Brewers @ Padres
This was a fun game. It started as a good old fashioned pitchers duel between Doug Davis and Brian Lawrence. We were scoreless until Henry Blanco's 2-out homer in the 4th (Blanco has come home to Milwaukee, courtesy of Damian Miller playing his way out of the job :p).
The game continued somewhat uneventfully until the bottom of the eigth, when I lifted Davis in order to face Phil Nevin, who feasts on southpaws, with a righty, despite the fact that Davis had been pitching a one-hitter. I'm always a big proponent of letting your pen win/lose the game if your starter is tired, irregardless of how he has been pitching, and so this decision was right in line for me. Ricky Botallico, who recently lost his job as the closer to Mike Adams, was handed the ball. He promptly gave up a first pitch single to Nevin before striking out Ramon Hernandez. Khalil Greene drew a walk on four pitches that just missed the black. At this point, I had Adams warming and Jorge De La Rosa and Justin Lehr hot and ready to go, with Dave Roberts at the plate. A pinch hitter (some random righthanded minor-leaguer) is announced for Roberts, and I see all the guys on their bench are righthanded, so I grab Lehr and have DLR stay ready in case it gets back to the top of the order (with Sean Burroughs and Ryan Klesko 1-2). Lehr gives up a scorching single to left, but thankfully, the throw from Carlos Lee a.k.a. El Caballo froze Nevin at third. Now I have bases loaded for Xavier Nady, and I'm pulling my hair out.
Now, I'm very firm in my belief that the closer should NEVER EVER EVER UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES PITCH MORE THAN ONE SINGLE INNING. (See Mariano Rivera in the playoffs as of late, if you don't understand why.) Thusly, I refuse to grab Adams. Instead, I go out and talk to Lehr, and he responded positvely. The computer tried to make me give up runs by pulling the infield in, but that made no sense, cause there was only one out, and Lehr is a groundball pitcher. I set em back, and go 0-2 on Nady with splitters, trying my best to get a DP ball. My next pitch, a back-door slider, is hit hard at JJ Hardy, but it's in the hole. He makes a great toss to Bill Hall at second, who somehow manages to get a throw off without getting killed, and we get Nady by a half step at first. Bruce Bochy comes out to valiantly argue the call at first, which earns him an ejection and a shower of boos from the SD
When Adams takes over for the ninth, the drama was not done yet. Adams K's Burroughs and pops up Klesko, and we looked to be headed for an easy inning. A pea off the bat of Mark Loretta (damned ex-Brewers) and a bloop double by Brian Giles set up 2nd and 3rd, and once again, we've got a ball game. Up next is Phil Nevin, who started the nonsense in the eighth. After an 8 pitch AB, Nevin fans at a frisbee of a slider, and we escape with a 1-0 win.