Matt Potter 3:30 p.m., Nov. 20
Giants stomp the Padres in bizzaro-filled game
Very little goes the Padres way in a strange and baffling game against San Francisco
There were fedoras, free to the first 25,000 fans to show up, a sellout crowd of mostly San Francisco Giants fans, umpire shenanigans, player shenanigans, and fireworks after the game on Friday night. There were also throwback uniforms from the 1947 Padres Pacific Coast League team worn by Padres players and coaches, but the Friars would likely rather throw the entire game back as the Giants crushed the Padres 10-1.
Or perhaps, as Padres fan Thomas Powell tweeted in the late innings concerning the game, “You can take this out in the backyard and shoot it, it can’t be saved.” It became obvious in the sixth and seventh innings that Powell was correct.
San Diego native Sean O’Sullivan got the start and he didn’t perform poorly. O’Sullivan had 102 pitches by the end of the fifth inning and was done pitching for the evening, giving up two runs on eight hits and three walks but working himself out of jams and striking out 4 Giants in the process.
“I thought Sean battled,” said Manager Buddy Black postgame. “They put some stress on him and he had to work himself out of some jams, but I thought he competed great. I think overall he threw the ball fine.”
At the plate, O’Sullivan’s first offensive appearance in a Padres uniform resulted in a double. Sean hit very well in AAA and Black even let O’Sullivan hit in the fifth inning even though he planned on pulling him out of the game based on his high pitch count.
O’Sullivan wasn’t disappointed in his performance but was surprised that his debut in San Diego gave him some jitters early on. “I woke up today and said, ‘Oh wow, I’m pitching for the Padres today,’ and I’ve had plenty of time in the big leagues where I thought that wouldn’t have affected me. But getting to drive from my home to here, and twiddling my thumbs all day waiting for something to do to take my mind off of the fact that I’m going to have to go out there pretty soon.”
Sean had a lot of support in the stands, having attended Valhalla High and then Grossmont College, friends and family were in the crowd. “I’ve been just as much a fan of the Padres as a player, so it was special for me to put that uniform on tonight,” he said.
The Padres only run came in the first inning when with one out, Alexi Amarista walked and Chase Headley doubled, plating Amarista. After that, O’Sullivan kept the Padres close enough, but former Padres pitcher and Giants starter Chad Gaudin had the Padres bats baffled.
“Chad was with us a few years ago, we know his stuff,” Buddy said. “We got him for one in the first, and in the sixth we had an opportunity there, a couple of walks and a base hit and we couldn’t push any across.”
The Padres, in fact, had the bases loaded in the bottom of the sixth with no one out and failed to score. Reliever Jose Mijares came in and shut the door on that attempt at a rally.
Tim Stauffer came in and gave up three runs, and then Brad Brach gave up five. The game was entirely out of hand by that time.
There were plenty of entertaining moments in the game that didn’t involve scoring. The weirdness began in the third inning when Alexi Amarista popped a ball up toward third base which was entirely playable except that third base umpire put himself in the way of the attempt to field the ball.
The pop-up landed less than a centimeter foul and Amarista would wind up drawing a walk. Fortunately for the Giants (and perhaps for third base umpire Tim Timmons), the gaff didn’t cost the Giants a run.
Then in the top of the fifth inning, the Padres tried some chicanery of their own. Pablo Sandoval doubled, and when the throw came in to Everth Cabrera, he pretended to walk the ball over to O’Sullivan and put it in his glove.
Except he didn’t. It was supposed to be the old hidden-ball trick. It didn’t work. The hitter, Hunter Pence called time out and backed out of the box. When Pence entered the box, the play was live, and Cabrera tagged Sandoval out when he began to lead off of second base.
There is only one problem with that play. Once O’Sullivan climbed onto the mound, he has to have the ball in his hand or the play isn’t legal. Had O’Sullivan not been on the mound and Pence been in the box, the play would have worked.
The big play, one that got Buddy Black ejected for arguing the call, came in the seventh inning. The Padres caught the Giants in a run down. Take a look at what happened next:
There was mixed opinions as to whether second base umpire Laz Diaz got the call right. Rule 7.08 a (1) covers this:
“7.08 Any runner is out when— (a) (1) He runs more than three feet away from his base path to avoid being tagged unless his action is to avoid interference with a fielder fielding a batted ball. A runner’s base path is established when the tag attempt occurs and is a straight line from the runner to the base he is attempting to reach safely.”
Diaz interpreted that the runner had an established base line, but if you examine the video, it appears as though he wasn’t running in a straight line toward the bag when he was tagged out, and created the interference that Diaz called on the play. The runner appears to be running in the infield creating a path that veers away from second base to avoid the tag. Opinions differ on that, enjoy forming your own.
Not that it matters now. Nothing in that play – regardless of how it might have been interpreted – would have changed the outcome of the game. The Padres are reeling, badly, and no amount of free fedoras or fireworks are going to overcome the sudden lack of offense and the pitching woes. That will have to come from within the team itself.
On the injury front, Clayton Richard is done for the year and has been transferred from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day DL. Richard will undergo surgery on his AC joint, by way of having his clavicle smoothed out to preclude interference with the joint. Cameron Maybin (left knee sprain) still isn’t close enough to see a timetable for rehab, but Buddy says that Maybin is progressing.
There were a slew of personnel changes on Friday other than Richard’s move to the 60-day DL. Losses include Pedro Ciricaco being designated for assignment. Other clubs have ten days to claim Ciriaco, where the Padres could either trade him, pull him back, or let him go outright to whichever team claims him. The Padres are hoping he clears waivers as they would like to keep him in the organization. Miles Mikolas was optioned to AAA Tucson, and Kyle blanks was placed on the 15-day DL with left achilles tendonitis. Besides O’Sullivan being added to the 40-man and 25-man roster, the Padres reinstated Jedd Gyorko and Yonder Alonso from the 15-day disabled list.
Saturday, the Giants and Padres will square off again, and you’ll get a smart-phone cover if you show up early enough to the game. Edinson Volquez (6-7, 5.33) will go for the Padres against the Giants Tim Lincecum (4-9, 4.61). Game time is at 7:10 PM, on 1090 AM for radio and televised on Fox Sports San Diego.