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SD4, SF1: Grandal, Smith, Rivera break 76-win curse

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Ian Kennedy broke 200 innings pitched for the 2014 season, and his teammates rewarded him with those things we've now learned are called "runs".

Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports

For the first time since 2010, the San Diego Padres have won more than 76 games (having stuck at that exact number the past two seasons). With tonight's 4-1 win over the San Francisco Giants, the Padres have notched their weird little place in Petco Park history with the winningest home record, and a the third best record since that very first opening day. Wasn't this season supposed to monumentally suck?

Well, it did in its own ways. But tonight it didn't. That's a huge thank you to our Ian Kennedy, who is sitting at the top of the Padres starting rotation with the highest WAR (2.7). Tonight he was golden, becoming the second pitcher on our current rotation to close out the season on a very positive note. He went 7 full innings giving up only 4 hits, an unearned run, and 2 walks with 6 strikeouts.

Despite a bare-handed error from Jedd Gyorko after the ninja feed from Alexi Amarista, the defense was working in the way of the Ninja. A one-two-three inning in the first highlighted by a dive from Cory Spangenberg to save a base-hit from Joe Panik, the Padres and their defense were easily on pace tonight to completely shutout the Gnats. Which would have had been pretty useful 24 hours ago.

Spangydive
Being in such close proximity to the Little Ninja, some  of the powers rub off on you.

Our scoring started early in the first when last night's hero Yasmani Grandal knocked the other hero Will Venable in with an RBI-single. Things calmed down until the 6th when a very, very large double plated Gyorko. Now with the score 2-1, Vogelsong was already a tad bid shaken up.

Sethdouble
Smethxy smacks one, disappointingly, off the wall. Sad Seth is the most hearbreaking thing ever.

With runners now on second and third, the third musketeer of last night's offensive parade was at the plate. Rene Rivera, who has been deemed the Demi Lovato of the ballclub, sacrificed his bat to drive in two more Padres runs. Some quick sprinting and a very attractive slide from Seth Smith would guarantee a lead of three and keep the game at 4-1 for the rest of the night.

Renerbi
Sethslide
Rivera makes all of Seth's dreams come true by getting him home, validated by a crisp uniform-dirtying slide that would have been otherwise missed out on.

The deadly combination of Kevin Quackenbush and Joaquin Benoit retired the champagne-popping-for-a-wild-card-berth Giants, and sent a gaggle of Panda-hat-toting fans back to their cable cars. Benoit wracked up his 11th save of the season, Kennedy notched his 13th win posting a 3.63 ERA for the season, and the Padres now have a clean shot at splitting/winning their final series of the season.

In terms of win expectancy things didn't truly go our way until that very sexy Seth Smith double, and once the closers came in, the Giants stayed down.


Source: FanGraphs

And with only THREE (now two) games left in the regular GLB season, only five of us showed up.

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Commenter list CurbEnthusiasm, daveysapien, freelunch, jodes0405, tonoxtono
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jodes, freelunch, tonoxtono and I carried the thread conversations tonight. rec counts were as follows: daveysapien (7), CurbEnthusiasm (1), jodes (2), freelunch (1), tonoxtono (1). And as Andy from The Office would say: The rest of you are dead to me.