Five Good Things from Opening Home Series: From pageantry and unconventional coaching to a full scale brawl, this week's series had it all.
Tell me you were not entertained. As disappointing as it was that we dropped the series to the hated Dodgers, I had not had more fun watching baseball in a long time. Between the majesty of the home opener followed by the zaniness of Wednesday’s ninth inning, it’s hard to remember myself as fixated on my television to see what would happen next. Oh and something else happened Thursday night. So here are my five good things from the Dodgers series.
5. The Norf
Chris Denorfia has been on a tear. He went 4-8 in the series, extending his hit streak to seven games (two this series as a pinch-hitter). He raised his average from .417 to .450 and had a run batted in.
4. Hot Rod
Nick Hundley also had a monster series, raising his average from a dismal .133 to .346 after going 7-11 this series, including a 4-4 night on Wednesday. He scored three runs and also hit his first round-tripper of the year in Tuesday’s contest.
3. Big Willie Style
Will Venable stole the show in the opener, going 2-3 with two walks and two runs scored in the opener. He launched a solo home run in the bottom of the first deep into the stands in right field and blew the game open with a bases-clearing triple in the eighth, eventually scoring on an RBI single by Yonder Alonso. His four runs batted in tied a career high.
2. Mr. Alonso’s Wild Ride
On Wednesday night Yonder Alonso had a ninth inning for the ages. After Bud Black pulled Alexi Amarista in favor of Mark Kotsay as a pinch-hitter in the eighth, the Padres manager was left without an infield defensive replacement having used Cody Ransom as a pinch-hitter earlier in the game. Thus began the Yonder’s adventure.
Black inserted his first baseman at second base, opting to put Kotsay at first. With a runner on and one out, Yonder got his first opportunity diving for a ball to his left that just hit off his glove for a single by Adrian Gonzalez, putting runners at the corners.
Yonder then was moved to third for Andre Ethier’s at bat and then back to second for the final two batters. He became only the 15th player in MLB history to play first, second and third base in one game.
Yonder then found himself at-bat with the go ahead and tying runs on base with two outs in the ninth against closer Brandon League, who had already surrendered two runs. After going down 0-2, he worked it to a full count before ultimately flying out to left to end the exciting game with the Dodgers victorious, 4-3. Which brings us to our final thing….
1. Carlos’s Shoulder Shiver.
Unintentional, uncalled for, or whatever you want to call it, my take on last night’s brawl is this. Zack Grienke and Carlos Quentin had bad blood between them. That much is true. Intentional or not, the moment Grienke opened his mouth it became a mutual thing, complete with Grienke lowering his shoulder at the charging Padres’ slugger, which was not in self defense. Watch the replay.
Unfortunately there was a major injury involved but at the time of the incident, I felt Grienke got what he deserved and still feel that he made his own hospital bed and now has to lay in it. Also Matt Kemp’s in-game and postgame aggression only cements my feeling that the Padres aren’t going to stand being bullied anymore. And to me, that is awesome. No punches were thrown; it could have been a lot worse so all in all, I loved it.
So there you have my take on all the wild happenings at the first series in Petco this year. I can not wait for Monday but also hope we focus on another important thing first; winning this weekends series against Colorado.