I finally made it to a game Tuesday night. About time… I get cranky when I can’t get out to the ballpark, and it had been way too long.
Ah, who am I kidding? I’m always cranky.
The win helped. It’s a shame there weren’t more folks to witness it with me, but I guess even the Dodgers lose their traveling crowd at some point. It didn’t take much effort to drown out the Dodgers fans, which was sort of gratifying but mostly just sad.
Mat Latos? I’ve run out of superlatives. After the Johnny Wholestaff game on Monday, the Padres needed him to work deep into the game and he did.
Good thing, because Monday’s hero, Mike Adams, had nothing when he came in to replace Latos in the eighth. Adams, who threw 27 pitches the night before, served up a leadoff double to
Scott Podsednik . The next batter, Jay Gibbons, hit a ball to left center that Chris Denorfia dove for and caught as it was tailing away from him. Denorfia has struggled at times in center field, but on this night, he denied Gibbons and the Dodgers their game-tying single.
Heath Bell entered with one out in the eighth to work a rare (by current standards) five-out save. Bell seemed a little gassed from the previous night as well. He had needed 18 pitches to close out that victory, and although the velocity was fine, he seemed to be overthrowing the fastball and missing badly with location. I kept screaming for him to drop the curve ball and he did, to great effect. When you throw your fastball as hard as Bell does, hitters have to prepare themselves for it and they can look foolish when something else arrives. Bell made a nice adjustment and sealed the deal.
The downside is that Bell threw 31 pitches in the process. Presumably he’s unavailable Wednesday, and I’m not so sure about Adams. That leaves… Luke Gregerson? No, thanks. Maybe Ernesto Frieri? Or here’s a crazy thought: Score a boatload of runs so you can afford to send Edward Mujica into the contest.
During the game, the Padres congratulated Trevor Hoffman and showed video of him earning his 600th career save for the Milwaukee Brewers earlier in the evening. He got a nice round of applause from a crowd that will never forget him, but it was bittersweet. On the one hand, I was glad to see Hoffman so honored. On the other, it seemed kind of sad that the Brewers would trot their former closer out there solely for the sake of letting him reach a milestone. I guess they don’t have much else to play for, so why not.
Ryan Ludwick continues to be all kinds of lost at the plate — shades of Greg Vaughn in 1996. Friend of Ducksnorts Steve Poltz put positive voodoo vibes on Ludwick after Monday night’s victory but they haven’t kicked in yet. These things take time.
Adrian Gonzalez showed a great approach in his first two trips to the plate against Clayton Kershaw, taking the tough southpaw to the opposite field both times. The second one, which was reminiscent of Keith Hernandez, drove home Denorfia with what proved to be the winning run.
A laugher would be nice at some point, but wins are good. The Giants aren’t going away and neither are the Rockies. This is fun, right? Sure beats thinking about next year.