Blame it on Enrique Pena Nieto, the President of Mexico, but the Padres lost to the Diamondbacks 6-4 to tie the series at 1-1. Yes the bullpen was terrible tonight, but I’m convinced that it was Nieto’s mojo that turned the tide of this juego.
Upton got the Padres on the board first with a blast into the second deck down the left field line on a 3-0 fastball. It was as good a 3-0 swing as I’ve ever seen. How often do we see a batter take a hack on a 3-0 pitch only to over swing and pop it up. Not Justin. He stayed composed and barreled it up about as perfectly as possible to put the Pads up 1-0.
Tyson Ross started a rally in the 3rd with a lead off single. Jankowski reached on an infield single to bring up the top of the order, and Myers walked to load the bases. Solarte grounded into a double play to score a run but it ended the big threat. Still the Pads were up 2-0.
Meanwhile Ross was not only hitting well but he pitched well too. He walked the first batter of the game he faced then got into his groove. As in recent outings at the end of a long season the velocity was not necessarily as impressive as he’s capable of, but his fastball control and slider action were as good as he’s had in recent weeks. He used that good stuff to ultimately strike out 9, and retired eight in a row at one point. He finally was touched for a run in the 6th, but left having allowed only four hits and leading 2-1.
The Friars were able to get that run back on singles by Hedges and Jankowski to get the lead up to 3-1. And then that’s when it happened….
El Presidente, señor Nieto, took to the airwaves in a national address to the citizens of Mexico. His address to his nation meant that our station’s baseball broadcast was preempted. It was only supposed to last 10 minutes, but it ended up being closer to twenty.
Twenty loooooong minutes and a lot happened in those 20 minutes! By the time we came back on the Mighty 1090 airwaves the score had flipped to 6-3 in favor of the snakes. It al happened in a disastrous 7th inning for the bullpen that included the first six batters reaching base, three by walks gifted by two different relievers. Ultimately it would take four pitchers to get through the inning but not before 5 runs crossed to put the Pads into catch up mode. All was fine until the presidential interruption…gracias jefe!
The Pads plated one in the 8th, but that was all they could get against the AZ bullpen. Murphy was ejected in that inning arguing a horrible strike call against Wallace, but it didn’t change the course of the at bat that saw Wallace strike out, nor the game.
Tomorrow the Fathers will look to take the rubber match with Cashner on the mound. First pitch is at 6:40 again, and this time Uncle Teddy and I look forward to you joining us on the Mighty 1090 and to not being interrupted by any world leaders!