In a thrilling game against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday, the San Diego Padres’ No. 8 and 9 hitters David Dahl and Ha-seong Kim went back-to-back for walk-off home runs, securing a 5-4 victory for their team.
The game was tied at 3-3 going into the bottom of the ninth inning, with the Padres rallying after a slow start against Diamondbacks starter Madison Bumgarner. In the ninth, the Padres loaded the bases with no outs, but were unable to score on a groundout and a strikeout.
With two outs and the game on the line, Dahl stepped up to the plate and hit a line drive over the left field wall for his first career walk-off homer. Not to be outdone, Kim followed suit with a solo shot to center field, marking the first time in MLB history that the No. 8 and 9 hitters in a lineup hit back-to-back walk-off home runs.
The moment was especially sweet for Dahl, who had struggled at the plate earlier in the game, going 0-for-3 with two strikeouts before his game-winning homer.
“This game is so tough,” Dahl said in a post-game interview. “One moment you’re down, the next moment you’re up. It was a grind all game, and me personally, I was kind of struggling. But you just keep going, and it’s awesome when you can get a win like that.”
For Kim, a rookie from South Korea, the home run was another bright spot in what has been a solid start to his MLB career. He finished the game 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a run scored.
“The feeling is really indescribable,” Kim said through a translator. “I’m so grateful for the opportunity to be able to play in this league, and to be able to contribute to the team like this is really special.”
The walk-off homers capped off a wild game that saw both teams trade blows throughout. The Padres scored two runs in the first inning, only to see the Diamondbacks tie the game up in the third. San Diego took the lead again in the sixth, but Arizona answered back with a solo homer to tie it up yet again.
Neither team was able to score in the seventh or eighth innings, setting the stage for Dahl and Kim’s heroics in the ninth.
The win was a big one for the Padres, who are currently in second place in the NL West behind the San Francisco Giants. With a record of 61-47, San Diego is still very much in the playoff picture, and moments like these can provide a much-needed boost of momentum for the team down the stretch.
As for Dahl and Kim, their unforgettable back-to-back home runs will go down in Padres lore as one of the most exciting moments of the 2021 season. It was a moment of pure joy and elation for both players, and a reminder of why baseball is such a beloved sport for so many.