The giants took an early 2-0 lead as Cashner struggled from the start. It’s not unusual for him to allow runs to cross early with a 4.94 ERA in the first frame this year. He walked the first two batters then made a 2-out fastball mistake to Crawford who lined it into the right field gap to drive in both runners, 2-0 S.F.
After the 1st inning Cash settled down and posted zeros the rest of his six innings of work. Excellent slider tonight, a few good changeups, and better fastball command as the game went on.
Trouble was the other guy on the mound was sharp from the first pitch and never gave ground. That guy, of course, was former Padre Jake Peavy. He mowed the boys down for the second time in the last 10 days with a combo of well located fastballs and sliders to his glove side, and an occasional change up. He was masterful in his six shutout innings.
The Friars finally broke through in the 7th against the Gigantes bullpen. Birthday boy Jedd Gyorko got it started with a single, then Norris walked. With two outs Solarte walked to the plate with an early double already under his belt. He would make that two doubles on the night with a drive to the right field gap that scored Gyorko and Norris to tie the game 2-2. Unfortunately after the hit Yangervis would leave the game on his own power with a cramping right hamstring.
The uplifting energy after the Solarte hit lasted only a few brief minutes, though, as the first Giants batter to walk to the plate in the 8th hit a solo HR to return the lead right back to S.F. 3-2.
Depressing right? Not for the never say die Pads. In the 8th it would be Wallace who would get things started with a single, then Gyorko (there he is again!) also singled to set the stage for one of the young guns. Jankowski had never faced Sergio Romo before, which likely played a part in the decision to let the righty face the left handed batter (instead of possible Lopez vs. Upton match up). The youngster came up huge with a double sliced just inside the third base chalk line to plate Wallace and Gyorko and put the Pads on top 4-3. Woo hoo!
Despite dependable closer Craig Kimbrel coming in to the game the roller coaster ride wasn’t over yet. A fly ball off the bat of Posey was not handled by Kemp and the tying run was all of a sudden on thanks to the error. Crawford then hit a hanging curve ball into left field for a double to move the tying run to third, and put the go ahead run on second. Still not the end of the world with Kimbrel’ stuff. Sure enough, strike out, strike out and he was one out away from escaping the jam and locking down the save. Even better was that he was facing a rookie who’d never faced the fireballer before – you had to like the Pads chances at this point. The great escape came unravelled, however, with one wild pitch that sailed over the batters head to the back stop allowing Posey to score the tying run.
I know, I know depressing at that point. With the wind potentially taken out of their sails the Pads kept the game tied and went to work once again in their half of the 9th. After seeing nothing but sliders all night the other birthday boy of the evening, Matt kemp, lined the first fastball he saw all night into the gap in left for a lead off double. Two batters later Gyorko, who had already played a significant role in the previous two Padres rallies came up big once again. With two outs he lined a shot into left field to score Kemp and give the Fathers the 5-4 victory, their third walk off win of the season, and himself the first walk off hit of his career.
Crazy ride but worth it with a good finish!
So now that the string of loses to the Giants has been broken, the Pads will look to make it two wins in a row with Kennedy going to the hill and firing the first salvo at 6:10. Look forward to you and joining Uncle Teddy and me for all the action on the Mighty 1090!