Outfielder Abraham Almonte stopped by Padres Social Hour with Mike Grace and Bill Center to talk Padres Baseball on Saturday. Almonte took the Cholula Hot Seat to discuss the condition of Petco Park's outfield grass, the difficulty of making the transition from being on the bench to being a starter, and of course, his clutch double on Friday that helped set the stage for a dramatic walk-off victory.
"I saw the high pitch a little bit away and I just drove it the other way," said Almonte. "It always feels good when you help the team win. There's a lot of energy out there, but I'm always kind of like a calm guy… it's kind of weird. I know how to be real calm though."
Almonte drove in two runs on Friday to help tie the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, against whom the Padres would go on to beat in walk-off fashion by a score of 6-2. The ever observant Bill Center, noting that the outfield grass was looking a little worse for the weather following the Rolling Stones concert held last week at Petco Park, asked Almonte if he thought that the outfield played any differently given its current condition.
"I feel fine in the outfield," answered Almonte. "I didn't take any ground balls [yesterday], but I haven't noticed any changes. It looks a little bit different, but I don't have any problems out there. It's still good."
Almonte went on to discuss the transition from being a fourth outfielder to being a starter and how getting called up in a pinch changes his perspective of the game.
"It's a little bit hard because that's a style of play you get used to. You see pitches every day and you have that feeling again, but when you're on not a starter, it's harder," said Almonte. "You just swing in the cage as a bench player. I try to get mentally prepared and I try to go in pitch-by-pitch so that when I get called in over there, I pretty much have a good idea of what I need to do over there."
To hear more about Almonte's experiences in the Padres clubhouse and his unique connection with pitcher Shawn Kelley, then be sure to check out the full interview above. And for more interviews, highlights and Padres content just like this, be sure to check out padres.com/socialhour.