Wednesday, May 24, 2017, Padres v. Mets- Queens, New York
Another day, another chance for a great Padre victory.
Every Padre game is holy if you’re a diehard, which I’ve been for far too long. Things, however, have gotten out of hand around here lately. If we get out of the first inning tonight having given up less than five runs, I’ll basically consider the game a win. Of course, nothing evokes confidence like running the immortal Jarred Cosart out there on the mound. I personally believe in Cosart, he’s got good stuff. The problem is, he doesn’t seem to believe in himself. Sigh. Still, he’s coming off a solid outing.
And anyway, there’s always Jered Weaver coming off the DL to look forward to in case Cosart doesn’t come through.
16-31 before Wednesday’s contest, 14 games back.
In March, Fangraphs postulated the Padres had a .1% chance of making the playoffs. I speculate, but I figure the number now has been reduced to .00001%. Already the season has begun to wear. Tuesday, after ten Met batters – including one home run, four line drive hits and three bleeders so poorly struck they wouldn’t have knocked over a Lego structure – we were down 7-0. Our starter, Chacin, looked like he was sick, which was basically how everyone else in Padre Land felt.
Still, the game was worth watching all the way through for one play alone, when Austin Hedges, in full catcher regalia, chased down a weak popup off to the right in front of the Mets’ dugout. He chased that ball as if the fate of the World Series depended on it, stretching every inch of his 6’1” frame to make an astonishing play. Even the Mets’ fans were impressed, cheering enthusiastically. The play was beguiling in both its execution and its passionate level of commitment, particularly considering the score line and the perceived downtrodden nature of the team Hedges plays for. The road fans had suddenly seen the Padres’ future in front of their eyes, and they were obviously impressed.
The Mets are running some guy named Robert Gsellman out to pitch tonight. Maybe the Padres have a chance. Gsellman had compiled a 7.27 ERA in seven starts before being relegated to the bullpen where allegedly he’s “straightened himself out” and has earned another opportunity to start. We shall see. Maybe it’ll just mean the Padres won’t strike out 13 times tonight like they did last night, and like they seem to do often. As the Mets proved Tuesday evening, just putting the ball in play can be half the battle.
So I’ll provide some running commentary and compose some thoughts. The thoughts of a Padre holy roller madman Taco Train enthusiast. I’ll try to keep it simple, stay away from bad poetry and not be overly romantic, but I make no promises. It’s a great day for another Padre victory.
Or at least one great Padre play.
Lo and behold they’re starting off the telecast interviewing Hedges about “the play”. Guess it got everybody’s attention, and why not? Extraordinary. Check it out on YouTube if you haven’t seen it.
Margot starts us off swinging at the first pitch and flying out. I shall not think foreboding thoughts based on one pitch. I was raised to always take the first pitch of the game. Times change.
Myers goes the other way for a two-out double. Excellent sign, not just for tonight, but in general. Myers has been in his first real slump the last 4-5 games, in an 0 for 13 slide. We need Wil in order to generate any serious offense.
And now he gets thrown out attempting to steal third. With two outs? Against Rene Rivera, the Mets catcher, who every Padre fan remembers has an accurate gun (he used to be a Padre)? That’s the ultimate no-no, making the third out at third like that. Bad (mental) baseball.
Can Cosart get out of the first?
Conforto, the first batter, lines a shot right off the foot of Cosart. The last two weeks in particular, if we didn’t have bad luck, we’d have no luck at all. He stays in though.
Despite giving up two hits, a walk and a balk, Cosart gets out of the first with the help of a double play. As stated earlier, not only do I consider this a win, but basically consider it vindication. Unlike Margot’s first pitch swinging, based on Cosart’s one inning I think wildly over optimistic thoughts headed into the second. I am a glass half full kind of guy. If you’ve been a Padre fan as long as I have, you have to be, or else you would’ve given up a long time ago.
Bring on Ryan Schimpf.
Allen Cordoba gets a two-out knock. I won’t bore you with Cordoba’s story as if you’re reading this, you probably already know it. I will say we constantly hear about what a great minor league organization the St. Louis Cardinals have, top to bottom. Consistently one of the best of the best. However, what the heck was Allen Cordoba doing down in Rookie Ball last year for the Cardinals? Maybe he was just stuck behind a bunch of guys, or they were bringing him along slowly. Still, there must be a story there. Anyway, he’s ours now. Score one for the Pads.
Aybar lines out. No worries, we have Cosart.
Renfroe runs one down near the track. His defense has picked up the last 10 to 14 days, after an abysmal first five weeks or so.
Cosart mows them down 1-2-3, but was really hobbling the last few pitches due to being struck in the right ankle by Conforto in the first inning. Very worrisome. We already burned through the bullpen last night due to Chacin’s “enlightened” performance. We’ll see how long Cosart can tough it out.
You know it might be your night when Luis Torrens leads off with a single. I love the kid’s glove (though still a work in progress) but his bat puts the question in question mark (though it has shown signs of improvement of late). Let’s see where it leads.
Where it leads is with two outs Mr. Yangervis Solarte poking one through the left side to bring in Torrens. I love to see Solarte doing the clutch RBI thing for which he’s known and earned himself a decent contract last offseason.
Onto the bottom of the third. Will Cosart’s ankle hold up? I’m skeptical.
Like I was saying, Cosart has good stuff, but command has always been the issue. He walks two batters with one out, and his ginger ankle is not helping. It’s in Cosart’s head and Green comes out and tries to get him to suck it up and focus. A first pitch strike to Walker follows.
But he can’t get out of it. After ultimately walking three batters in the inning, with two outs Flores clears the bases with a double. This has become a “Schilling bloody sock”-type performance by Cosart. He can push off the rubber but is having trouble landing, and it’s clearly bothering him. I feel for the guy. With him, if it’s not one thing, it’s another. He has the stuff but just can’t stay consistently healthy to give himself a chance to perform. Heck, is it his fault Conforto lined one off his ankle the first at bat of the game? I suppose you could say yes. He should have struck Conforto out.
Granderson grounds a single through the infield to bring in the fourth run. Where’s the shift when you need it? Green comes to get Cosart. To nobody’s surprise, Jared Cosart is not Curt Schilling.
Jose Torres comes in and stops the bleeding. Time for the comeback to begin.
With the sudden largesse, Gsellman settles in. 1-2-3 go down the Pads.
With the help of another balk, the Mets push across another run. Really? Another balk? It’s only the fourth inning. One balk every other inning isn’t going to get it done. (Did I mention the part where even though I’m a glass half full kind of guy, sometimes the well runs dry?)
We get out of it without any further damage. Torres has great stuff, a typical live arm out of the pen. Occasionally, though, he leaves pitches out over the plate and if you do that, big league hitters are going to do what big league hitters do.
Countdown to the comeback. 3, 2, 1…
Torrens now just a triple and a homer away from the cycle!!! I love to see the Rule 5 guys do well. I know it’s only a double, but that’s impressive from a kid who didn’t even hit well in single A.
What do you know? Torrens started a rally again!!! Mr. Yangervis Solarte once more with a clutch two-out knock, this time a double to bring in two runs. The comeback has indeed begun!!
The Quack Attack is on for the Pads. With that beard, he’s bound to one day extend the Padres brand with an appearance on Duck Dynasty. Let’s see if a one-out walk hurts him.
The Quack backs it up, racks up a scoreless inning. Time for the comeback to continue.
The Pads go down exceedingly quietly in the 6th, like me taking a nap after a long walk on the beach. Which is what Schimpf, Renfroe and Cordoba looked like they were doing that inning: napping.
The Quack, despite two more walks, backs it up, stacking up back-to-back scoreless innings. Rack em’ up!! We don’t lack!! Bring on the rest of the comeback!! Quack!! Quack!! (Sorry, I guess I did promise no bad poetry.)
Chase d’Arnaud, a recent pickup, singles with two out through the right side, and then steals second. He advances to third on a wild pitch. Nice to see a new addition contributing. Sczcur, another recent addition, draws a walk. Sets the stage for Mr. Yangervis “two-out RBI” Solarte.
Ball four to Solarte. Bases loaded for Wil. Wil has really struggled with men in scoring position of late. It’s been a while since he’s had a big hit. Typical May gray for Myers. Can he come through? He’s been over-anxious lately. Time to calm the nerves.
Pitching change for the Mets.
Pow!! Myers scalds one to right center right off the top of the wall. Literally an inch from a Grand Salame. Still, two runs are in and the game is tied. The comeback Quack heart attack is on!! All with two outs.
The Mets, who have no bullpen, make another pitching change. No doubt a lefty to face Schimpf.
Schimpf makes the third out. Give it up for the Pads. They could have laid down and died when their starting pitcher was injured and couldn’t get out of the third. They know in some quarters they are considered a laughingstock and they know sometimes they’ve played boneheaded baseball. To those following the team, however, it is known they don’t give in easily. Most of these guys are looking to establish themselves in the big leagues and still have to earn it, and others are just looking to hang on for as long as they can and still have to prove themselves. Nobody is giving up. Green wouldn’t let them anyway. Plenty of time to do that in October.
Ryan Buchter, erratic of late, sets down the Mets, despite giving up the Padres’ eighth walk of the game. Giving up eight walks in a game is a big no-no but if we can overcome it, more power to us.
Let’s see what the comeback has in store for us next.
Pow! Pow! Pow! Hunter Renfroe goes upper deck!!! The sweet, sweet comeback is complete!!! That’s what a young, rookie right-handed hitting stud is supposed to do to a left hander reliever with a 7.94 ERA throwing 94 mph gopher balls down the middle. Give me the Taco Train or give me death!!!!
And Cordoba follows up with a single. Did I mention I love when the Rule 5 guys do well? Cordoba’s average has moved above .300.
Dang, now Aybar is absolutely robbed by Flores in center. That play might have saved a big rally by the Pads. Hopefully it won’t come back to bite us.
We fail to push any more runs across. Up next? Brad Hand, dealing the best cards we got out of the pen.
What’s this? A surprise, Maurer to pitch the 8th. And oh no!! I jinxed it!! Renfroe drops one in right. (Did he lose it in the lights?) I had just praised him for his defense too!! Dang!! I hate when that happens. Man on second, nobody out.
Maurer strikes out Conforto. Huge. Seems like the first time we’ve got Conforto out in two games.
What a job by Maurer! Gets the third out on a Reyes popup. The two-base error doesn’t come back to haunt us. The best we’ve seen from Maurer in at least two weeks.
Will he come back out for the 9th?
Sczcur starts the 9th with a single. You can’t say the front office hasn’t been trying to put its best face forward with some of the pickups the last few weeks, even if only at the margins. Our bench has improved considerably if, like I say, it’s only at the margins. Mr. Yangervis Solarte makes the first out.
The Pads go down quietly. Onto the 9th. Can we close it out, make it two out of the last three? (A much better way to think of it rather than having lost 15 out of the last 20 or whatever it is.)
It’s Hand in to close the game. I think I know why Green has reversed Hand and Maurer. In case the Mets tie it up Hand can go more than one inning. With an overly taxed bullpen, that could be an issue. Who knows though?
Walker opens with a flair single. Nervous time.
Hand walks Duda on a 3-2 pitch. I believe it’s the ninth walk given up by the Pads’ pitching staff on the night, an unseemly amount. Double nervous time.
Single to left by Flores, runner stops at third. Bases loaded. It sucks being a Padre fan.
The Grandy Man strikes out!! One out!! The Grandy Man never had a chance against the lefty Hand. Ex-Padre Rene Rivera steps up.
Strike three!!! Two outs!!! It’s great being a Padre fan!!!
Juan Lagares is up.
Fly ball to Renfroe!! He squeezes it!!! Three outs!!! My faith has been kept!! One of the best wins of the year for the Pads.
Great Quack attack comeback. Great pitching by Hand in the 9th.
Another day, another opportunity for the Pads. They seized that opportunity today. A wonderful team effort with contributions from just about everyone. 1 of 162? Sure, maybe that’s all it was. But on May 24, 2017, it is 1 of 1, the only one they had in front of them. And they took it. The glass is always half full. Even when the well runs dry.
And they only struck out five times. Will miracles never cease?