Ouch…tough one tonight for the Friars as they let a 5-run lead evaporate and lose to the Braves 6-5 to even the series at one a piece. We’ve gotten spoiled as Padres fans with the team able to inflict the come from behind pain on others, but tonight the Pads got an unexpected nasty spoonful of it themselves….with no sugar chaser.
With James Shields on the mound and the bats starting to heat up on this road trip the confidence was understandably high. Not even an hour delay of the game’s start time due to rain could dampen the optimism of taking game two of the series.
The Pads appeared to indeed be in complete control of this one from the get go. Barmes has been swinging the hot shillelagh the past ten days, and got the Pads on the board first with a double in the 2nd, 1-0 Pads. Venable then lined a solo home run down the right field line in the 3rd, to make 2-0. Alonso then added on as he continued his scorching hot ways with an RBI single in the 5th, that made it 3-0.
Meanwhile Shields was being Shields, throwing strikes and getting outs. He allowed a base runner in three of the first five innings but nothing very threatening. He had a good curve ball, nice change up working and the pitch count was reasonable. It was all good for the boys, and was about to get better.
The Padres 6th opened with two quick outs, but Shields himself stroked a single to start a rally. Venable followed with another extra base hit, this time an opposite field double to score Shields. Norris added on with a run scoring single to make it a 5-0 Padres lead in the 6th with Shields on the mound. To quote the venerable Homer Simpson, “Woo Hoo!”
Little could any Padres fan suspect, but that would be the apex of the evening for the Friars. Former Padre Jace Peterson lead off the 6th with a single. Freeman then singled him in. Markakis hit a chopper to Spangenberg but Cory got caught in between hops with the runner screening him as well and couldn’t come up with it.
That play hurt, but the real turning point was the next batter Uribe, in my opinion. Shields got two strikes on him then simply could not put him away. He tried going with his changeup down and in but just couldn’t crank one off with enough bite to get the swing and miss, and Uribe would end up walking to load the bases – draining and costly out that got away. The next batter then hit a hanger for a bases clearing double. The last run that crossed was originally called out, but was challenged by Gonzalez and reversed. 5-4 Padres.
The next batter singled and another run crossed to tie it 5-5. That play at the plate was also challenged, this time by the Padres but was upheld. I’m not sure if the crew in NY was instructed to look at the tag only, but the runner, Simmons, was well out of his running lane to the plate that Norris left open and collided with is knee into Norris’ hip. It looked like a violation of the Posey rule, but it was apparently ignored and the call upheld on all accounts to keep the game tied.
The Friars almost took the lead back in the 8th as Melvin Upton Jr. walked, stole second, and reached third on the catcher’s throwing error. He then tried to score on a ground out to third and was called safe initially, but was later called out on the challenge.
Terdoslavich then gave the Braves the lead in the 8th without any controversy as he homered off Benoit to give the Bravos a 6-5 lead that they would hold on to through the final three outs.
Tomorrow Ross will get the ball and look to secure at least a series split for the boys. First pitch will be fired at 7:10 EST. Uncle Teddy and I will be happy that you joined us for all the action on the Mighty 1090.