It was a classic pitching matchup: the veteran, Roy Oswalt, against the kid, Mat Latos.
We all knew it was going to be a huge game because this series has been hyper up to be one of the most important of the year. The Phillies came into San Diego having lost six out of their last eight. The Padres are on the top of the NL West and are definitely making a run for the playoffs. This series could be a preview of the first round of the postseason. And let me tell you, last night’s game was sooo intense, there’s no doubt that it was a preview for those playoffs.
Even though I was hyped about this series, I took the same route that the Padres themselves take: One game at a time, one series at a time. Of course we want to focus on winning the whole series, but we’re only going to get there by winning one game at a time.
Unfortunately, we didn’t do that last night. But it was still an amazing game to watch. I went to the game with my church, which was super fun. It was sooo cool to be there at the game. Right after the Phillies finished batting practice, I heard this huge roar of cheering. I thought, I really really hope that’s just a recorded cheer playing on the commercial on the scoreboard. But no. To my horror, it was the huge amount of Phillies fans in the stands. I thought, “Oh boy. We’re going to have our work cut out for us tonight.”
And we really did. It almost felt like a Dodgers/Padres games because for every play, there was cheering. When the Phillies did something good, there was a large amount of cheering. When the Padres did something good, there was a huge amount of cheering. It was so frustrating to have to battle the Phillies fans the whole time, but it also was a ton of fun.
Oswalt and Latos were great. Their linescores were actually almost identical. Oswalt went eight innings while Latos only went seven, but each gave up five hits, one run, and struck out six.
The umpires bugged me a lot last night. It was pretty sad, but it seemed like they made a lot of calls in the Phillies’ favor. In the bottom of the second, we got caught stealing twice, but I’d say that they were pretty close calls. Man it was frustrating.
Latos allowed the Phillies’ first run in the top of the third. In the bottom of the third, Yorvit Torrealba led off the inning with a solo homer, which was so sweet. It was great to come right back and get that thing tied up.
Not much happened until the eighth inning. Mike Adams came in to take Latos’ place, and he did not do well. It was sooo sad!! After getting one out, he allowed a walk, single, and another walk to load the bases. Joe Thatcher came in to get the left handed, but he didn’t do his job either. He allowed a single which allowed the go-ahead run to score. It was sooo bad.
But in the bottom of the ninth, I knew these boys were not going to give up. Matt Stairs started off the inning, and I thought, you’d better get a hit here. He really has not been that great this year, so it was amazing when he hit a single to start off the inning. Jerry Hairston pinched-ran for him. Eck hit a sac-bunt, and he almost almost got safely to first base because Brad Lidge fumbled the ball. Unfortunately, he recovered quickly, and Eck was out. But at least he got Jerry over to second. Miguel Tejada grounded out, which really stunk.
Then the craziness started. Adrian Gonzalez was intentionally walked. With a count of 0-2, Ryan Ludwick was hit-by-pitch to load the bases. He was hit pretty hard too. Thankfully, he was okay and the game went on.
Chase came up next. Suddenly, I saw Jerry Hairston jumping up and down at third and pointing to the pitcher. Brad Lidge had balked!!!! Oh my goodness, it was the best moment of the whole game. It was sooooooooo exciting!! We tied the game and still had runners at second and third. Unfortunately, Chase grounded out to end the inning, but at least we kept the game going.
Heath Bell came into the game in the top of the 10th. Of course, he just had to allow a walk, but he got out of the inning unscathed.
In the bottom of the inning, we went down 1-2-3. In the top of the 11th, Heath put them down in order. We got a single in the bottom of that inning, but no avail.
Then the trouble started in the top of the 12th. Ernesto Freri came in to pitch, and I was excited because he’s done fairly well this season. But no. Last night he did not do well at all. He allowed a double to start off the inning, and there’s obviously a lot of things wrong with that. It’s a tie game, extra innings, no outs. Very bad situation. Then he allowed a single to center. Luis Durango made a very, very good throw to the plate, but Jimmy Rollins expertly slid in and Yorvit Torrealba missed the tag. It was sooooooooo sad!!!! I was seriously angry at the umpire, but looking at the replay today shows that he made the right call. Still. It was really, really bad.
We got out of that inning without any further damage. In the bottom of the 12th, after two outs, I knew that we weren’t going to win that game. But I refused to believe it. All through Will Venable’s eight-pitch at-bat, I cheered my heart out. I refused to let myself, as a fan, go down quietly. I cheered them through, but Will struck out to end the game. I was pretty frustrated, no doubt about it. But it was just one game, and I’m sure we will go out there and get them today.
It was a blast watching this game. I’m now 2-2 on the year though, so I think I’ll have to get out there again to make it a winning record.
GO FIRST-PLACE PADRES!!!