Larry Steckling 6 p.m., March 31
Padres go to great lengths to outlast Cubs
First there was nothing, then there was something, and then finally something more, as the Friars prevail in the end
In a rather bizarre game that tried never to end, the Padres finally scored in the bottom of the fifteenth inning and edged the Cubs in walk-off fashion, 3-2, on Sunday. Hundreds of fans saw the ending when Nick Hundley singled home Logan Forsythe and the Padres mobbed the field in celebration. Paid attendance was over 22,000 and not many stuck it out up to the end.
The festivities on the field were quickened by the pending plane ride to Arizona for their series with the Diamondbacks. The Cubs took a two hour bus ride to Los Angeles to meet the Dodgers.
Andrew Cashner started the game for the Friars, and except for allowing a single and a walk in the first inning, he was brilliant, going seven full innings giving up only two hits and a walk while striking out seven. “I thought today was really the first time I’ve had all three pitches working throughout the entire game,” Cashner said.
Cashner throws a fastball, a slider, and a change-up. He also acknowledged that he had a rough first inning. “The first inning has been really tough for me this year. In my career, it’s never been a tough inning for me, I don’t know what it is. But I felt like after I got through the first I settled down and started making pitches.”
“Cash threw the ball well,” manager Buddy Black said after the game. “A little extended first inning for sure, but I thought it was great game for Cash to continue to grow as a pitcher.”
The first twelve innings were pretty much without incident. Neither side could plate a run, and both had their chances with the Padres winding up with more opportunities than the Cubs.
There was a foul ball rocketed into the stands on the first base side at field level that struck an inattentive fan who received medical help. Ultimately, he was taken from the ball park immobilized on a stretcher and sent to the hospital.
His condition was not immediately known, but one witness reported that he had been bleeding. Whenever fans sit in areas of a ball park prone to receiving the occasional missile of a foul ball, it’s vitally important to pay strict attention to live play on the field.
Another mishap occurred in the top of the thirteenth inning that led to the first Cubs run. With the bases loaded and nobody out, Nate Schierholtz hit a ground ball to first baseman Jesus Guzman, who then threw home to try and force Darnell McDonald at the plate.
The throw hit Schierholtz while running to first base in the face, deflecting the throw slightly, and enabling McDonald to score. Another run came in on a sacrifice fly, and the Cubs led 2-0.
Schierholtz came out of the game at that point and his condition wasn’t immediately known after the game. According to Carrie Muskat of MLB.com, Schierholtz said his face was fine and that he was lifted because he twisted his back on the swing.
The Padres evened the score in the bottom of the thirteenth when Jesus Guzman doubled, and Ronny Cedeno tripled Guzman home, and then Cedeno came home to score on a wild pitch. The 2-2 tie remained through the fourteenth inning, but in the top of the fifteenth, the Padres ran into trouble.
Dale Thayer took the mound in relief and offered up consecutive singles, and the runners were sacrifice bunted over to second and third base with one out. After an intentional walk to load the bases, a ground ball to Chase Headley cut down the runner at home on a force out, and then a double play ended the inning.
In the bottom of the fifteenth – much to the relief of the press corps – the Padres managed to end things. With one out, Logan Forsythe singled, and took second base on a ground out by Ronny Cedeno. Alexi Amarista was walked intentionally, and Nick Hundley became every reporters best friend when he singled home Forsythe.
Time of the game was 5 hours and 13 minutes. And the difference in a team going on the road after winning a game like this or losing one is vast. “These are so emotional, at the end, either way,” said Buddy concerning games similar to the one played Sunday. “Obviously, this is a good one.”
Actually, Buddy, regardless of that, it was a long one. But worth it to the team, by witnessing their celebration.
Buddy briefly addressed injuries before the game. Casey Kelly (Tommy John surgery) is beginning to throw some short toss in the outfield, Corey Luebke (Tommy John surgery) is going to be throwing bull pen sessions in Arizona, and Joe Wieland (Tommy John surgery) is continuing to improve and might be resuming his rehab soon. Carlos Quentin (knee) is still hopeful that he can avoid surgery and will travel with the team to Arizona. Kyle Blanks (left Achilles tendon) is rehabbing in AAA Tucson and went 0 for 3 with a strikeout on Sunday in a designated hitter role. Blanks will play a position on Monday and continue his rehab there.
Black also addressed having to use a lot of relief pitchers in two of the three games against the Cubs. While he wouldn’t formally announce any moves to bring up fresh arms (he needs to tell the affected players first), expect at least one and perhaps two moves to be made on Monday.
Speaking of Monday, the Padres now have the chance to play spoiler within their division. The club travels to Arizona to face the Diamondbacks for a three game series. Tyson Ross (3-6, 2.85) will go for the Padres against Arizona Diamondbacks starter Brandon McCarthy (2-8, 5.44). Game time is at 6:40 PM PDST, heard on 1090 AM and seen on Fox Sports San Diego.
More like this:
- Hundley’s homer helps Padres past Diamondbacks — Sept. 24, 2013
- Rockies take game and series with Padres — Aug. 14, 2013
- Padres combination of Cashner and Guzman too much for Brewers — July 23, 2013
- Padres Complete Three-game Sweep of Diamondbacks — July 5, 2012
- Guzman Mashes, Padres Rattle Diamondbacks — June 2, 2012