Yovani Gallardo pitched a great game - 1 ER, 121 pitches, 11K. Interestingly, 7 of those strikeouts were looking. Having watched most of the game, I thought home plate umpire Rob Drake called a generous left corner (as I looked at it through the CF camera). Pitches off the plate, from belt high to a baseball width below the knees, on that corner were called strikes.
As a result, fourteen Padres were punched out, along with eight Brewers. Of the 54 outs recorded, 22 were by strikeout. And they say umpires can't have an effect on the game.
We also learned what it takes to wake up the normally sedate Padre crowd: Adrian Gonzalez getting ejected. Jerry Hairston Jr's reaction after being called out to end the sixth didn't to it, but Adrian arguing about his second called strike three did. All the strike 3 pitches were off the plate, at least, based on the excellent view I had from my couch.
Why is it umpires today feel the need to return fire when a player questions a ball/strike call? Did Drake really need to point at Gonzo while Headley was shepherding Adrian to the dugout? Gonzo's an All-Star and one of the best players in the NL, so you decide to take issue with HIS arguing, as opposed to Hairston Jr who has a little less notoriety?
At any rate, the fans really got on Drake after that. At least until Hoffman came in. It's tough for me to watch Trevor pitch against the Padres, given how many games he saved for the Padres during his career. Hoffman has struggled on the mound this season, blowing at least 4 saves I can remember. But he was able to retire the Padres in order tonight for the win.
There's been a lot of bad umpiring behind the plate in this series, and tomorrow we get Joe West. Yee Ha.
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