Five Good Things: Humbling the Gigantes
Oh what a joyous series that was. The Padres showed some serious resolve against the defending champions in San Diego, sweeping the Giants in three very exciting games.
Like the sweep of the Dodgers, it will be hard to find just five good things when there are so many. But these problems are the kind I like, so here goes:
5. Andrew Cashner
Cashner was the star of Friday night’s contest, pitching six full innings while allowing only five hits and one run in the first. He struck out five Giants while walking only one.
Down 1-0 in the third Cashner singled off Tim Lincecum up the middle. After Everth Cabrera popped up on a sac bunt attempt, Cashner stole second base on Will Venable’s swinging strikeout.
He advanced to third on a single by Chase Headley before coming home to score on another single by Carlos Quentin, tying the game. Yonder Alonso followed with another single to put the Padres ahead for good, 2-1 and giving Cashner his first win of the season.
4. Chris Denorfia
The Norf was all over this series, even though he only started one game. He went 1-3 on Friday and followed it with a big game Saturday. Denorfia went 2-6 in game two including a big two run double during the Padres six-run fourth, giving them the lead after trailing 5-0. That night he also scored and threw out Pablo Sandoval trying to stretch a single into a double.
But it was his glove that made noise on Sunday. With no outs in the eight, Denorfia ran out of room on a shot by Buster Posey that bounced off the top of his glove and into the stands for a two run home run, cutting the lead to 6-4. Fast forward to later in the inning, the Giants have runners on second and third with two outs still down by two. Andres Torres lifts a soft liner to right field only to be robbed by a charging Norf catching the ball leaping forward with his patented, full-extension “Denorfia Dive”, saving two runs and the game itself.
3. Yonder Alonso
Yonder may have moved down in the lineup batting sixth on Saturday, but he had a career game against the Giants. He went 3-6, doubling in every at-bat. One double scored the first two runs in the Padres six-run fourth, He came around to score that inning as well.
In the bottom of the 12th with the game tied at seven, Alonso hit a one-out double to left center and advanced on Gyorko’s single to right, getting held up by third base coach Glen Hoffman. He would end up scoring the winning run the next play, which brings me to…..
2. Marco Bootaro
The reigning NLCS MVP did not have a very good weekend. He went 2-13 on the series, dropping his average to .215. At times when you’re not hitting, you want to at least help your team out on the field. Well that didn’t happen either.
With runners on the corners and one out in the 12th, slow footed Nick Hundley hit a one hopper to Scutaro that seemed like a tailor-made inning-ending double play. But Scutaro somehow let the ball eat him up, right through his legs Buckner-style, allowing Alonso to score from third on a walkoff error. Sending Padres fans home in frenzy and also contributing to my favorite thing from the series.
1. Watching Giants fans file out of Petco sad and dejected.
Oh how I love it. As a Padres fan that lives in Northern California, I have spent many times leaving games in the bat area with obnoxious drunkards in orange and black shouting obscenities in my direction.
But I have also attended a few games between the two division rivals at Petco Park and there is little better in life than watching several thousand (they travel very well) people dressed like Halloween in the Spring and Summer spill into the Gaslamp District with their heads hung very low and their mouths zipped shut. Especially after three games that went down to the last pitch, it stings their pride all the more.
So those are my five things in a very entertaining series for our Padres. They begin a four-game swing tonight on a four game win streak visiting the Cubs in Wrigley Field. Look for the Padres to at least split the series though I’m leaning toward them winning three.
Be sure to be social and participate on twitter during the games, using the hashtag #friarsidechat.