Unlikely Hero

Coming into last night’s game, Wade LeBlanc had had a very bad time in the majors. In the eight major league starts he had before, he had an ERA of 8.53. He also had a 16.20 ERA in two starts at Dodger Stadium. He hadn’t been that good at all in his starts with the Padres. Descent in Triple-A, but not good in the majors.

Until last night.

LeBlanc had, by far, the very best start he’s made in the major leagues. He threw six innings, allowing two hits, three walks, and struck out two. He was being aggressive, throwing strikes, and he threw an excellent game. I’m very pleased. Well done, Wade.

wadeleblanc.jpgIn the top of the first, we got two runners on with no outs. Everth walked and Eck singled. But Adrian struck out and Everth got caught stealing. Thankfully, Kouz was able to single in Eck to give us the lead.

In the top of the second, Oscar Salazar singled. Will Venable grounded out, sending Oscar to second. Then, craziness abounded. Nick Hundley singled, the hit going off the pitcher’s glove and to the shortstop. The shortstop threw past first, and as Oscar chugged around to score, the first baseman threw over the catcher’s head and into the stands. My goodness. The Dodgers got charged for two errors on that play, and the Padres got their second run.

nick sing;e.jpgAfter LeBlanc left the game, Joe Thatcher and Luke Gregerson threw. Heath Bell relieved Luke with two outs in the bottom of the eighth, with the potential tying runs on board. Heath induced a fly-out to left field to get out of the inning.

In the bottom of the ninth, Heath came back to get the save. First batter he faced singled. But, he got an excellent double play started by Kouz. Heath ended the game with a called strike to the last batter.

heath fist.jpgAnd so, we won 2-0, beating our division rivals. Sure, we’re 20 games behind them, but this time, the mouse came out on top of the cat.

cat_amp_mouse.jpgLike I said the other day, we’re playing spoiler. We keep the Dodgers down, and we can determine who’s going to win this thing. Last night’s game was not easy. We only got two runs, five hits, the whole game. The Dodgers had some big threats going. All it would have taken was a single to tie the game. Thankfully, our pitching was able to keep them down, but it wasn’t easy.

There’s a ton of energy when the Padres and Dodgers meet. The crowd was 52,965!! I definitley heard some “LET’S GO PADRES!!” out there. These series are intense.

We have no right winning this series, I know. By the numbers, we’re the worst team in the NL West. The Dodgers have been in the lead almost all year. They’re a dominating club. But this Padres team has changed since the last time we met. They’re different, better. And I think they’re going to become a playoff-hopeful team’s worst nightmare.

Mat Latos will be making his last start of the year tonight against Randy Wolf. After tonight, the Padres will be shutting down Latos, since he’s had a very large work load this year. I hope he’ll be able to have a great start to finish off a great year. Go Latos!!



  1. smstevepadre

    The Dodgers always get good crowds no matter who they are playing , but what disappoints me is there are so few Padre fans in attendance . This happens even in yrs. we are fighting w/ them for the NL West. Padre fans should be ashamed of not supporting the team in the road, this is the next closest Major league city to us. Also they play in a really beautifull stadium with a lot of history . Definately worth the trip. I walked around the whole stadium last night & probably saw 2 other Padre fans the whole time . Still I enjoyed myself ! Great game by LeBlanc ! And the whole “beat LA ” thing – its stupid . Support our team only w/ “Lets go padres ” which is much better and focuses on us instead of them . I will be cheering that same thing tonight . Lets Go Padres , lets go Padres ! The pressure is all on them not us . We just need to stay loose .

  2. padres2050

    Agree with you Steve! I’ll be at one of the games (today or tomorrow, I will be finding out soon) and like you, I rarely see many Padre fans, which is embarrassing. It was a great win last night! I know they aren’t hitting lately, but LeBlanc really needed that. Now is the time to find out what may work here or there for next season. Always rep my team on the road! Even if few do.

  3. behindblueyes

    The Dodgers have not been hitting lately, and yet their pitching still leads the entire Majors in ERA–so yes, this one was pretty bad! The young Kershaw (4 years younger than LeBlanc) needs run support! Good game, Padres! I know with our schedule it’s deceptive. We have mostly losing teams to play in September, but those teams relish playing spoiler! After this weekend is over, I can definitely cheer for the Padres because they will be playing the Dodgers’ RIVALS! Anyway, I will be there for my Dodgers, win or lose.

    Tune your radio to 790 where you can hear the greatest broadcaster of all time call your Padres games the next two days! And enjoy our beautiful ballpark, Steve and Brian. I am always surprised there aren’t more Padre fans there too. Good for you guys for showing up. Congrats on the win.


  4. bostonredsoxgirl46

    It’s great to see a guy make a turn for the better– when he’s playing for your team :). It’s a little frustrating to see guys like Brad Penny make turn around in the National League when the could barely do anything in the AL East.

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