What began as a tight pitchers’ duel, disintegrated for the San Francisco Giants, and turned into a San Diego Padres rout, with the final score being 6-0. Odrisamer Despaigne, making his major league debut, pitched seven innings of shutout ball, dominating the Giants by limiting them to four hits, with no runner getting past second base.
Matt Cain started for the Giants and faced the minimum through three, looking as sharp as he has been all season. Unfortunately, in the fourth, the Padres came to life and hammered out two singles and two doubles.
The game hinged on one of the stranger plays of the season in the fourth, and the sequence of events clearly indicated that the baseball gods were in attendance at tonight’s game. With Everth Cabrera (infield single) and Seth Smith (single to right field) on base, Yasmani Grandal hit a ball that would have hit about a foot from the top of the right field wall, except that a fan reached out with his baseball cap and caught the ball.
It was ruled a three-run home run on the field and Hunter Pence, who had set up for the ricochet off the wall, came running into the infield gesturing that a fan had interfered. Bruce Bochy asked for an instant replay review, and the umpires concurred that the ball had indeed, been interfered with.
What brought Bud Black raging out of the Padres dugout, was that the umpires in New York ruled the drive was only a single. Therefore, instead of a home run and three runs scoring, one run scored and there were runners on first and third.
I felt awkward about the ruling because it seemed unfair that a Giants fan was able to rob the opponents of a run, which would surely have scored if the ball had remain untouched. That should be left to the players on the field.
However, in a classic case of justice prevailing, the very next batter, Tommy Medica, doubled and both runners still on the base-paths scored. I hated the double, but liked that the Padres did not get ripped off for a legitimate run. Of course, the gods gave the Padres an extra run, but that was because it was a Giants fan who interfered. Baseball justice.
The game remained close and had Cain left after seven innings, he would still have gotten credit for a quality start. But in the eighth, three singles plated one run before Javier Lopez was summoned with one out to replace Cain.
Lopez pitched to one batter, Seth Smith, who doubled in the fifth and sixth runs for the Padres. Juan Gutierrez then came in to retire the final two batters of the inning, leaving the score at 6-0.
For the Padres Kevin Quackenbush came on in the eighth and pitched a 1-2-3 inning, giving up three fly balls in succession. Tim Stauffer was equally up to the task in the ninth, retiring the Giants in order on two fly balls and a strikeout.
Yusmeiro Petit mopped up in the ninth for the Giants, as they went silently down to defeat tonight. The only saving grace is that the Dodgers got thumped by the Kansas City Royals.
However, instead of thanking their lucky stars for the help, the Giants should be searching for ways to win. The Dodgers aren’t going to stall much longer and San Francisco needs to win the next two from the Padres.
Let’s hope Tim Hudson, going for the Giants tomorrow, got the memo.