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!!!
Last night’s game was crazy amazing.
Let me start off by saying that it’s not very often that we completely dominate like this. And I thoroughly enjoyed it.
The thing that got it all started was Jerry Hairston Jr’s grand slam in the bottom of the second. That was amazing! First grand slam of the year for the Padres. The inning started off with three straight singles by Nick Hundley, Chris Denorfia, and Oscar Salazar. Jerry came up two outs later and got the ball just fair down the left field corner. It was so cool. Lately, we’ve been leaving a lot of runners on base, especially when they get there with no outs. It was really, really good that we were able to take full advantage of that situation.
We didn’t score in the bottom of the fourth, but we got four runs in the bottom of the fifth. Adrian and Chase led off with singles again, and then Nick Hundley walked. After that, Chris Denorfia and Oscar Salazar each walked in a run. I was so loving the Mets pitching at that moment.
After a pitching change, Luis Durango drove in his first two runs of his major league career. At the end of that inning, we were winning 10-4.
The bottom of the sixth was our biggest inning of the night. Adrian and Chase led off the inning again, but this time Adrian was walked and Chase got his third hit of the night. Nick Hundley singled, Denorfia doubled, and we scored two more runs. Oscar Salazar walked. Luis Durango grounded into a force out that got Nick thrown out at home. But then Will Venable singled in three. J-Hair singled, and Eck sac-flied him in. It was a great inning.
In the bottom of the seventh, Chase Headley got his fourth hit of the night with a solo homer. That brought us to 17-6. The Petco Park record for most runs scored by the Padres was 17 runs. We set that on Opening Day here. Thus, our 18th run, scored in the bottom of the eighth, set another record.
I would like to mention that Lance Zawadzki was the one who drove in that run because I think I’m finally finding a new favorite player. At the beginning of the year I decided that Scott and Jerry Hairston would be my new favorites, but that’s not really gone through. Obviously, I love all of these guys, but I think a player becomes your favorite instead of you deciding that he will be. And I do have to say, this kid is absolutely adorable. Whew.
This game was soo much fun to follow. Let’s look at some of these guys’ nights:
Jerry Hairston, leading off, had two hits, including the grand slam. Before this homestand started, Jerry had zero home runs for the season. Now he has three.
David Eckstein was the only one who didn’t get into the party. He went 0-for-4, but he did drive in a run.
Adrian Gonzalez had two hits, two walks, and scored three runs.
Chase Headley had four hits and scored four runs.
Nick Hundley had three hits, drove in two runs, and scored two. Let me tell you, he has been hot. Over the weekend he was absolutely essential to our two wins in the series against the Nationals. He hit a three-run homer on Saturday and then a walk-off single in the bottom of the 11th on Sunday. It’s great to see him heating up like this.
Chris Denorfia had three hits, drove in three runs and scored three runs. Great night for him.
Absolutely amazing 18-6 win. I enjoyed it soooo much. What a great night!!
This team is proving itself to me over and over again. I really truly believe in them. I saw something on MLB.com today that took my breath away: we’re one of the current playoff teams. If the season ended today, we would be the National League West champions. I know that we’ve still got a lot of season left, and anything could happen. But these boys have been winning consistently for a long time. We’ve held onto our first-place lead for a very long time. These guys are for real. They have my support 100%.
GO FIRST-PLACE PADRES!!
With mainstay players like Adrian Gonzalez, Kevin Kouzmanoff, David Eckstein, and Will Venable NOT in the starting lineup on Wednesday, it looked like kid’s day at the ballpark. Six out of the nine pitchers used by the Padres were under 25 years old. And the guy who’s the buzz of San Diego today made his major league debut at only 22 years old.
Edward Mujica made only his second major league start. He went 4.2 innings, allowing two runs on six hits with no walks and five strikeouts. He was good, but boy we used a lot of pitchers yesterday!
After Mujica, it went Webb, Poreda, Gallagher, Russell, Thacher, Perdomo, Ramos, and finally, Bell.
In the bottom of the third, Chase Headley grounded out, driving in Everth for our first run.
But the Diamondbacks, who seem to be a lot better than what the numbers say, got two runs in the fifth, and one run in the sixth.
In the bottom of the sixth, Henry Blanco walked and Drew Macias was hit-by-pitch. Luis Durango, in his second at-bat ever, hit a bunt single to load the bases. That was his second bunt single of the game. Nick Hundley singled to drive in a run, and Tony Gwynn sac-flied another one in. The game was then tied at three.
In the top of the seventh, Arizona got two runs to take the lead, 5-3. Things were not looking good for our boys. They went into the bottom of the ninth, down by two runs. Tony Gwynn walked to start off the inning. Two outs later, Adrian came into the game to pinch-hit for his brother, Edgar. And guess what he does? He hits a game-tying two run homer to the left field corner. It was soooo great!!
Heath Bell came into the top of the 10, and what do you know, his new shave actually worked! He got two quick outs before walking a batter. Thankfully, that batter was caught stealing and Heath made it through the inning. That’s gotta feel so good for Heath. After those three nasty outings, it must have been amazing to get through one unscathed.
In the bottom of the 10th, Luis Durango led off the inning. He singled yet again, putting the potential winning run on base, with a ton of speed!
David Eckstein then flew out. Everth Cabrera came up next. While he was batter, Durango stole second. Everth singled to right, the first baseman and the second baseman diving and missing the ball. Durango, with his incredible speed, ran all the home and avoided the catcher’s tag, scoring the winning run.
It was so great!! An amazing effort by my boys to come back and win this game.
And talk about Luis Durango. This guy just got called up on Monday, made his major league debut yesterday. In his first two at-bats he had infield singles. He also had a sac-bunt and a single. He stole a base, and ran around like crazy. The Padres have not had a guy with this kind of speed for a very long time. I mean, if you thought Everth was fast, just wait until you see this guy. Whew! This guy is very, very exciting, and the talk of San Diego today. The Union Tribune raved about him this morning.
What a great game. I was so thankful that we avoided the sweep and were able to see some new talent out there.
We have an off-day today before heading out to Pittsburgh for the weekend. We will play the Pirates for four games. Then they’ll head to Colorado and Arizona before coming home for the end of the season. Oh my, it’s coming up fast!
On a side note, Jacob Edward Peavy is going to be making his first start with the White Sox on Saturday. I’m very sad that he’s not with us anymore, but it will be good for him to be on the mound again. He says he won’t be 100%, but I hope he does extremely well. I MISS YOU LIKE CRAZY JAKE!!!
GO PADRES!! GO JAKE!!!