No matter what else may be going on in the Padres season a victory over the Dodgers warms a Friar Fan’s heart. Well the Friar Faithful should have a very toasty feeling inside their chest tonight after the Pads gutsy come from behind 10-7 victory over los Doyers.
It was a roller coaster ride for sure. An old school Disney E-ticket ride, not for the faint of heart. Actually it was more like old fashioned horror movie and started off like any good horror flick with a peaceful walk through paradise. The Padres wasted no time taking apart L.A. starter Mat Latos. The former Padre had little on the ball tonight tossing up mostly flat 88 MPH fastballs that the Friars didn’t miss. Solarte and Upton doubled, and Gyorko singled to produce two runs in the 1st. The attack continued in the 2nd with Norris and Solarte singles, followed by a 2-out Kemp double to drive both runners in and give the Fathers a comfortable 4-0 early lead.
As unimpressive as Latos was, Pads starter Collin Rea was just as impressive. The young hurler had excellent fastball command right from the start and mixed in his curve ball early and often to post zeros in the first two innings. Then in the 3rd he started to incorporate his cut-fastball more, especially on toeholds of the lefties, and mowed through the L.A. lineup for two more goose eggs in the 3rd and 4th.
Rea finally gave some ground in the 5th allowing two doubles and a single to plate two Dodger runs, but was still on the line to be the winner with a 4-2 lead. Then the creepy music started in the background. Yep, that eerie concoction of minor chords, and non linear chaotic noise that gives you goose bumps and makes the hair on the back of neck stand up. Agonizing terror was about to take hold.
The Padres bullpen would be responsible for much of the gore that would ensue in the 6th. Despaigne loaded the bases on single, single, walk. Rzepczynski was brought in to the bases loaded no-out mess to save the day but couldn’t stop the slashing as he allowed a sac-fly and a couple of singles then committed an error all of which resulted in a five run blood bath. From a 4-0 lead to a 7-4 deficit in the blink of an eye. You could feel the life being sucked out the Pads and the Petco crowd.
Just as all seemed lost and that the evil villain would get away with his atrocity as the hero lay still bleeding out the first sign of salvation from certain doom revealed itself from an unusual source – the umpiring crew! Usually the bearers of negative plot twists, this time their call went the Friars way as a seemingly routine double play ball was ruled to be only one out as Utley apparently failed to touch second base before relaying the ball to first. Mattingly was furious over the call, but the crew in NY refused to reverse his challenge and the call stood. That allowed Norris to eventually get to the plate with a runner in scoring position and he doubled to drive in the run to make it 7-5, and the momentum shift was officially under way.
The next inning Solarte hit a solo blast, and I do mean blast as it traveled an estimated 407′ into the third deck of the Western Metal building, to cut L.A.’s lead to 7-6. You could just feel the Dodger bullpen letting the lead slip through their fingers. The harder they gripped, the more it would seep right through their clenched hands. Meanwhile Quackenbush had quietly stopped the Pads hemorrhaging and posted scoreless frames in the 7th and 8th.
The escape from the clutches of evil was completed in the 8th when Upton lead off with a walk and Gyorko caaa-rushed (royalty fee to my partner Ted Leitner) a 2-run homer into the left center seats to put the Pads back on top 8-7. A run scoring pinch hit triple by Upton, Jr., and an RBI-2B by Solarte padded the lead to 10-7.
Kimbrel was unavailable due to his 37 pitch effort from the night before, so Benoit came on to lock down the final three outs which he did on 13 pitches, all of them fastballs. The villain was slain, and the hero had survived the horrific ordeal, much to the delight of the Padre fans that still filled the stadium, and to the agony of those donning Dodger blue.
Part two of this inter league rival tetralogy will start at 7:10 tomorrow with Shields delivering the fist line of the opening act for the Friars. Uncle Teddy and I will look forward to describing all the exciting and dramatic action to you on the Mighty 1090!