Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Game Reflections - #123 vs Mets

First, thanks to all who attended Saturday's SABR meeting.  Geoff from Ducksnorts has a recap which I encourage you to read for two reasons. One, I had to leave before Jane Mitchell started her remarks due to a family committment.  Second, I cannot put a better recap together than Geoff did. 

Anyway, to tonight's game.  A marathon of a game.  Three hours and 38 minutes, 10 innings.

- There were over 200 World War II veterans in attendance tonight.  When mentioned, they got a prolonged, warm standing ovation from the 30,000 in attendance.  Opportunities to speak with the men that fought that war are rapidly becoming harder and harder to find.  Soon they will all be gone.  It was awesome to see so many of them assembled together.  I only wish I could have spent some time down there in conversation.

- Harang fought through 5+ innings but didn't really have it tonight.  Lucas Duda hit a mammoth HR to right leading off the second (435').  It was the first of 3 hit to RF during the game (Josh Thole and Will Venable hit the others).  I believe that's the first time I've seen multiple HR hit to RF in the same game at Petco.

- Pagan was probably safe on his caught stealing in the third.  Replay angles appeared to show Blanks missing the tag by a whisker.  The Padres caught another break in the seventh when Duda's clean single hit second base umpire Todd Tichenor.  There were 2 out; David Wright probably scores on the play otherwise. It's a dead ball when it hits the ump.  Duda got first; Wright stayed at second.  Willie Harris then grounded out to short to end the inning.

- Speaking of being hit, two Padres and one Met were hit by pitches tonight.  Venable was hit leading off the game on a 1-2 pitch.  Not intentional.  Forsythe was hit in the second.  Isn't there a requirement for the hitter to at least TRY to get out of the way? Looked like Forsythe stuck his elbow out and took a knuckleball off his upper arm.  Umpires very rarely do not award the base on a HBP, but I thought they should have considered it in that instance.  Later in the game Wright got plunked by Erik Hamren.

- Venable made one of the most athletic plays I've seen in a while on Wright's double in the fifth. Wright's ball sliced into the RF corner, and Venable dove but was too far away.  The ball one-hopped the wall in that corner, and Venable popped up, took one look to judge where the carom would go, and turned towards the infield.  The ball went over his head and bounced in front of him. Then, because of the spin on that ball, it kicked towards the line.  Venable barehanded it and fired it to the cutoff man, holding Justin Turner at third.  The play saved a run.  Awesome.

- Who hits after Cameron Maybin on this night?  The other team! (cheap shot, I know).  Maybin made the last out of the inning four times (first, fifth, seventh, ninth), although the line drive he hit to third to end the fifth almost took Wright with it into left field, that's how hard he hit it.

- Josh Spence walked 3 hitters last Friday and got the loss.  He walked the only two hitters he faced tonight and got the loss.  Spence has been a nice story this year, so hopefully this is a temporary hiccup for him.

- Great play by Bartlett Alberto Gonzalez to stop Scott Hairston's grounder in the tenth, but he couldn't do any more with it than he did.  Retiring Thole in the rundown was the best result based on where that ball was hit. He had no play on Pridie even if he had gotten to his feet or knees.

- On a night of milestones, Jason Isringhausen recorded his 300th career save.  Congratulations Jason.  It was nice (although bittersweet) to see him fire that great curveball of his again.  The best one he threw was to Alberto Gonzalez with the count 0-1.  As a longtime Cardinal fan, I'm glad he was able to resurrect his career for one more swan song (Izzy has a degenerative condition in his right hip).

Bud Black ran through his bullpen tonight, so Cory Luebke will be asked to pitch deep into tomorrow's game.  He can do it, let's hope he's up to it.

Finally congratulations to Jim Thome on his 600th career HR.  It did lead to one of the more moronic Tweets I've seen.  Paraphrased, it was 'Thome is the first man to hit his 599th and 600th HR in consecutive at bats!'  Really?  How shocking since only 8 of the 17000+ men to play major league baseball have ever hit 600 career HR.  Talk about meaningless trivia.

Padres look to square the series tomorrow night.  They also signed a bunch of high draft picks today (it was the deadline to do so), but you can probably read more insightful commentary on that in Tuesday's U-T.

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