Don Bauder 4:37 p.m., Dec. 27
Mets get best of Padres
In a very tight game up until the eighth inning, the Mets waited out Tyson Ross and attacked the bull pen to pull out a win
Padres starter Tyson Ross and Mets hurler Zack Wheeler both pitched magnificent baseball, but neither were in the hunt for a win when they left the game with the score tied at a run each. Instead, reliever Luke Gregerson took the loss when the Mets plated two runs in the eighth inning and added one more in the ninth inning off of Tim Stauffer to beat the Padres 4-1 on Thursday.
The only run that Ross gave up came in the fourth inning after Daniel Murphy opened the frame with a single. After Marlon Byrd flew out, Ike Davis hit a ground out moving Murphy to second base. Then it got weird, with two outs.
Josh Satin hit a slow ground ball to shortstop, and Ronny Cedeno made a great play on it and threw Satin out. Except that Satin was called safe as Yonder Alonso was starting to trot off of the field. Yonder turned to argue the call in disbelief and meanwhile, Murphy came around to score as Alonso had his back turned to home plate pleading his case with first base umpire Brian Knight.
Manager Buddy Black came out to argue the call in Alonso’s stead. “From my vantage point, it looked like [Yonder] stayed on the bag. That’s what I saw,” Buddy said after the game. First base umpire Brian Knight felt that Alonso pulled his foot off of the bag receiving the throw.
Replays from every angle on the screens in the press box showed that not only did the throw beat Satin by a half-stride, but that Yonder’s foot was well on the bag for the out. The call stood, and so did the run for the Mets.
Meanwhile, Mets starter Zack Wheeler retired the first seven batters to face him until with one out in the third inning, Rene Rivera had a home run robbed by Eric Young, Jr. Young went up high on the wall in left field, and the ball went off of his glove and hit the top of the wall and rolled back onto the warning track, and before center fielder Juan Legares could get to it and throw it in, Rivera was standing on third base.
Black went out to ask for a review of the play in case the ball had hit an object just behind the wall and then came back in, which would have constituted a home run. Replay showed otherwise, and the top of the wall in left field is still in play so long as the ball doesn’t strike an object behind the wall.
The Padres failed to move Rivera, but the club finally got on the board in the bottom of the fourth inning. Chase Headley opened with a singled and Yonder Alonso walked, and an out later, Chris Denorfia hit a sharp single to load the bases.
Jaff Decker then hit a sacrifice fly to score Headley and the score was tied 1-1. That tally remained until the top of the eighth inning when Luke Gregerson replace Ross.
With one out, pinch-hitter Mike Baxter was hit by a pitch, and an out later, Baxter stole second base. Gregerson intentionally walked the left-handed hitting Murphy to get to the right-handed hitting Marlon Byrd and it backfired when Byrd doubled in a pair of runs.
“Luke hung onto a slider just a little too long against Baxter, hit him in the foot,” Buddy said postgame. “Got the fly ball, so we’re in pretty good shape there.”
Then they decided to put Murphy on to go after Byrd. “[Byrd] hit a pretty good fastball down and away, sort of a tough play off of the bat. We just didn’t make the play and it went over [Denorfia’s] head.”
Tim Stauffer came in for the top of the ninth trailing 3-1 and made one poor pitch, a curve ball, to John Buck and Buck took it over the wall in left field. With a 4-1 lead, the Padres went in order in the ninth inning, and the Mets won after getting swept by the Los Angeles Dodgers.
But Tyson Ross might have had his best outing to date as a Padres starting pitcher. “I was really happy with the way I threw the ball tonight,” Ross said. “My fastball command is getting better every time out. I’m putting everything together, get the change-up in order more, and pitch a little deeper into games.”
One thing seems to be coming together, and it’s a positive thing for a team that is struggling this year and looking forward to the next. Ross seems to be a lock as a solid starter in the rotation for next season.
Called up Thursday afternoon was catcher Chris Robinson from AAA Tucson. This is because Nick Hundley went on paternity leave. Nick’s wife Amy gave birth to a brand new baby girl on Wednesday evening, just before midnight, and both mother and infant are doing fine. He’ll be back within a few days, and perhaps sooner.
On the injury front, Kyle Blanks continues to improve. He’s hitting and running and throwing, and according to Buddy we might see him soon, or at least, he could be rehabbing in the minors shortly. Cameron Maybin, who had a setback and has been sidelined in AAA Tucson is also reported to be on the mend and could resume his rehab in AAA shortly. News isn’t so optimistic on Carlos Quentin and his knee issue. He certainly won’t come off of the disabled list when eligible, and perhaps we’ll know more in the coming days if he is to be shut down for the season.
Buddy Black spoke briefly and sort of avoided specifics concerning MLB’s proposed replay rule for next season. We’ll try and pull more out of him tomorrow, and to his credit, he probably spends a lot more time managing the team and a lot less time reading about proposals on instant replay that aren’t specific until at least November. But it affects him greatly, so it’s important to get a feel as to how it will change his attitude toward questionable calls.
Oh, hey, a shout out to Papa John’s Pizza who supplied the press box with free samples on Thursday, thanks guys. The idea is that if the Padres score more than five runs in a game (stop laughing, it happens from time to time) then the next day your complete online order is 40% off. When this happens and you want pizza and/or pizza-like products the next day, go to PapaJohns.com and enter the promotional code Padres5 and you get a big discount. We love big discounts, and the free press box pizza beat the hot dogs, it was a nice change of pace.
Friday, the Mets and the Padres will tangle again, and it’s WineFest (as opposed to BeerFest, I reckon). It starts at 5PM and costs $5 per glass (or two tastings, whichever). If you’re into California wines there are 20 represented. Meanwhile, Ian Kennedy (4-8, 4.97) will go for the Padres against Jonathan Niese (4-6, 4.45) of the Mets. Game time is at 7:10 PM PDST and the usual outlets will carry the game if you can’t come to the Park – 1090 AM for radio and Fox Sports San Diego on TV.