Sometimes things get a little fuzzy after an evening at the pub. Here’s a friendly reminder of what you might have missed while you were drinking, then watching Summer Sky Blast from outside your pub.
People often talk about a game having a playoff feel. If you were one of the 43,525 at last night’s San Diego/Los Angeles game, you’ve now experienced a regular season game with a playoff feel. Tense, well pitched, and an entertaining 2 hr 30 min event. Thanks to Justin Upton‘s first HR since 24 May, the Padres (32-32) nipped the Dodgers (36-26) 2-1.
San Diego scratched out a run in the first. Will Venable hustled himself into a one-out ground ball double to right-center. Upton grounded to second base, moving Will to third. Matt Kemp – who still doesn’t look comfortable at the plate, and didn’t get a ball out of the infield all night – hit a little nubber that Zack Greinke fielded, then handcuffed Adrian Gonzalez with his throw. Venable scored, Kemp got an RBI and a free base, and the Padres led.
Ian Kennedy made it stand up until the third, when he grooved a 3-1 fastball to Yasmani Grandal that was promptly deposited in the RF seats. Grandal’s solo shot tied the game at one. It stayed that way until Upton’s heroics in the eighth. Hilariously, Dodger Manager Don Mattingly asked for a review of Upton’s 409′ blast, claiming a fan interfered with the ball before it cleared the wall. Nay, Nay, Moosebreath. The umps took 42 seconds to deny the request.
A couple of other plays of note. Kennedy bounced a pitch to Derek ‘NorrisaurusRex’ Norris (when you’re doing it all the Rex gets capitalized) with Justin Turner at first. Turner broke on the ball in the dirt. Unfortunately for him, Norris picked it clean and threw him out by 4 feet. No caught stealing on the play because he hadn’t broken for second when Kennedy started his motion. In the fifth, Cory Spangenberg managed to get hit by Alexi Amarista‘s slow roller to second. I think Spangenberg was trying to get in Howie Kendrick‘s way so he couldn’t make the play. Oops. Spangy was called out on runner interference. Interestingly, by rule Amarista gets credited for a single. I did not know this rule.
Greinke recorded all 3 assists in the eighth. In the top of fifth, the first 3 balls hit all went Upton’s way (two fly balls sandwiched around a single). Maybe only I find that kind of silly stuff interesting.
Craig Kimbrel came on in the ninth and staged an epic battle with Yasiel Puig. Puig fouled off several pitches, including a wicked 88 MPH curveball he just barely reached. The longer that AB went, the more you felt like Puig would win; and sure enough, on the 8th pitch, he bounced a ground ball up the middle for a base hit. Up came everyone’s favorite villian, Adrian. Dodger fans rose to their feet in anticipation …. and got a 1-6-3 DP instead. Kimbrel blew down Kendrick to preserve the win.
The two teams square off in the rubber game today at 1:10. James Shields (7-0, 3.79) will face Mike Bolsinger (4-1, 2.08).