager Andy Green on Saturday, per an official team release. Bench coach Rod Barajas will step into the position for the remaining eight games of the 2019 season.
Executive Vice President and GM A.J. Preller gave a statement in the wake of Green’s dismissal:
I want to thank Andy for his tireless work and dedication to the Padres over the last four seasons. This was an incredibly difficult decision, but one we felt was necessary at this time to take our organization to the next level and expedite the process of bringing a championship to San Diego. Our search for a new manager will begin immediately.
In additional comments made to reporters, Preller added that the decision had not been made based on the Padres’ current win-loss record (a fourth-place 69-85 in the NL West), but rather on the lack of response coming from the team.
“Looking at the performance, looking at it from an improvement standing, we haven’t seen the team respond in the last few months,” Preller said. “When you get to the point where you’re questioning where things are headed … we have to make that call.”
Since his hiring in October 2015, Green has faced considerable challenges on the Padres’ long and winding path to postseason contention. He shepherded San Diego through four consecutive losing seasons, drawing a career 274-366 record as the club extended their streak to 13 seasons without a playoff appearance. And, despite some definite strides in the right direction — including an eight-year, $144 million pact with Eric Hosmer, a 10-year, $300 million pact with superstar Manny Machado, and the development of top prospect Fernando Tatís Jr. — lingering injuries and inexplicable slumps from key players stalled the rebuild longer than the Padres would have liked.
For now, they’ll prepare to roll the dice with a new skipper in 2020, though any potential candidates have yet to be identified for the role. It won’t come cheap, either, as Green inked a four-year extension back in 2017 — one that should have seen him through the team’s 2021 campaign.