MLB really needs to rethink the rules around September callups, because this game was long. How long was it? Well, the baby born at the ballpark in the fourth inning is now expected to be the first round pick in next year's amateur draft. It took just over three and a half hours and fourteen different pitchers to make it through nine innings of baseball tonight, but the Padres prevailed. Their second consecutive walkoff victory lowered the Giants' elimination number to three, because we ruin everything.
Ian Kennedy had a lousy, lousy game, giving up four runs on eleven hits and two walks, but he got ample support from his offense, and, just as importantly, his bullpen, who held the Giants scoreless over four innings. The seven different Friar relievers allowed just two hits and a walk. San Francisco starter Madison Bumgarner looked much better, but one good swing from Derek Norris and some sloppy relief work sent him home with no decision.
The Giants got on the board first when Brandon Crawford led off the second inning with a homer. A pair of singles followed that and Kennedy looked like he was in deep, but Kevin Frandsen grounded into a huge double play, bringing up Bumgarner for an easy third out. That lead didn't last long. In the bottom half of the inning, Justin Upton and Jedd Gyorko got things started with a walk and a single. That brought up Norris, who lined a three-run shot (his 14th of the year) into the Jack Deck.
San Francisco narrowed that lead in the next inning. Angel Pagan led off with a double and scored on a single by Alejandro de Aza. A double from Matt Duffy put runners on second and third with nobody out, but Kennedy struck out Buster Posey and then intentionally walked Crawford to set up a double play. Marlon Byrd helpfully turned that double play into a reality. It was the fifth inning that finally knocked Kennedy out. After a leadoff double by de Aza, he retired the next two batters. But then he walked Crawford and gave up an RBI single to Byrd. A wild pitch put Crawford on third and Byrd on second, and then he balked Crawford in to give up the lead.
The Friars tied it back up in the eighth, when Bumgarner had finally been pulled after 120 pitches. Wil Myers drew a leadoff walk, but Cory Spangenberg's attempt to bunt him over didn't work out, and they switched places. But it didn't matter much, as Spang had no problem scoring from first on Matt Kemp's double down the third base line. That was all they'd get in the eighth, but Norris's leadoff double in the ninth set them up for victory. Melvin Upton Jr. bunted pinch-runner Travis Jankowski to third, which brought up pinch-hitter Brett Wallace. The Giants took no chances with Wallace and put him on first, praying they could get pinch-hitter Alexi Amarista to ground into a double play. No such luck. The little ninja belted one over the heads of the shallow outfield to send the Giants packing with a series loss and fading hopes of playoff baseball.
You'll want to tune in tomorrow when Casey Kelly makes his first start since 2012. First pitch is at 7:10 PM.
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