In only the fifth game of the season, it's a bit early to call a game 'must-win'. That said, you can bet the Padres didn't want to go into Sunday's game with a 1-4 record, especially with Ubaldo Jimenez on the mound. Happily they won't.
Matt Latos was bitten by the HR bug, which has plagued the staff early on this season, and left the game in a 4-4 tie after six. Eight stout innings by the bullpen held off the Rockies long enough for San Diego to figure out how to push a run across, and the Padres outlasted Colorado 5-4 in 14 innings. Eight innings of 2-hit ball by the relief corps. In fact, after Hawpe's HR tied the game at 4 in the sixth, the Rockies didn't get a hit until the 12th. Tremendous effort by the bullpen.
It's late, and in a game dominated by the bullpen there's not much to add. Well maybe one thing. San Diego continues to do dumb things on the bases. Tonight Gwynn got picked off second in the first inning (and he was out, good call). Headley got cut down trying to stretch a single to a double in the second. But neither of those blunders hold a candle to Nick Hundley getting PICKED OFF FIRST with runners on the corners and one out in the fourth. Nick was trying to steal second. Nick. The catcher. In an inning where the Padres had already scored three runs, where Hammel had walked two, hit a batter, and was clearly on the ropes, they decided to put Hundley in motion on a 3-1 count. Of course Cabrera doubled right after that out was recorded. Of course he did.
Hey Bud Black: All those cool points you earned by playing hit and run on an 0-2 count Friday night? You lost them with that call Saturday.
The Padres came into spring training preaching aggressiveness on the bases, and they played that way throughout March. But since the regular season started, they've been over-aggressive in my opinion. They ran themselves out of the eighth inning Friday, and they cost themselves a run (which led to 5 innings of extra baseball) Saturday.
Rubber game today. Jon Garland looks to rebound from his poor opening day start. Ubaldo Jimenez looks to keep rolling along as one of the unsung aces in the National League.
Programming note: I will be at the Home Opener Monday. If you will be too, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'd be happy to meet anyone willing to admit reading this here blog.