Well, it only took five hours and 45 minutes.
What a loooong day for my Padres. First, it was Padres Photo Day, so all the players had to stand on the field before the game, in the sun, while hundreds of fans took pictures of them, while the players really wanted to be doing something more productive, like watching video on the opposing pitcher or stretching.
Then, they played two games.
Dan Haren was amazing. He didn’t give us anything except a solo homer to my baby Kouz in the 7th.
By then, the Diamondbacks already had a 6-0 lead thanks to Josh Geer’s five innings of work and Joe Thatcher’s one inning. I say we send him to Triple-A.
It all came down the the ninth inning. Arizona had a comfortable 6-1 lead, but as we’ve learned, these Padres don’t go down easily. They are going to put up a fight.
Adrian doubled, Chase singled him in, and Brian Giles walked. An out later, Arizona’s closer came in and Nick Hundley drove in Chase. An out later, David Eckstein came to the plate as a pinch-hitter. On the first pitch he saw, he hit a three-run homer to tie the game!! It was soooo exciting!! I mean, where did that come from? That was Eck’s first homer of the season, and it couldn’t have come at a better time.
But now here comes the sad part. We went to the 18th inning, and the Padres did not get ONE measly hit for all nine extra innings. Terrible. We lost the wind in our sails. Sure, we got a few walks, but not one hit. Miserable.
Meanwhile, the bullpen was very solid. We used every guy in the book: Burke, Meredith, Perdomo, Bell, Mujica, Gregerson, even Friday night’s starter Chad Gaudin. Even shortstop Josh Wilson.
I had heard that Josh could pitch, and I thought it would be pretty likely that we would need him. And we did. He came in to pitch the 18th, with catcher Henry Blanco playing third.
Josh had some really good stuff. He was relying mostly on the 4-seam fastball, and he got up to 88 mph. He got a couple outs, and was one strike away from getting out of the inning when he tried a pitch he hadn’t thrown the whole time. Big mistake. Mark Reynolds hit it out of here to right field, a three-run homer. Talk about sucking the air out of a ballpark.
He was very close, and he did throw very well. But he gave up the game. We went down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the 18th, like we did so many other times during the game.
I’m worried about this team. Last year, after we lost the 22-inning game, our season deflated. This year, we’ve had some highs and some lows. There was an extra inning game in Philly that we lost. After that, we didn’t win very much. But then when we won the 16-inning game at home, we continued a 10-game winning streak.
I’m worried about Jake, about the bullpen. Jake’s going to be pitching tonight in the fourth game of the series with a bad ankle and a slight cold. He’s not 100%, but he understands that the bullpen needs any slack he can give them, so he’s going to be out there fighting. We could probably go to a few of the guys in the bullpen like Thatcher, Burke, Meredith, and Perdomo because they pitched only one inning each.
I’m worried about our hitters. We didn’t get much yesterday, that’s for sure. In a sense, we were “no-hit” through nine innings. Well, we learned that we can never give up on this team, cause they seem to hit bullpens really well. But sometimes it’s not enough.
I just hope they get a ton of sleep today and are ready to go tonight. I said before the series that I hoped we could at least get a split. Well, we have to get this game tonight to do that. I do not want to lose this to Arizona. Not a bit.
Were all those extra innings worth it? In my mind, they really weren’t. We could have ended the thing in the ninth with the same results. It wasn’t worth draining the bullpen, making the guys play essentially an extra game. Nothing is ever worth it when you lose.
By the way, we won on Saturday night. It was a great game!
Alright, Jake. It’s your turn.
(photo credit: Sean M. Haffey/Union-Tribune)