Tommy Pham is doing everything in his power to keep the San Diego Padres in contention.
Over his last 10 games, Pham has affected the boxscore in every way possible. Not only is he hitting .375 (15-40) while scoring 10 runs and knocking in 3 runs and hitting a couple of homers. He’s also coaxed 4 walks and even swiped 2 bags.
He’s definitely in a soul brother show-glow-groove.
But like all quality ballplayers, Tommy knows he can do more.
Tommy Pham gave the Padres a 1-0 lead with this 1st inning homer:
“The only thing missing from my game is the consistency with the power,” he told the San Diego Union-Tribune. “I’m still working on it. Power comes in bunches. But also, there is a consistency element to it as well. I always feel I want to leave a series with one or two extra-base hits.”
While Pham has only hit 6 home runs so far, his recent offensive explosion hit the breaks on an early-season skid that had him looking like a shell of himself.
“Everyone has a bad 150 at-bats, mine just happened in April. So now I’ve got to do everything I can to make everything level out. It’s a frustrating game. You can do everything right and still not reap the benefits of it.”
This offseason, that last sentence almost came to fruition for Pham in the worst way possible. According to San Diego Police, eyewitness reports say Pham was attacked after asking two strangers involved in an argument near his car to move.
The stab wound was not life-threatening, but lately, fans have made it difficult to put the incident behind him. Pham has noticed an increase in fan rowdiness and has even had his offseason assault used to taunt him.
“Fans have been very disrespectful this year,” Pham said. “I need to talk to the MLB. The vulgarity this year, the gestures, I’ve never seen it at this level. I want to know if this is just because fans have been gone for a year and now they’re back and acting a certain way. That (stuff) shouldn’t be tolerated.”
Pham makes a great point mentioning the fact fans have been away from the ballpark, and recent incidents across sports have seen fans acting out in an unusually bold manner. But while the hiatus may have indeed fueled what’s happening, we cannon write this off as typical “fan behavior”.
Still, the negative doesn’t stop Pham from contributing to everything that makes the sport of baseball great for the community.
Marcus Semien was a man possessed throughout the entire month of May. He was in a zone that landed him the American League Player of the Month award after leading all of baseball in hits, OBP, and WAR.
That earns him the top spot on Week 9 of our #High Five list.
1. Marcus Semien
Semien made a strong case to be the American League starter at 2nd base in next month’s Summer Classic All-Star Game in Denver. He launched eight home runs, tied for 3rd in the league with 23 runs scored, and led all of baseball with 42 hits, a 1.130 OPS. and a 2.3 WAR.
He made sure to close out the month on a high note by hitting .417 with seven runs and six walks in his last seven games. He even extended his hit streak to 10 games after recording a hit and two runs in Wednesday’s game against Jazz Chisholm and the Miami Marlins.
The Blue Jays are migrating out of Florida and have begun playing games in Buffalo; bringing them a little closer to the Toronto faithful. Semien will look to keep the party going a little higher up on the east coast.
2. Billy Hamilton
Billy Hamilton has helped bring some much-needed sauce and energy to the South Side of Chicago. Injuries have riddled their outfield yet Hamilton’s play has been exemplary and a key reason why Chicago is holding fort atop the American League Central.
Hamilton is known for being one of the greatest base stealers of our generation but flexed his power this past weekend by hitting his first two home runs of the season in back-to-back games against Cedric Mullins and the Baltimore Orioles. He’s come a long way since his minor-league base saga.
Tuesday Hamilton gave us one of the most exciting plays of the year when he hit a little league home run against the Indians. It was ultimately scored a double with a few errors, but at the end of the day, he made it around the bases with one swing.
He crushed a ball to the right center field wall and dashed around the bases. After a throw to the catcher was misplayed, Billy charged into home plate and scored after diving headfirst. He earned a bloody lip and swollen face for his efforts but he needed every ounce of speed in order to get in safely.
Hamilton and MLBbro teammate Tim Anderson will lead the White as they look to dominate the Tigers during their upcoming weekend series at home.
3. Taijuan Walker Mets
Taijuan Walker ranks 4th in MLB with a .184 ERA. He’s surrendered just one run in his last 22 innings entering Thursday night against San Diego and MLBbros Trent Grisham and Tommy Pham. Fly Tai has been a consistent force almost every time out, allowing just 10 runs in 49 innings entering Thursday. If the Mets said they knew they were getting a potential Cy Young candidate when they picked up Walker to be a solid piece in the rotation, they’d be lying.
But that’s exactly how the melanated mound marauder is dealing.
4. Tommy Pham
Speaking of Tommy Pham, after a slow start he’s really found a groove and his veteran presence has been a big part in the San Diego Padres fight for the National League West crown early on this year.
In his last seven games, Pham’s recorded nine hits and four RBI while posting a .321 batting average.
Last Saturday night he went 2 for 4 with two walks, a home run, two RBI, two runs scored, and got to take home the biggest gold chain in baseball, the Padres swag chain which is earned after players go deep.
5. Cedric Mullins
The Baltimore center fielder has been one of the most consistent players in baseball through the first two months. He has hits in nine of his last 10 games with a .333 batting average during his current run.
Mullins was a huge factor in the Orioles’ two-game sweep of the Minnesota Twins. He began their game Wednesday with a leadoff triple on his way to going 2-for-4 with two runs and a stolen base. This week he reached 100 total bases in a season for the first time in his career and he still has a long way to go.
It is not “Angels in the Outfield” helping the San Diego Padres (29-17) to a first-place record in a loaded National League West Division. It’s two Brothas in the outfield, sorry Kevin Costner.
Those MLBbros are centerfielder Trent Grisham and left fielder Tommy Pham who are leading the Padres to the top of their division, making key contributions that might be going under the radar.
The N.L West is one of the best divisions in baseball with three teams at the top of the entire league; the Padres, Giants, and 2020 World Season Champion Dodgers. The Padres are getting it done on the mound as well, ranking first in strikeouts per nine innings. If all three teams stay the course, they will have their sub-regional in the playoffs.
“Offense wins games and defense wins championships” is one very popular expression. Trenton “Gresh” Grisham 24, from Burleson, TX is one of the leaders in defense for the Padres and in 2020 was one of the 12 best defenders in all of baseball, obtaining a Gold Glove for his defensive efforts.
He has continued that trend into 2021 and combined with Tommy Pham and right-fielder Will Myers, the Padres outfield is another defensive lock. Grish is also batting .301 and is giving the Padres enough firepower offensively.
Thomas “Phamtastic” Pham 33, from Las Vegas, NV is the other anchor in the Padres outfield and is playing well despite coming back from injuries suffered in 2020 that still somewhat hinder him to this day. In October, Pham was stabbed in the back after leaving a club.
That injury coupled with a wrist injury might be impeding his ability to hit the ball well at this moment and his batting average is .195, but the MLB season is long and he has plenty of time to improve upon that statistic. His veteran leadership is going to be something that the young, ambitious Padres will need if they want to make a deeper postseason run this season.
The outfield superheroes were not affected by the recent Covid-19 outbreak that hit the Padres and they were spared from catching the virus. The only downside to the Padres defense is that they lead MLB with over 22 errors and they will need to shore that up if they want to make a serious run at a World Series title.
In baseball, you need a strong infield and an even stronger outfield because you have more ground to cover and you have to turn on the jets with regularity. The Padres have some burners in the outfield.
Manager Jayce Tingler noted that Pham is “special” and “competitive in everything that he does.” Pham is also always looking to improve at any opportunity. The steady veteran is looking for a shot at a title.
The second-year Grisham is not only an amazing defender, he’s a strong on-base weapon atop San Diego’s lineup. He’s clearly a long-term solution and future superstar of the Padres outfield. Together they make up an outfield that’s as stingy as Scrooge on Christmas.
Keep your eye out on these players because it’s going to be a shootout in the wild wild west come playoffs.
Entering the season, San Diego was a popular pick to dethrone Mookie Betts and the Los Angeles Dodgers and advance to the franchise’s first World Series since 1998. The main reason being, the nucleus of young stars led of course by Fernando Tatis and Manny Machado. However, for a squad to dethrone a team as loaded and multi-faceted as the Dodgers, the right blend of experience and young talent is needed.
That need for veteran leadership to balance out the enthusiastic rebellion of the new school is why outfielder Tommy Pham, in his 8th MLB season, is on the team. While his professionalism is duly noted, the outfielder was hitting .128 entering Sunday night’s series finale against the Dodgers.
I’m going to say what everyone was thinking: “You’re not carrying your weight, Pham.”
At least those were the grumbles behind the scenes and in the Black Knight barbershops. Pham’s ears must have been tingling because his lackluster bat woke up at the right time for the San Diego Padres, who were trying to avoid a sweep in a tone-setting, early-season series against the LA Dodgers, in a game that meant a lot more to the upstart Padres (10-7) than the seasoned World Champions who are 13-3 and rolling through the league.
The Dodgers took the first two games of the series thanks to some clutch hitting (scored 5 runs in the 12rh to win Game 1) and otherworldly defense (Mookie Netts’ shoestring diving catch to end game, which had a 10 percent probability rate.)
In Game 3, Tommy Pham finally made an appearance for the San Diego Padres, getting a clutch hit that led to 5 unanswered runs to rally from a 2-0 deficit and win a game that is a tremendous confidence booster for a squad who believes that they have the onions to go head up with the Dodgers.
It was a huge hit for a career .270 hitter who has been battling the Mendoza line since COVID hit in 2020. Pham’s never been as productive as his 2017 season when he made a huge splash by going 20-20, hit .306 2ith a .931 OPS.
Pham had 23 homers and 25 steals and finished 11th in the MVP voting for St. Louis. The Cardinals missed the playoffs that year for the second consecutive season and by the end of 2018, Pham was tearing it up for Tampa Bay, batting .343 after coming over from Da Lou.
Pham has explosive power, speed and experience in high profile games. The numbers are ugly right now, no doubt. But the Padres organization knows the caliber of player they have and if Pham gets on a hot streak, he’s one more weapon that will come in handy against the Dodgers.
A secret weapon almost, with guys like Fernando Tatis, Manny Machado, Eric Hosmer and Trent Grisham getting all the press.
Pham is the kind of competitor whose game elevated in the playoffs, In fact, he became a considerably better player when the pressure is the highest. Pham has a .375 career playoff batting averages, with three home runs and 19 hits in 54 at-bats — a couple of them huge ones. He’s played in two ALDS and two WILD Card games in each league.
His first post season at-bat back in 2015, resulted in a homer, showing early on that he rises like yeast in October.
The Padres have to get through the Dodgers in the regular season and the playoffs to ascend to the MLB mountaintop. So, yeah they’re going to need Pham to be on point, but I wouldn’t panic because come playoff time, if the Padres do shock the world I can almost guarantee Pham will be in the middle of it. Someway, somehow. That’s just how he gets down.
Robinson is the only player to have his number retired throughout an entire professional sporting league. Through donations, customized cleats, letters and shirts, the league and its players found many ways to honor the Brooklyn Dodgers Legend.
First, the Players Alliance which is a nonprofit organization funded by active and former players seeking to improve the representation of Black America in baseball, made a huge splash.
More than 230 members of the group including David Price, Mookie Betts, Jason Heyward, Marcus Semien and Jackie Bradley Jr. pledged to donate their full game day salary in support of the Jackie Robinson Foundation.
David Price, Jason Heyward, Jackie Bradley Jr. among more than 100 MLB Players donating game-day salary on Jackie Robinson Day to support the Players Alliance.
“What Jackie Robinson means to me…He is an inspiration whose life and works transcended far past just baseball. His sacrifices made this world a better place,” said Jackie Bradley Jr. when asked about Robinson’s impact.
The organization is also planning to make a financial commitment to the Jackie Robinson Foundation to support the launch of the Players Alliance and JRF Scholarship Fund, empowering students to receive scholarship money for Fall 2021.
Last season the group raised over $1 million on Jackie Robinson Day and the money was invested into Black communities.
The Players Alliance hooked each player up with “Breaking Barriers” Nike Warm-up shirts for batting practice. We also saw many players with customized “42” cleats such as Tim Anderson, Franciso Lindor and Alex Bregman.
Many players took the time to express what Jackie Robinson Day means to them.
“I just want to say thank you so much for everything that you have done for the sport, for people like me, people like you and for people around the world that would have had a very tough time trying to do what we are doing today in any sport. So I salute you,” said Miami Marlin’s second baseman Jazz Chisholm, who is the third Bahamian-born player to make the Major Leagues.
From San Diego Padres outfielder Tommy Pham: “Wearing 42 today is a step in the right direction. It signifies equality and it signifies meaning as a Black man in this game being able to live the childhood dream.”
The most rewarding part of Jackie Robinson Day is seeing all diversity at its best with players of all races honoring one of the most important Civil Rights legends this world has seen.
Jackie balled hard each time he laced his cleats up. He stayed committed and bravely fought through any and every adversity he faced.
The Universe is a crazy place, but seeing everyone come together on this special day to celebrate a common goal gives us hope in the race for equality.