Hooray for extra-inning heroics!
The Padres actually scored the game’s final four runs after the usually consistent Jason Marquis looked off tonight. Nevertheless, he escaped with a no-decision after 5.1 innings of work. Overall, Marquis gave up three runs, but he walked four and gave up two home runs (Colby Rasmus and Edwin Encarnacion) over that span. I should mention that he was very lucky to be bailed out by Tyson Ross, Joe Thatcher, Dale Thayer and Luke Gregerson over the next 3.2 innings.
Big kudos must also go to Tim Stauffer, Nick Vincent and Clayton Richard (who earned his first win of the season) for their work during the eight extra frames as well. Although Guzman will get credit for driving in the winning run, the bullpen’s efforts tonight were downright awesome as they held the Blue Jays scoreless for 11.2 STRAIGHT INNINGS!
After they were shut out for the first four innings, San Diego’s bats finally came alive in the bottom of the fifth. Down 3-0, Jedd Gyorko managed to tie the game with one swing of the bat on an odd yet exciting play. Gyorko, who has shown a tremendous ability to power the ball to the opposite field during his rookie campaign, hit a solid gapper to right field which scored both Yonder Alonso and Carlos Quentin easily. But after an off-line throw by Jose Bautista to the plate, J.P. Arencibia botched the throw to third as he tried to nab Gyorko and San Diego’s second baseman came in to score!
Up until that point, Toronto’s starter Chad Jenkins had done an effective job against San Diego’s hitters. Unfortunately for him, he exited the game after the fifth inning with the score tied and finished with a no-decision. San Diego’s hitters however blew some big chances in innings six, seven, and eight as they left guys on base and in scoring position when the opportunities arose for the go-ahead run to score. The most significant missed chance was when Quentin hit into a double-play with runners on first and third with only one out in the sixth.
As much as the Padres struggled to plate the go-ahead run after Gyorko’s double, their bullpen kept the team in the game until the bottom of the seventeenth. After Gyorko got on with a single with a single with one out and was advanced to second on a Richard sacrifice, the stage was set for Guzman to win the game with his bat.
As I stated previously, San Diego’s bullpen really deserve a bulk of the credit for this win. And for Stauffer, Vincent and Richard to essentially pitch an entire game of shut-out ball (8.0 innings, only 3 hits) after the game was deadlocked after nine innings was downright impressive.
Hopefully the Padres do not have to rely on their bullpen too much tomorrow, but for now let’s tip our caps to the Friars for their thrilling victory!