The San Diego Union-Tribune, a prominent local media outlet in San Diego, shared a funny story from the day before. The Padres had won 6-2 against Miami at Petco Park on April 22. Kim Ha-seong, 28, was at the center of it all.
Once again, Kim led off the day with a double in the first inning. It was a crucial double to revitalize the team’s mood after dropping a crucial doubleheader to Arizona on April 20. He then stole second, moved to third and scored on Machado’s sacrifice fly. It was a high-energy play that set the tone at Petco Park. San Diego’s offense was starting to come alive.
In his second at-bat of the inning, he hit his first major league home run, a grand slam, to put the game out of reach. It was a blast worthy of his bobblehead giveaway series. He also made history as the first player in San Diego franchise history to hit a home run, a double, and a stolen base in the same game.
The Dodgers snapped a three-game losing streak and took a breather, thanks in large part to Kim’s big game and a strong outing from starter Michael Wacha. It was also important for them to catch Miami, which was ahead of them in the National League Wild Card race.
An hour after the game, a Miami player appeared in the hallway leading to the San Diego clubhouse, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune. Because of the size of major league stadiums, the distance between home and away clubhouses is usually quite large. Like dugout locations, they are end-to-end. It’s rare for an away player to appear in the home hallway unless there’s a special event.
The San Diego Union-Tribune described him as “loudly and with fake anger greeting Kim in the hallway at Petco Park”. The Miami player in this situation was Ryan Weathers, 24, but Kim had a reason not to like the fake outrage. There was a story. It was a visit from Weathers’ family, a reunion with old teammates.
Weathers was once a highly touted prospect for the San Diego Padres. In high school, he had a reputation as one of the best pitchers in the country. He was a big-bodied, left-handed pitcher with a fastball and good hand feel.
Weathers began his professional career as a first-round (seventh overall) pick of San Diego in the 2018 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. It was a prized top pick after the humiliation of a last-place season, and San Diego pampered Weathers with it. After a steady progression through the minor leagues, Weathers was hailed as an “instant powerhouse” and made his dream major league debut in 2021. He was 22 years old. He debuted earlier than his peers.
San Diego saw him as the future of their starting staff. They thought he had the potential to be a complete starter. His slider, which averaged 94 mph, paired with his hard fastball, was a definite plus, and he went on to pitch 94⅔ innings in 30 games (18 starts) in 2021. For a rookie season, that was plenty of work. With a 4-7 record and a 5.32 ERA, you could take comfort in the fact that it was a tax on a better future.
But it didn’t go much further than that. In 2022, he appeared in just one game. It wasn’t that he had any major injuries, but he just didn’t have the stuff to make it in the majors. More than anything, his command was too shaky. San Diego, playing for a district championship, was not a team that could afford to wait for Weathers to get his pitches in the zone. After a year of adjustments in the minors, the problem was not resolved this year.
We gave him a spot with high hopes, but it didn’t work out, and he ended up being traded. Determined to see out the season without becoming a “seller” in the trade market, San Diego traded Weathers to Miami just before the deadline. The prized prospect was no longer needed, but Garrett Cooper was more urgently needed at first base, a position where offensive production was lacking. Miami acquired Weathers to bolster their already acclaimed young starting rotation.
Weathers, who has been working his way through the starting rotation since the trade, faced his hometown team and former teammates at Petco Park, a place where nostalgia still reigns supreme. While many fans welcomed him with a rousing ovation, he did not fare well. In 3⅓ innings, he gave up five runs on five hits (one home run) with five walks and four strikeouts. He gave up three consecutive walks before giving up a grand slam to Kim Ha-seong.
Speaking to local media after the game, Weathers said, “It was a lot of nerves, a lot of unfamiliarity. It’s been 20 days, three weeks since I was traded. Today was an emotional day. It was a weird start. I was drafted when I was 18, I played here for two and a half years, and I’ve been in the organization for six years. It wasn’t easy to hide my emotions today,” he admitted.
Eventually, the nerves got the better of him and he gave up a walk and a single to Kim Ha-seong. In fact, the home run wasn’t even a mistake. It was a 96.6-mph (155.4-kilometer) fastball up and away in a favorable 2S count. It was a commendable pitch, but Kim’s swing turned sharply, and before he could dig in further, he pulled the ball out and over the left field fence.
“I would have liked to have been a little more aggressive,” Weathers said. If I hadn’t walked three guys, it would have been a solo home run instead of four runs.” “I pitched to my spots. He (Kim) is a good player. He took a good swing.” 먹튀검증
Although Weathers and Kim are different ages, they both made their team debuts in 2021. So there is a connection. The San Diego Union-Tribune also reported that “Weathers mentioned Ha-Sung Kim as one of his favorite players among his San Diego teammates.” That’s why he went to the hallway and gave him a “grumpy” look. I’m sure Kim had some words of encouragement for Weathers. The competition is fierce, but so is the friendship afterward.