CHULA VISTA, Calif. – With five Padres landing in Tuesday night’s MLB All-Star Game in Denver, it was must-see TV for San Diegans and baseball fans alike in the region.
In Chula Vista, fans gathered at bars such as Novo Brazil Brewing Co. to take in the Midsummer Classic.
“Normally it’s just turn it on in the background, so this is the first time we were like dude, we have to go watch this game — like there’s so many Padres that are going to be playing,” Adrian Orozco said. “It’s pretty crazy the last time the Padres were in the playoffs I was in like sixth grade, fifth grade.”
Led by National League starting shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr., the Friars were well represented with second baseman Jake Cronenworth, third baseman Manny Machado, starter Yu Darvish and reliever Mark Melancon all on hand. All except Darvish — who recently landed on the 10-day injured list — played in the game with Machado singling in his lone at-bat and scoring a run, Cronenworth drawing a walk and Melancon striking out one and walking another in the eighth.
Tatis was 0-2 in the game, which the American League ultimately won by a score of 5-2.
Leonardo Bauer, the general manager of Novo, said even though staffing has been somewhat tricky at times in recent months, they were staffed up and ready for Tuesday night’s crowd. He said it’s great to see fans back in action to watch big games together.
“I see the size of the TVs,” Bauer said. “I was like, ‘This is going to be the best bar to watch anything in Southern California,’ and guess what now we have like two bigger TVs to install towards the back.”
Which comes at a good time as the Padres are in the midst of a special season. The team returns to action Friday against the Washington Nationals.
“We’ve gone to a few games since they opened it up to everybody,” Orozco said. “I mean, that’s the most packed I’ve ever seen Petco Park, so it’s been super cool like Thursday night games are sold out.”