Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Short Rest and Short Tempers

To start last night's series with the Toronto Blue Jays, the Padres decided to thrown Jon Garland on three days (or short) rest.  Garland has not fared well in short rest situations; in fact, according to facts I heard after the game, he had only made 2 previous career starts on 3 days rest and was 0-1 with a 7.20 ERA.  Even if you are one who does not put a lot of stock in the traditional statistics (and as a general rule, I do not), those numbers do not portend to a good result.

So watching Garland labor through 3 innings while throwing 84 pitches was no surprise.  One would think throwing that many pitches meant he wasn't pitching well.  In fact, he got 6 of those 9 outs via strikeout.  The John Buck 2-run shot in the second hurt, but what really killed him was the walk to Toronto starter Shaun Marcum with two out in the same inning.  In fact, it appeared Marcum got a borderline pitch called a ball on a 2-2 count, then proceeded to walk.

It also appeared that call got to Garland - as evidenced by the 2 doubles he then gave up, and the two looks he gave home plate umpire Larry Vanover as he left the field.  Garland eventually made it through 5, and allowed only one hit the rest of the way (a two-out single to Lyle Overbay in the fifth).

In the meantime, the Padres were hitting home runs too - except theirs came with no one on.  Jerry Hairston Jr homered to lead off the third, an inning after he was left in the batters box while Will Venable was caught stealing.  Adrian Gonzalez homered leading off the fourth, cutting the deficit in half. 

The Curious Case of Edward Mujica came on, and while he didn't give up a tater, he didn't disappoint by allowing another run to score.  With the score 5-2 the Padres finally got a look at the game.  Singles by Scott 'Big Country'* Hairston and Venable sandwiched Yorvit Torrealba reaching on an error by the Toronto shortstop Alex Gonzalez**.

*The stadium PA system played 'Big Country' by Big Country before Hairston's first at bat in the second inning.  He will forever be known as Big Country on this blog.

** Yorvit wore out Gonzalez in this game - single to short, ground out to short, reach on an error by short.  He didn't get a chance to go for the quad though...

Unfortunately, the Hairston Jr just missed a Marcum fastball and popped out to left.  Not deep enough to score the run.  The Gwynn Jr then hit a slow roller to third.  A run scored, but there were two out.  Oscar Salazer's soft line out to center ended the majority of the drama for this game.

That is, until the earthquake hit in the eighth.  I truly was not worried until the tremor kept going and going.  The PA announcement to 'REMAIN CALM' did more to excite the crowd than the earthquake did.  Of course, I immediately said, to no one in particular, "They're not out of coffee are they?  THEY BETTER NOT RUN OUT OF COFFEE!!!" fully realizing no one under 40 would get that joke.  Judging from the high school kids looking at me quizzically, they didn't.

The final excitement was Torrealba's final at bat of the night, with Big Country on first and no one out.  Based on Torrealba's reaction the pitch was inside; my seats did not support a good angle to see the pitch. Vanover called it strike three and Yorvit went ballistic.  Vanover stuck his finger in Torrealba's face (here we go again), and Torrealba got right in his grill.  Yorvit also bumped the umpire a couple of times.

Yorvit's going to get fined and probably suspended, and that's too bad.  I'll save my umpire rant for the Podcast.*

*I'll also point out that on my last Podcast I stated the Blue Jays had never played San Diego.  That's wrong, they faced off in San Diego back in 2004.  The Padres have never played in Toronto.

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