Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Beat LA, Beat LA, Beat LA

Tuesday September 29, 2009

Regardless of records, I don't know if I enjoy anything more than watching the Padres beat the Dodgers.

Watching Manny go 0 for 4 helps makes the Padres victory over the Dodgers even sweeter.

And watching the Dodger fans walk out with their tails between their legs after they drove 4 hours through LA and Orange County traffic to get here hoping to see their team clinch a playoff spot is extremely satisfying.

Can it get any better than that?

Yes it can! The headlines on Yahoo and ESPN when I got home said Dodgers denied NL West title again & Dodgers fail to clinch again as Padres win!

Denying the Dodgers the chance to celebrate is sooooo nice to watch. Keep on lugging that Champagne around Dodgers. I do not want to see you spraying it around the visitors locker room here.

Am I gloating? Am I being mean spirited? Yes I am, but then its the Dodgers so it may just be justified.

So what happened in the game?

Cesar Ramos got his very first major league start. He was wild at times walking 3, but only allowed 1 run on 4 hits over 5 full innings while striking out 2.

Ramos did not get the win as the Dodgers got a run on a Cabrera error in the top of the 6th to tie the game. Ramos had given up a lead off triple to Orlando Hudson and then Everth Cabrera made a fielding error on a routine ground ball by Andre Ethier to allow Hudson to score.

I had not seen Ramos pitch before and I was surprised by his wicked curve ball, but he had trouble getting his fastball over consistently. The pitch speed signs were out in Petco, so I don't know how fast he was throwing. If I had to guess I would say low 90's judging by the swings and misses on high fastballs.

Tony Gwynn smacked a solo home run that hit the RF foul pole in the 3rd that proved to be the only hit the Padres would get off Dodgers starter Chad Billingsley until a run scoring single by Kevin Kouzmanoff in the 6th inning.

Billingsley did walk 5, which proved to be his undoing. He walked the bases loaded in the 6th and David Eckstein, who drew the lead off walk, scored on Kouzmanoff's single with 2 outs.

In the 7th the Padres got an insurance run without the benefit of a hit. Hundley walked, was sacrificed to 2nd by Cabrera, advanced to third on a ground out by Salazar, and then scored on a wild pitch.

4 Padres relievers shut out the Dodgers for the final 4 frames including Heath Bell, who pitched the 9th for his 41st save of the season.

On defense Cabrera had his 20th error of the season in the 6th, but also made a heads up play in the first inning that may have saved a run. After Ramos walked the first two batters, Andre Ethier grounded out to Eckstein and Furcal advanced to 3B, but Orlando Hudson got caught up in a rundown. Furcal advanced down the line towards home plate and Cabrera turned and gunned him down as he tried to return to 3B.

He also made a real nice stop in the 6th inning to rob Manny Ramirez of a single and turned it into a double play ball.

With the win the Padres improved to 73-85, 10 games better than 2008. The Padres are now 37-33 in the 2nd half of the season. They also have the 2nd best record in baseball since July 28th at 35-23.

After hearing Moorad say the Padres will maintain payroll at the $43 million they started 2009 at and possibly spend more in season if the Padres need it to get over the top, I am getting excited about the possibilities for 2010.

And it sure is nice to watch the Padres play the spoiler, so say it with me:

Beat LA, Beat LA, Beat LA.

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