- 6-5 Padres
Most of us know Heath Bell’s story. He spent nine seasons with the Mets, being shipped back in forth from the major league club and Triple-A so many times that the players joked about the “Heath Bell Express”.
Heath was finally traded to the Padres along with Royce Ring in 2006. With the Padres, Heath got an opportunity to prove himself as a major-league pitcher. That he has done, spending two seasons as set-up man to Trevor Hoffman, and now taking over the closer’s role.
So I know it’s been great for him to be able to go out there and pitch against his former team, to show them what they missed out on, to show them that he really was a good pitcher. Heath saved the first game of the series, a 6-5 win, and he got so excited that he threw a pitch at the backstop. This time, he was so pumped up that he was throwing 96 MPH. But more on that later.
Jake Peavy started the game, and gave up a three-run homer to Carlos Delgado. Obviously, things weren’t looking that great. Our ace threw 44 pitches in the first inning and gave up three runs.
But my Padres don’t get put down that easy. Not these boys. In the top of the third, Henry Blanco started it all off with a walk. Rookie Everth Cabrera came up to the plate and had an extremely impressive at-bat. He was taking pitches, running the count to full, and then getting a solid single. It was great. Jake Peavy came up and laid down the perfect bunt to move over the runners for Jody Gerut.
Jody singled Blanco in. NEXT! David Eckstein came up and drove Cabrera in. Brian Giles grounded out for the second out, but then Adrian Gonzalez was intentionally walked. Chase Headley came to the plate and drove in two runs with a single. Koooooz drove in Adrian for our fifth run. Then Henry Blanco, who started the inning, ended it with a strikeout. But the damage was done. We came back from losing 3-0 to winning 5-3 in one inning! I loved how we were able to play small ball, just getting singles, moving the runners over, and driving in some guys even with two outs. This offense is so much better than last year’s!
In the fifth, Adrian walked and Chase drove him in with a double for our sixth run. It was great! Chase had four hits on the night, driving in three runs.
Jake exited after five innings, so into the bullpen. Cla Meredith and Edwin Moreno threw one scoreless inning each. Duaner Sanchez, a former Met, gave up a two-run homer to Ramon Castro, making it a one-run game.
Onto the ninth, and Heath Bell. He got two quick outs, but then it was Delgado vs. Bell, head to head. Heath wasn’t going to get this save easily. He got two called strikes to start Delgado off, then two balls. Delgado proceeded to hit four foul balls. Heath threw him a ball, and then Delgado hit another foul. Finally, finally, Heath got a called strike to save his fifth game in five chances (that leads the majors by the way). I’m almost glad I wasn’t listening to that AB ’cause it would have been so stressing!
It was an excellent game. We won the series, 2 games to 1! We are still on top of the NL West with a 7-3 record, though we are tied with the Dodgers. This team is just amazing. It’s so exciting to be winning, and to have such a great team!!
Today we are playing the Phillies, Chris Young against Cole Hamels. What a pitching matchup! It’s going to be a great game!
Too bad I don’t get to listen to it though. I’m going on a retreat in the mountains by a lake this weekend. But this time it’s going to be for leisure and fun, instead of serving. I’m really excited, and I think it’s going to be a great weekend. I will miss blogging and listening the games and stuff, but I’ll be able to catch up when I get back. Of course, feel free to leave comments letting me know about how the Padres do or any big baseball news!
In the Latest Leaders this week, I got #22!! Last week, I was #23, so I’m moving along slowly but steadily. In continuation of Jimmy’s “dedication” tradition, I will dedicate this ranking to one Marcus Giles.
Marcus played with the Padres in 2007. He is Brian Giles’ younger brother, and it was really cool to watch them play together that year. Marcus played second base for the majority of the year, but was released at the end of the ’07 season.
I think he’s the only guy that has had #22 in the last few years, so he’s the man. He signed a minor league deal with the Rockies for 2008, but I think he was released after Spring Training. He spend 2008 just living in San Diego with his wife and three little girls. Just a few weeks ago he was signed by the Phillies and invited to Spring Training. I hope he does very well!
In other news, the Padres signed a new play-by-play guy: Mark Neely. I think he’s related to bigpapi72, right?
Baseball is coming…I can feel it…but I think I’m going through a bit of writer’s block, so if this entry seemed a little strained, that’s why. I just can’t seem to be writing as well…AHHH!!!
Anyways, thanks to all my readers for getting me to #22. I would love to be able to dedicate a ranking to my favorite player, Kevin Kouzmanoff, soon…he’s #5…
Philadelphia was in a drought. But certainly not literaly: rain has been pounding the city for the past few days. No, this drought was the drought of their sports team, particulary the Phillies. The last time the Phils had won the World Series was 1980, an insane 28 years ago. What are the Rays whining about? They haven’t even been around that long.
In an epic game that spanned over three days, Cole Hamels was spectacular. He went 6 innings on 70-something pitches. Shane Victorino put the Phils up with a two-run single in the first. Singles by Evan Longoria and Carlos Pena got the Rays their first two runs. Enter the delay. The game started on Monday night. But it was postponed to Wednesday, right through Taco Day. When the game finally got started again, it was 2-2 going into the bottom of the 6th. The Phillies were able to get a run from Jayson Werth with a single. The Rays answered back with a Rocco Baldelli homer in the 7th. The Phils came right back to score on Pedro Feliz’s single. With the score 4-3 Phillies, the bullpens held quietly for an inning. Then Brad Lidge came in to close the game. This guy was shockingly solid all year. His outing last night was not one-two-three, as he had the tying run on second with two outs. But he struck out Eric Hinske to close the World Series and give Philadelphia the title. If you haven’t seen the on-field celebration yet, go to MLB.com and watch it. It is amazing. I love watching the celebrations!!
Cole Hamels is the MVP. It’s a no-doubter. What a great series! You gotta tip your cap to the losers, though. The Rays came a long way this year. They did something they had never done before: they got to the playoffs. And not just that, they also got the the World Series. They beat the defending champs. Though their hot hitters cooled down in rainy Philadelphia, they have some team there.
So, we have our 2008 champions: the Philadelphia Phillies. Now begins the long offseason…
The Phils have a 3-1 lead over Tampa Bay. They have 2 straight wins in a row. They have extreme momentum from a walk-off followed by a bombing. Can they do it? Can they win the World Series TONIGHT?
Well, look who’s pitching. Yep, it’s that amazing lefty, Cole Hamels. Naturally, he’ll have to take care of Scott Kazmir, but with the way Hamels has been throwing, I personally think the Rays don’t stand a chance. OK, maybe a sliver of a chance, but it’s going to be a tough game for the Rays’ hitters. But that doesn’t mean that the Phillies lineup won’t have their own problems. Kazmir could be just as tough as Hamels.
But looking back on the last two games, the Phillies’ hitters have really heated up. Particulary Ryan Howard. The guy has three homers in two games! If the rest of the lineup stays hot, who’s going to keep them down? This game certainly seems to be in the Phillies’ favor.
But baseball is a weird, weird game. Last night’s game was insane. I mean, the starting pitcher hitting his first career homer in a World Series game? A decent second baseman booting multiple plays? A star rookie in a BAD slump? It’s plain WEIRD. But that’s why we love it. Whenever you go to the ballpark, especially in a game like this, you know that something amazing could happen. Let’s see if the Phillies can live the dream tonight.
Unfortunately, this World Series is going to be tough for me. I’m rooting for the Phillies, but many people close to me are rooting for the Rays.
It’s gotta be that “underdog” factor. The same thing happened last year with the Rockies. My dad is going for the Rays, and he was trying to convince me to join him during the Red Sox series. “Come on, you have to root for the underdog,” he said. But I stayed fiercely loyal to my Red Sox. (This also happened last year during the World Series. But what can I say? I love the Red Sox!) My younger sister is not a baseball fan, but in order to spite me, she was “rooting” for the Rays. She really doesn’t care, but just to annoy me, she would fakingly cheer when she saw the Rays ahead. It was very annoying because I know she really doesn’t care. Then some of my closest friends who are very involved in sports have also taken the “underdog” side for the past two years. I hate having to root against these people who mean so much to me. But what can I do? Last year, there was no way I could have cheered for the Rockies after that devastating loss in game 163. That actually helped me become a Red Sox fan. If it was the Padres and the Blue Jays in the World Series and some of my friends took the “underdog” side, I would obviously have to root against them. I guess that’s the way it is. You take a side and you stick by it, even if it means you aren’t on the same side as your friends. It’s just part of the game. There’s always going to be an opposing fan. We just have to deal. I’ve argued with a lot of my friends about things like Trevor Hoffman, the Red Sox, and Kouz, but I always try to be gracious and respect their opinions. I’m not going to make my friends my enemies over a sports issue. My friends are much more important to me than baseball.
So, just like last year, I will stay loyal to “my” team. And hopefully, the Phillies will be able to finish this one quickly.
On Saturday night, the Red Sox lost 9-8 in 11 innings. It was a slugfest, with the teams combining for 7 homers. This game was one of those back-and-forth games. In the 11th, Boston reliever Mike Timlin got himself into trouble. With the bases loaded and one out, B.J. Upton hit a shallow sac-fly to right. A throw came to the plate, but the runner from third scored, and the Rays won. The series is now tied 1-1. Today the Sox will try to bounce back at Fenway Park. GO BOSTON!!
The Dodgers won last night. It was a very strange game. But today the Phillies have a chance to go to the World Series. We’ll see. May the best team win.
The Red Sox won 2-0 last night. It was a great game, highlighted by Dice-K Matsuzaka. He threw 7 innings, giving up four hits, 4 walks, and striking out 9. But here’s the key: he didn’t give up a hit until the 7th. He did pitch into the 8th inning, giving up two hits without making an out before getting pulled. But he was masterful. He got himself into jams with the walks, but he got out of them. Meanwhile, the offense got a run by sac-fly, and the second run by RBI double from Kevin Youkilis. Justin Masterson was very good, inducing a double play with two runners on. Jonathan Paplebon threw yet another scoreless postseason inning. So the Sox win! I was looking at the field in Tampa on the highlights, and it looks horrible. Not very green, no fancy designs. They probably can’t help it, but it just does not look nice. Oh, well. The series continues tonight with Josh Beckett vs. Scott Kazmir. Hopefully Beckett can get back on track. GO BOSTON!!
Phillies clobbered the Dodgers 8-5. The series will move on tomorrow at Dodger Stadium.
I’m starting to miss the Padres. Just a teesy weensy bit, but it’s starting. But they’ve been making moves to make room on the roster, so I’m anticipating new players. Like yesterday, Michael Barrett went to free agency. I almost forgot we had him. If he’s healthy, he might be a good player, but he had two horrible years with us. We also claimed a second baseman, Travis Denker, from the Giants. This is very understandable, since Matt Antonelli needs a lot more time in the Minors. Denker is a rookie, too, so we’ll see what the Padres have planned for him. Well, for now I’ve got the playoffs to distract me. But the long offseason months are coming up. Get ready.