Barfield and Padres Snatch One Back from Rockies

The August month in review will have to wait another day, because what Josh Barfield and the Padres did Monday night was huge. For those who may not have seen it, here’s a quick run through the ninth.

Colorado closer Brian Fuentes enters the contest with a 7-5 5-4 lead. The first batter he faces is Russell Branyan, who homered off lefty Tom Martin in his previous at-bat. The crowd of better than 35,000 is chanting “Let’s Go Padres.” The sequence to Branyan:

  • FB 92 up and in, 1-0
  • SL 79 down and away, 1-1
  • SL 79 down and away, 2-1
  • SL 78 down, 3-1
  • FB 93 outer half, 3-2 (best fastball Fuentes threw in terms of location)
  • FB 93 inside, fouled back, still 3-2
  • FB 93 inside, fly out to center

Branyan doesn’t get on base, but he battles and gives the guys behind him a good look at two of Fuentes’ pitches. That brings up Mike Cameron:

  • CH 72 down, 1-0
  • FB 94 down and in, 2-0
  • FB 92 up and in, fouled off, 2-1 (Rockies reliever Manny Corpas catches the ball in the bullpen as Todd Helton and Brad Hawpe pursue it; neither would have gotten to it, but veteran teammate Jose Mesa gives Corpas a piece of his mind anyway)
  • FB 94 down and in, 3-1
  • FB 92 in, fouled back, 3-2
  • FB 94 outer half, fouled back, still 3-2
  • FB 92 up and away, walk (first issued by a Rockies’ pitcher all night)

Fuentes is working hard. He appears to be overthrowing his fastball and having trouble commanding the pitch. Shortstop Geoff Blum is the next scheduled hitter but he is lifted for Mike Piazza, who is celebrating his 38th birthday. Khalil Greene is on the active roster but only available for pinch-running duties. If the Padres tie the game and go to extra innings, Manny Alexander will play shortstop. But first, Piazza must make something happen:

  • FB 92 middle, fouled back, 0-1 (if Piazza’s in the entire game there’s a good chance he ends it with this pitch; it’s right down the middle and Mike just misses it)
  • CH 73 up, called strike, 0-2 (nice pitch; might be out of the zone but it catches Piazza off guard)
  • FB 93 up, 1-2
  • throw to first (right after Tony Gwynn calls it)
  • FB 91 up and away, 2-2
  • CH 74 down, 3-2 (this is the pitch of the at-bat; nasty change — I still don’t know how Piazza laid off it)
  • throw to first; chorus of boos
  • FB 91 up and away, walk (Cameron was running)

As was the case on Sunday, Piazza is lifted for a pinch-runner. Again, it’s Greene, who scored the winning run a day earlier while running for Piazza. That brings up Josh Barfield. The pitcher’s spot is due up after him, and with a lefty on the mound and Piazza already having been used (and Ben Johnson a day away from being recalled from Portland), Alexander is in the on-deck circle. Barfield steps to the plate:

  • CH 74 down and in, swinging strike, 0-1 (I’m screaming at the television — Fuentes has just walked the last two guys and starts the rookie off with a changeup well out of the zone; he took Barfield to school on this pitch)
  • CH 74 down and in, fouled at plate, 0-2 (same pitch, Barfield just gets a piece of it; cut to Alexander on deck — I have that sick feeling in my stomach right about now)
  • FB 91 up, 1-2
  • CH 73 away, fouled back, still 1-2 (same pitch Barfield couldn’t touch before but in a hittable spot)

Before I give you the last pitch, you have to understand that to this point, Barfield is easily having the worst at-bat of the inning. He looks completely clueless after the first two change-ups from Fuentes, and now he appears to be holding on for dear life. In the annals of sports history, there have been a lot more significant and more improbable outcomes than what Barfield does next, but it shocks the heck out of me:

  • FB 90 down, 3-run homer off facade beyond left field fence



Shock and elation.

T-shirts and caps. ;-)

After watching the replay several times, I see that Colorado catcher Yorvit Torrealba was set up down and away. Fuentes gets the first part of that equation right but leaves the pitch out over the plate. The idea was to get Barfield to chase something out of the zone. Instead, the rookie goes down and tees off for a walk-off homer.

I still have a hard time believing it. Barfield looked so completely lost at the start of that at-bat.

Greene, for the second game in a row, scores the winning run as a pinch-runner for Piazza. The team greets Barfield at the plate, and the crowd is absolutely rockin’.

On TV, Matt Vasgersian tries to interview Barfield, but it’s not happening. First Brian Sweeney and Cla Meredith come by and knock his headset off. Then Clay Hensley delivers a cream pie to the face and it’s all over.

Hot damn, folks; we’re in a pennant race!

35 Responses »

  1. I’m a HUGE Miami Hurricanes fan. I watched that game 1st and was ticked off – I’m not getting into it now – then clicked over to see the Padres get the series-opening win – NICE! I wouldn’t call it a GREAT day in Peter’s sports world, but it sure ended beatifully.

  2. I just listened to the Padres call of the HR on the Padres website and be assured…Matty V was a whole lot more excited than the Rockies announcers were…

  3. Reservations, get your reservations, get ‘em while their hot…

    “Anyone planning to attend the 2007 Hall of Fame induction ceremonies better make reservations, well, yesterday.”


    “Cooperstown and Hall officials are already bracing themselves for what they believe may be the largest induction turnout in history.”

  4. Just watched the replay of Barfield’s homer on the Padres website. Please tell me I am seeing something but it looks like Peavy (who is on the far right as Barfield touches home plate) is jumping on 1 foot to me.

    Don’t tell me he hurt himself in another celebration.

  5. 4: I think Jake lost a toenail, nothing to do with the celebration. We need to layer him in bubble wrap.

    That ending was the opposite of sucky. Like everybody else, I would never have guessed that Barfield would put that kind of swing on a ball after looking like he couldn’t even see the first two pitches.

    Was Branyan always that big? I thought of him as more of a Bellhorn, “surprising power for his size.” He’s pretty darn wide.

  6. Yeah (re: 5) Peavy pitched his whole game w/ a stubbed (and sore) toe. Sunday, Peavy was seen limping around clubhouse. I saw that akward hopping as well… They haven’t discussed Peavy possibly missing a start, so I’m not going to borrow trouble by worrying about it unless the Padres say something.

  7. Regarding the HOF, I’m really glad I’m within driving distance!!! Even at 2 hrs or so that beats staying an hour away and renting a car.

    Farquaad – it seems Peavy ripped his toenail off of his big toe on his couch, or something.

    He’s taking a novocaine shot in his foot so that he can make his next start.

  8. Good morning! First of all, I want to have Josh Barfield’s baby. I’ve typed that numerous times on this web site, but, can anyone argue with me after last night?

    Masticore has it right about Peavy. Peavy had another homestead mishap and his toe met couch like Big Ben’s face met windshield. Last year it was the can of green bean, this year the couch. Sounds like Jake’s home furnishings are conspiring against us. Has anyone checked to make sure the couch isn’t on the Dodgers payroll?

  9. I think it’s just a case of Peavy being a klutz…

  10. OT: The Wells deal is complete. Kottaras has been “assigned” to the Red Sox.

  11. I think Peavy’s going to be prone to household incidents. He’s apparently legally blind without his contacts and he’s got one leg shorter than the other, offset during the day with a lift in his shoe. Being blind and off-kilter is a recipe for household accidents. I think the Padres should invest in a full-time trainer assigned to do menial tasks for Jake.

  12. Awesome, awesome win. But how (HOW?) do you have Manny Alexander as your potential last out in the game? At a time when the rosters have been expanded? And there really aren’t any better pinch hitting options right handed, once Piazza or Bard is used. Bellhorn would have been better, I think, but Bochy used him earlier against the righty when Bowen or Gonzalez could have hit. It will definitely be nice to get Johnson back.

    And now final confirmation that we did just give up the good prospect for a month of Wells. It’s a good thing Barfield hit that homer.

    LaMar, the way Peavy pitched after stubbing his toe like that, the Padres should start moving furniture into his way.

  13. Ben B: You’ve got a valid point. Maybe we should just get him a case of Tiger Balm and a gross of jocks instead of trying to protect him.

  14. I have booked a room 1 1/2 hours away from the HOF…Looking forward to making that trip!!!

  15. Big W last night. Here in the Central time zone, I stayed up watching the auto-updates on the Sprint phone once it went to the 9th even though I had to get up at 430 this am. Downside – my victory dance riled up our black lab, who was thiiiiiiis close to settling down for the night. Oh well.

    Got to make it count tonight – Young has owned CO this year, but if I recall that was mostly on the road. Let’s get this one and then start talking about things you do with brooms. Must wins.

    Some tough roadies coming up – suddenly rejuvenated Frisco, Cincy (keep the ball DOWN pitchers!), the Dogs (evil grin – bring it on!), then closing out @ St. Louis (ugh – get a sick feeling about that one even though they’re a shell of their former selves) and @ Zona (recently not as scary but still a place with a lot of scars).

    Add in Philly and FL coming FAST behind us, and each night is a knuckle-biter. September baseball and the Pads are in contention – just doesn’t get any better than this!

  16. Question: Where do the cream pies come from? Are there huge supplies of them in the clubhouse so that the five times a season with a comeback win there will be a ready supply?

  17. Ben

    I believe it’s shaving cream. Hence, the abundant supply.
    I used to think that it was whipped cream, which would be more fun and, well . . . much more delicious.

  18. SD Padres Gal: better tell Cla Meredith to back off.
    Didn’t you see the kiss he planted on Josh?
    Of course, the other Clay topped it off with some cream pie to the face.
    That was great.

    Kottaras for Wells? I’m confused. Linebrink not enough to bring a third baseman and Kottaras only for Wells.


  19. LOL @ Didi, & SD Pads Chick (sorry, couldn’t resist), about having Barfield’s child, I won’t argue w/ you, but I won’t get in line either (nevermind that God didn’t bless me w/ the gift of child-bearing)…

    Check out my blog for an intersting commentary (not mine) on post-season odds…

  20. Will Carrol on Khalil Greene:

    “His finger injury has not gotten better and was recently diagnosed as a grade II tear of a ligament in his left middle finger… Things look bleak for his healthy return in 2006.”

    If the FO has been thinking about trading Greene in the off season the injury obviously complicates that. If he recovers and isn’t traded we need a stronger backup than Blum. I felt all year that he wasn’t being given enough rest and it bit them again, just like the last two years. If there’s a good SS available and no 3B I’d move Greene to 3B where he should be less injury prone.

    Interesting stat Peter. I actually think we have a better chance of winning the division than the wildcard but I’ll take either.

  21. Hi, Didi! LOL! I missed seeing that! I was too busy watching Peg Leg Peavy try and celebrate on one foot. “Watch the ribs, watch the ribs!” I yelled at the TV.

    In fact, the “Claw” is moving up my list of Padres that I would bear their children. For awhile he was having to use a Disney princess backpack to make the walk to the bullpen with the other relievers. Ah, to be a rookie reliever. I did notice that on Friday night’s game, Cla used a normal Padres bag. Did he get a Disney backpack reprieve? And, does anyone else notice that he does a very nice ballet leap (a jete) over the line as he goes towards the dugout?

    The only tiny little bummer from the celebration? Josh’s best friend Ben Johnson wasn’t there to hit his helmet and roundhouse him in the side. I’ve heard those game-winning dogpile touches aren’t light and fun, but are actually some pretty hard smacks and wacks to the player who just won the game. Weird kind of payback.

  22. re: 14 … Hey Coronado Mike – can you send me an email ( with info about where you’re staying? I’m going … and I’m still looking for a place. Thanks!

  23. I was browsing for info about the Portland Beaver’s … their radio announcer (Rich Burk) has a good web page … on it are links to the audio from a perfect game pitch’d this season …

    Did you remember that Cla Meredith was part of a perfect game this season? Here’s a link to the box score …

    Just a fun fact for y’all …

  24. Playoff Preview … … this is for the Padres Lo-A team … the Ft Wayne Wizards … a team featuring Will Venable, David Freese, and (lately) Matt Antonelli … Go Wiz :-)

  25. Heard is on the radio and Ted blow the call. All he could say was “I think he won te game….he won the game….he won the game” Lousy call. Give me the Coleman and a great big Oh Doctor! anytime.

    Lets get em again tonight.

    Last time a Padre hit a walk off, it was Mike in Chitown and I think we went on a nice long run afterward.

  26. 3 zip, Brewers over the Dodgers after the first. Got to love the Brew Crew.

  27. re:11 I’ve heard the same thing about Peavy and his vision…apparently he’s been having trouble seeing the signs even with his contacts in most of the season. As Ted says on his radio commercial… “LASIK Jake… Lasik..” Go get it done.. I even went to the same DR. that Ted and Wally Joyner went to…

  28. Marlins down 3-0 to the DBacks. Giants down 3-0 to the Reds. Philly and Houston postponed – Rain.

  29. I admit I’m not much of a Padres’s fan except I did inherit a vintage Padres 1973 old timers autograph baseball from my great aunt. It has numerous HOF on it but I wanted to know where I could find the box score or a little information about it.

  30. re: 29 … it’s hard to imagine a ’73 Padres ball with HOF’ers on it???

    Sounds like it’s got a date on it … and you want to see the box score for the game played on that date … if so, that’d be Retrosheet!

    Here’s a link to Opening Day, 1973 … … a 4-2 win over the Dodgers … ah, that was one of the few good days that season :-)

  31. LM — Sounds like an old timer’s game at the Q. Does Retrosheet have the exhibition before the actual game?

  32. Not that I’m scoreboard watching or anything, but Brewers now up 5-0 over the Dogs. Bottom of the third.

  33. I’m scoreboard watching with you LaMar…

  34. Ok..that just didn’t sound right… I’m watching the scoreboard as well…

  35. re: 31 … ah, that makes more sense … no, Retrosheet’s not going to have any info about pre- or post-game events …

    So, alex, what you might/should try to do is dig up an old newspaper of the day after … at the library? … or at the newspaper business/archive office? That’s the leg work it takes to do “research” …