Friday, October 1, 2010

Wet, Gloomy Day at Petco

Work permitted, so I headed down to Petco for yesterday's regular season finale.

Initially weather did not cooperate:




I've been going to Padres games upwards of 20 years, and that's the first time I can remember seeing the tarp on the field.  Exciting.  Seats were soaked, so I skulked with my beer at the top of our section awaiting the wife's arrival.  Which was delayed, because she had inadvertently left her ticket and the parking pass at home (I took the trolley down from work). 

She didn't have to head home, as we can get a reprinted ticket as season ticket holders, which was nice. After some gymnastics to get the car parked - traffic downtown at 4pm yesterday was far, far worse than I've seen it recently - we watched the game from our rain-soaked seats.  Some high (lowlights):

  • I know it doesn't rain much in San Diego, and almost never during the baseball season.  But even so, shouldn't the stadium designers have included a rudimentary drainage system for the low points in each deck?  We spent the game with our feet in 2 inches of water.
  • Why did Yorvit Torrealba try to swipe second in the second inning?  I was buying more beer and turned around in time to see him thrown out by 200 feet.  A catcher should never try a straight steal (unless he's John Wathan), and especially should never try to steal on a wet track like yesterday's infield.  Was there a missed hit and run there?  Did Yorvit look back at the plate as he headed to second?  I need to know.
  • San Diego was no-hit for the last 7.1 innings.  Enough said.
  • I was somewhat surprised Jon Garland left the game in the seventh after only 95 pitches.  It worked out for the Padres, but still I was surprised.  He threw as well yesterday as I have seen him throw in person.
  • There was a noticeable change in the mood every time Ryan Ludwick stepped in.  A 'geez, this guy's terrible, here comes another strikeout' vibe.  Ludwick absorbed a smattering of boos after popping out to CF to end the sixth (with Venable on third, the only Padre to make it that far yesterday).  In the ninth, the fans got up for Tejada's leadoff at-bat, stayed up for Gonzo's, then got quiet, resigned to Ludwick making an out.  Which he promptly did.  It's very frustrating watching Ludwick.  He's trying, but he's in a horrific slump.
In the third inning Aaron Cunningham hit a ball into the stands.  It wasn't a line drive, but it was hit well and had some pace on it.  Although several people tried to make a play, it sailed through the stands and struck an 8-year old boy (approximate age) on the head.  How hard was that ball hit?  It caromed back onto the field.  Immediately people started motioning for the ushers to come over and assist.

Amazingly the blow did not draw blood.  Eventually, EMT's showed up to evaulate his condition.


Count seven rows of seats from the left side of this photo, and look for the bald guy just to the right of the guy in the white t-shirt standing with his arm raised.  That's where the kid was.  You can see it's 30 feet easy from there to the grass, where the ball landed after it bounced off him.

The kid stayed another 2 innings, then he and his dad left.  Some of the fans in that section applauded the kid as he walked out, which was cool.  He looked pretty dazed to me, even 30 minutes later.  I hope his dad found his common sense and took the boy to a doctor for further evaluation.

I'm not a moralist, and I'm probably the last guy to give parenting advice, but hey dads - your primary function when at a baseball game with small children is to protect your children.  Letting your son/daughter get clocked by a foul ball?  FAIL.  Get in the way next time.  I'd rather take a line drive off the balls than see my son struck because I was more concerned with getting a souvenir than protecting him.

The kid did at least get to keep the ball.  Small consolation in my mind today, he might feel differently about it later on.

Padres got shut out, it rained, and a little kid got struck with a foul ball.  Pretty much sums up a lousy day at the ball park.  Oh yeah - for my 20 home games the Padres went 7-13.  Depressing.

***
It all comes down to this weekend.  San Diego should not focus on winning all 3 games.  They need to focus on beating Matt Cain tonight.  It really quite simple - if they don't win today, tomorrow's game doesn't mean anything.  So focus on the now.

Granted, there is also the very real possibility the Padres could be eliminated tonight, if they lose and the Braves win.  But let's not think about that.  San Diego is 2-0 against Cain this season when he's paired with Clayton Richard.  Focus on that.

It should be raucous in Pac Bell Park tonight.  Hey Padres - Feed off that.  Reach deep inside and stop the tide.

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