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SD 7, LAD 3: Padres blast away Dodgers in late-inning craziness

Welcome the the Padres, Craig Kimbrel. Today the Friars pounced on some ugly Doyer errors and fans got to see a tight offensive and defensive unit live up to their hype. The series is now tied.

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

It all started Tuesday night at 6:30 PM. And then it rained. Then it got pushed to 7:10 PM. And then it the tarp came off by 7:30 and the damp Dodger Stadium was ready to host some baseball. After Monday afternoon's skinned-knee loss, the Padres and Friar faithful were more than ready to bounce back. The ball would be in the hands of Tyson Ross, and the mound shared with Zack Greinke.

Game Preview

A lot was to be learned from yesterday's loss. We learned that James Shields can easily go toe-to-toe with Clayton Kershaw. We learned that Matt Kemp was locked and loaded to do damage to his former club, and that Dodger fans are a sliver more classy than people give them credit. We also found out that the flag of the 2014 bullpen has a few tiny holes that we're not accustomed to seeing.

Today's win flipped the result and fulfilled the 2015 off-season hype.

First inning, First strike

In a similar fashion to their opening day, the Padres inflicted the early damage in the first inning. With a soft single from Kemp, Justin Upton swaggered up to bat and belted out a line drive into left field. What would have have been a harmless single putting Kemp on 2nd and Upton on 1st ended up ramping off Carl Crawford's glove into the warning track and extended the hard hit into an RBI-triple. Padres 1-0.

Upton funk you up. Turning on a two-out fastball left over the plate.

Back-and-forth, Ball in the wet left field grass

The meat of the game would go on to destroy the fingernails of anybody with a nailbiting habit. The lead evened out 1-1 in the bottom of the 6th with an RBI-double from the pain-in-the-butt Adrian Gonzalez, and then tilt further towards the Doyers' favor with a Howie Kendrick RBI-single making things 2-1. Tyson Ross wouldn't return after those two runs, but still posted a very strong 6 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, and 4 K's. Grienke was also pulled, and matched Ross' performance with 4 hits fewer and only giving up 1 run.

There's not a slider in baseball that can make you look as stupid as Tyson Ross' can.

The Padres were then gift-wrapped a run from a complete whiff from Jimmy Rollins on a routine shallow pop-out, and  like that the Padres were tied 2-2. But let's not forget about the Padres' projected "abysmal defense" in the outfield. In the bottom of the third, Justin Upton was challenged with a cutting hit that split well between Myers and himself. Upton chased it down, grabbed hold, and rifled the ball into Amarista; who then threw Rollins out at 3rd with such ease it looked like he was playing a carnival game trying to win a stuffed teddy bear that was bigger than his Ninja self.

After the ball takes a harsh cut from center to left-center, Upton hits Ninja for the relay and sends Rollins from third base to the dugout.

The tit-for-tat would be taken into the 8th inning when Derek Norris led things off with a single. A slow grounder from Kemp and an intentional-walk handed to Upton (when was the last time we've had somebody in the lineup to provoke that?) would put runners on first and second. Despite a deflating pop-out from Wil Middlebrooks, Yonder Alonso came around in the bottom of the lineup to push an RBI-single into left and give the Pads a 3-2 lead.

Yonder slaps a by-the-book RBI single into left field. I take back everything I said about you yesterday Alonso.

Now in the bottom of the 8th with Joaquin Benoit to replace Dale Thayer, a quick strikeout of Yasiel Puig had the Pads on-track to keep the lead. Instead, Benoit left a fastball front and center for one of the worst batters to make that mistake with. AGon. And it was put exactly where you'd expect: in the outfield bleachers. Tied at 3-3.

Yasmani Grandal helps the Padres win

With the tense tie game entering its final inning, the Padres were at the bottom of the lineup, and with nothing to fear. Clint Barmes, who came into the game in the 7th for a pinch-hit single was hot and up to bat. He came through with another single, and this set things up for Cory Spangenberg to bring him home. Bud Black couldn't help himself and issued a bunt from Spangy, which was laid beautifully for a typical sacrifice. Instead, the former Friar Grandal scooped up the bunted ball and threw it right into Cory's back. This put Barmes all the way on 3rd, and brought in the top of the Padres' now-scary lineup.

Double-agent Yasmani pegs Spangy in the back giving the Padres the needed go-ahead.
Beating up the Doyers, Shutting them down

The scene: Wil Myers at bat, runners on the corner, no outs. Myers was first pitch swinging, and the result was an RBI-single. Padres 4-3. Wil's first hit of the season would be the catalyst for a game-deciding inning. Derek Norris would follow up with a hard RBI-double making things 6-3, and then another Will (Middlebrooks this time) would hit Norris in, capping the night off at 7-3. The reason the final score could be described as "capped-off", was because Craig Kimbrel was now coming in. And wearing a Padres uniform.

Myers was smiling like a dork after breaking the game open with his first hit by beating the infield-in shift.

Kimbrel K's, Padres win

Just in case you weren't for some reason convinced that Kimbrel was a big deal, he went ahead and struck out the side like it was a beer league lineup and notched the Padres a victory for you. The win came riding in on some harsh 97 MPH heat, which then was followed up by some nasty 86 MPH breaking balls. This didn't earn him his first San Diego save, yet, but was very much the cherry on top of a flavorful night of baseball. Just about everybody was locked in.

Norris went 2-5 and 2 RBI's, Kemp 1-4 with a walk, Alonso killed it going 3-5 with an RBI. Ross allowing fewer runs than both Clayton Kershaw and James Shields' performances yesterday. 11 Padres hits for 7 runs, and a big fat goose egg in the error column. Gorgeous.

Source: FanGraphs

Our win probability took a dump once Adrian hit that bomb. But all it took was a single and an error to turn the entire game on its head. Pile on your Myers RBI and the Padres had things in the bag by the 9th.

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Back-to-back 1,000+ game threads is a good thing. If we can go all week breaking a thousand comments, I'll buy the top commenters from each day a free ice cream. ChrisDenorfiasHair lead tonight's discussion with JWilhite and abara took the top green game, although TheThinGwynn littered the top of the leaderboards with more greenies per comment.