Friday, August 19, 2011

Game Reflections - #127 vs Marlins

See? CLEARLY safe. (Kent C. Horner/Getty Images)
Managed to get out of the parking lot before the fireworks ended.  Victory.  Some thoughts on tonights game, composed while Larry Vannover reviews the tape and tries to justify calling LeBlanc out at home...

- It wasn't a bobblehead give away - the Padres were selling Tony Hawk dolls for $10.  Unexpected this was, and unfortunate.

- Marlins changed their lineup last minute, taking Mike Stanton out and juggling pretty much everyone else.  Apparently Stanton jammed his left big toe running into the RF scoreboard during last night's game (he was chasing a fly ball).  He went through all the pre-game stuff before being scratched.

- The Padres played 'Fight for Your Right (To Party)' by the Beastie Boys while waiting for San Diego to take the field.  They played a version that removes the 'living at home is such a drag/now your mom took away your best porno mag' lyric.  Uh, fellas?  That song is 25 years old.  EVERYONE in the ballpark has heard it by now.  Who's sensitive ears are you going to protect?

- LeBlanc was safe.

- Looked like Maybin might have been safe on his stolen base attempt in the first inning.   Florida pitched out, but it appeared he got his hand in while SS Emilio Bonifacio tagged him on the chest.  Most of the time, if the ball beats you you're out.  On that play at least 2B umpire Dan Bellino can be excused since Maybin's own body blocked him from judging when the tag was applied relative to when Maybin hit the bag.

- Kyle Blanks HR probably traveled 700' in the air.  From my vantage point it sure looked like the ball's apex was above the 'PETCO PARK' sign on top of the LF scoreboard.  What a moon shot.  393' was the official distance.  No way, man, no way.  That swing completely changed the game.

- Two times through the Marlin lineup, and Bonifacio had not swung at a pitch (seen 9, called out on strikes and walked on 4 pitches).  Alfredo Amezaga, however, the emergency LF starter due to Stanton's scratch, had swung at all 6 pitches he'd seen (4 foul, fly to CF, pop to 2B).  I thought that was quite funny.

- Pitcher Chris Volstad ripped his double up the LF/CF gap.  Mike Cameron, who's bat did indeed look slow, can still run (in fact I was surprised with how short a lead he took after singling in the fourth).  He scored without a play.

- LeBlanc is still safe.  What a ridiculous call.  He looked safe at normal speed, and was CLEARLY safe on the replay.  How can you blow that call?  It's your only job, Larry Vannover - to get the call right.  Take your time, we'll wait.  At least we now know how to wake up the Padre crowd.  They let Vannover have it the rest of that inning, and only quit really riding him after the sixth inning ended.

- Bonifacio made O-Dog dive into the dirt while completing a double play to end the sixth.  Threw it low.  In repsonse, Hudson practically undressed Home Run Ed in the eighth with a hard shot up the middle.  Yes I realize neither of these were intentional.

- The seventh inning saw something you rarely see - a pitching change in the middle of an at bat.  Jack McKeon pulled Chris Hatcher and replaced him with Ryan Webb while the count was 2-0 on Alberto Gonzalez.  In case you are wondering (and I was), had Webb walked Gonzalez that walk would have been charged to Hatcher.  Any other result was to be charged to Webb.  Gonzo reached on a FC.

- In the eighth, McKeon burned two pinch hitters on the same at bat, when Brett Hayes was announced then replaced by Dwayne Wise after Black pulled Spence in favor of Gregerson.  Hayes is the back-up catcher.  I have no idea what the Marlins would have done had John Buck then gotten hurt (the speculation was Gaby Sanchez would have caught).  It also explains why Buck was left in to run in the ninth after his leadoff walk - there was no way they could run for him.

- Blanks made a nice running catch of Sanchez' line drive leading off the fifth, and al-MOST caught Lopez's liner with two out in the seventh.  As Black said during the post-game interview, Blanks has quick feet, great hands, and is getting good jumps on balls hit his way.  All that hard work is paying off.

- Josh Spence's last 4 outings:  4 walks, 1 HBP, 1 K, 1 HR.  All of a sudden he's having trouble finding the plate.  With Joe Thatcher back on the big club, how much longer does Spence stay in San Diego?

Padres have won all 6 games against Florida this season. Nice to see us dominate someone.  I'll be at Sunday's game for the Retirement Ceremony, and am looking forward to it. I've never attended a number retiring ceremony, so I hope this lives up to expectations.

Oh, and LeBlanc is STILL safe!

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