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The San Diego Padres handed out the biggest contract in franchise history this winter, signing first baseman Eric Hosmer to an eight-year, $144 million deal.
Unfortunately, all of that money couldn’t buy them a win on Saturday night in Houston. Instead, it was Hosmer’s unfortunate mistake in the tenth inning that ended up costing them a chance to beat the World Series champion Astros two nights in a row.
With the game still scoreless, Houston’s Alex Bregman hit a high popup on the infield that appeared to be an easy final out in the inning. The usually sure-handed Hosmer was in the best position to make a play. However, it appears he never got a good read on the ball. As he charged in from first base, he actually overran it. By the time he realized his predicament, it was too late.
By the time the baseball ultimately dropped a few feet behind Hosmer, pinch-runner Derek Fisher had already raced around from second base with the only run in Houston’s 1-0 win.
It’s a brutal way to lose a game at any level, let alone the major league level. It’s a play that’s made with relative ease 99 times out of 100. There’s always that 100th time, but even most of those adventures end up in outs too. Unfortunately for Hosmer, it was a perfect storm that he couldn’t overcome.
As much as Saturday’s loss will sting, we’re sure the Padres won’t be upset with their new cornerstone. Hosmer’s off to a good start this season, hitting .314 with six doubles in the early going. That included three hits in Friday’s 4-1 win against Houston.
Hosmer’s doing his job, but with such little margin for error in San Diego, every mistake, big or little, threatens to be a game changer.
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