The San Diego Padres have just done the absolute unbelievable. The team has just swept the San Francisco Giants to begin the second half of the season. The Padres haven’t swept any team all season so sweeping the Giants whom they were 0-9 against prior to this series, is fantastic.
I had indicated in my series preview that the best case scenario in this series would be to pull off one single win. Well they just blew it out of the park and won all three games. I am just over the moon with joy. I’m just in shock, really as well. I mean I would had been willing to bet a million dollars that the Giants would have taken this series.
The Padres played some really good baseball. We also witnessed the unlikeliness of a walk-off balk. Almost as if the Friars were destined to take this series. This series truly showed how beautiful our complicated game of baseball can be. It showed how every game is a new beginning. How each game is a new stepping stone, a new path. How improbable and exiting the game can be. The season may be all but over. But its moments like these that make us feel like there is hope. Gives us a sense of security.
I mean we had seen moments like this throughout the season. We have seen in it in players like Fernando Rodney and Drew Pomeranz. We have seen it in other series. Like the time we beat the Cubs twice in one day. Like the time we beat Noah Syndergaard. It’s moments like these which just make you love the game of baseball. Moments like these which truly make you proud to be a member of the Friar Faithful.
Game 1: A Little Cash Can Do The Trick
Game one of this series was an amazing game for the San Diego Padres. They would take the game by a score of 4-1. The pitching was fantastic. The player of the game had to be Andrew Cashner. The big Texan has really had some rough starts this season. At the same time he had shown moments of greatness as well. Well this time Cashner showed his greatest moment of the season. Cashner was going into the game against a very tough opponent. Not only was he facing the Giants but he was facing Madison Bumgarner as well. Cashner would just be magnificent through six innings of work. He would only allow a run on four hits, no walks and he would strike out a season high nine batters. Cashner would look absolutely amazing in this game.
The bullpen would also do their job as they would only allow a hit through three innings of work. Brad Hand and Ryan Buchter would pitch the seventh and eighth inning. Then Brandon Maurer would come in and shut the door on the Giants. In terms of offense the Padres would also have a very nice day. Each run would be scored by a different batter. Yangervis Solarte would get himself an RBI double. Matt Kemp would net himself an RBI via a single. Then Adam Rosales and Wil Myers would crush a solo shot each to lead the Padres to victory. After this game I was already feeling exuberant. I was filled with joy, already. I was prepared for the Padres to lose the other two games of the series and be happy with the end result. Never did I think that the Padres would pull off this game against Madison Bumgarner. But I was pleasantly surprised, not just in this game, but in the whole series.
Game 2: The Balk-Off
Game two of this series was a very exiting and interesting affair. Both teams would manage to score five runs through the first nine innings. It would really be an exiting game as we would see five home runs in six innings. The players who would go yard would be Ryan Schmipf and Matt Kemp. The Gigantes who would blast the ball would be Angel Pagan, Mac Williamson and Ramiro Pena. Ryan Schimpf would definitely be the standout player as he would also deliver an RBI triple along with the home run. We then would remain tied until the tenth inning of the game. We would then see a lot of action in the first inning of the extra inning battle. Buster Posey would start it all off as he would hit a homer off of Kevin Quackenbush. The all-star catcher would make it 6-5 in favor of the Giants. After that the Giants would really not do anything else.
It would then be the Padres turn in the bottom of the tenth inning. Alex Dickerson would start it off with a single off of Santiago Casilla. Derek Norris would continue the rally as he would single. That hit would allow Dickerson to reach third base. In all this craziness, Derek Norris would even mange to steal second base. Adam Rosales would then single to make the game even once again. Dickerson would score and Norris would advance to third. That steal by Norris would actually prove to be crucial to the game. Alexei Ramirez would then come up to the plate with no outs and runners on the corners. Of course a heroic moment was on the verge of happening. Well actually no. Instead a very unlikely scenario would unfold. Santiago Casilla would completely lose his footing and just look like a fool on the mound. Well Derek Norris would score the game winning run on a balk. Yes, the Padres would balk-off to take the series. I really just couldn’t believe it. This is usually what happens to the Padres and not their opponents. The Padres would take the second game of the series in complete, improbable fashion. Again this was a moment that just made you love the game of baseball.
Game 3: Take Out The Brooms!
Okay after the last two games I thought there was no way that the Padres would be able to take Sunday’s game. Every factor was against them. The biggest factor against the Friars was the pitcher going for the Giants, Johnny Cueto. He has absolutely demolished the Padres this season. I mean this guy only allowed a run in 27 innings against the Padres in this season before this game. The chances of the Padres taking this game especially with an unknown factor on the mound like Edwin Jackson were slimmer than Saturday night’s balk-off. Well this game would be relatively quiet in terms of offense until the fourth inning. The Padres would open the scoreboard via a Matt Kemp solo shot. Christian Bethancourt would then also go yard in the same inning to make it 2-0 Padres. The Padres would continue their offensive production in the sixth inning of the game. Ryan Schimpf and Edwin Jackson of all people would each drive in a run with a single. The Padres would be up 4-0 after six innings.
The Giants would then pull back a few runs in the seventh inning. Conor Gillaspie would blast a three-run home run off of Edwin Jackson. That would be the only blemish of the game for Jackson. The Padres would quickly retaliate to that homer with one of their own. Yangervis Solarte would blast a solo shot in the bottom of the seventh to make it a 5-3 game. That is how the game would end. The Padres would do the unthinkable. They would pull of their first sweep of the season against the San Francisco Giants. Edwin Jackson would have a really solid start on paper. He would allow two earned runs through six and a third. However in my opinion it really wasn’t the best of starts. I mean not only would he allow a three run home run, but he would also walk five batters. So overall a pretty average start in my opinion. The important thing here is that the Padres would manage to take the game and the series sweep. Even if you told me that the Padres would have taken the series. I still would have never believed that they would have managed to beat the “Friar Killer” Johnny Cueto. Overall this series was just wonderful. It was just something amazing to experience as a Padre fan in 2016. Go Padres!