This was a weird game, full of instant replays, mishandled balls, extra innings, odd double plays, and even a rundown, but our boys emerged victorious to complete a sweep of the Braves. They went 5-1 on this homestand, scoring 33 runs while allowing only 14. Great pitching has been essential to that success, and Tyson Ross's performance today was no exception. He went 6 innings, allowing only 2 runs on 5 hits and 2 walks while striking out 7.
The Padres struck first, with Will Venable hitting a leadoff single in the second. A one-out grounder put him in scoring position with two away. It also brought Tyson Ross to the plate. Tyson isn't exactly the greatest hitting pitcher in the world, but he managed to squeak a single up the middle to score Venable. Will led off again in the fourth, this time drawing a walk. He went to third on a single by Alexi Amarista, and that's when the weirdness started. The little ninja tried to take second on the throw, and his slide came up a little short. On review, it turned out that Lexi had dodged the tag not once, but twice, and then there were two Friars in scoring position with nobody out. Venable got caught in a rundown on a grounder from Rene Rivera, but managed to stall long enough for Rene to make it to second. Ross drew a walk to load things up, and a sacrifice fly by Everth Cabrera brought home a run.
Ross held down that 2-0 lead through the sixth inning, but ran into a mess of trouble in the seventh. A leadoff four pitch walk to Justin Upton turned into a run when Jason Heyward hit a triple to right field. Evan Gattis brought home Heyward with a double to center to tie things up. With nobody out and the go-ahead run in scoring position, Nick Vincent took over. He gave up a double to Chris Johnson, but Gattis read it poorly and only made it as far as third. A walk to Ramiro Pena loaded the bases, and there was still nobody out. Vincent finally fixed that problem by striking out Emilio Bonifacio. And then the baseball gods, in their infinite mercy, got B.J. Upton to ground into a double play.
Things got really weird in the top of the eighth. Tommy La Stella hit a leadoff single. Freddie Freeman followed up with a grounder to shortstop. It should have been a textbook double play, but Amarista dropped the ball on the transfer, and La Stella was called safe. Bud Black came out to ask for a review, and the call was overturned. The exact same play repeated itself in the next at-bat, but the second base umpire called an out at second, bringing Fredi Gonzalez out to challenge. This time, the call on the field was upheld. Justin Upton then foolishly tried to take second, but Rivera gunned him down.
Tommy Medica (he's so dreamy) led off the bottom of the eighth, and he did it with style. A laser of a home run put the Padres on top and gave Joaquin Benoit his first save opportunity in San Diego. It didn't go well. Heyward hit a leadoff double. A routine grounder to the pitcher of the bat of Gattis turned into disaster when Benoit tried to catch Heyward at third. An error on the play sent him home and tied the game again. He retired the next three batters, but the damage was done.
The bottom of the ninth started out with some promise. Yonder Alonso led off with a pinch hit single. A sacrifice bunt moved him into scoring position. Yangervis popped out, and things got tense again. Juan Jaime threw 8 balls in a row to load the bases and bring up Jedd Gyorko. Three more balls and it looked like we might see a walkoff walk, but Jaime battled his way to a full count before getting Jedd to ground out. Bonus baseball!
With both bullpens worn down by yesterday's marathon, the Padres turned to Tim Stauffer, who cruised through the tenth easily. David Hale took the mound for the Braves. That seemed good for the Friars, since they hammered him on Friday night. Venable hit another leadoff single, and Amarista drew a walk to put him in scoring position. Rivera came to the plate to bunt the runners over. Instead, he popped up the bunt, leading to a double play catching the runners at first and third. Chris Nelson drew a walk to keep hope alive. That brought up Cabrera. Amarista and Nelson put together a double steal to make his job easier, and he hit a grounder right up the middle to wrap up the sweep.
Our boys get a much-needed off day tomorrow, and Jesse Hahn will take the mound in Minnesota on Tuesday. First pitch at 5:10 PM.
|Roll Call Info|
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Podpeople led with 58 comments. TheThinGwynn dominated the quality game, with a whopping 27 recs.