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Posted by Ted Rossman at 9/18/2006 10:52:00 PM
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I'm listening to the Padres/Dodgers game and may have just heard the most incredible half-inning in my life as a baseball fan. The Padres had a 9-5 lead entering the bottom of the ninth inning, and were on the verge of opening a 1 1/2 game lead over L.A. in the N.L. West.

Then Jeff Kent led off the bottom of the ninth with a homer off Padres' reliever Jon Adkins. 9-6, no big deal. The next batter, J.D. Drew, also went deep. 9-7. Manager Bruce Bochy brought on Trevor Hoffman, the Padres' all-world closer who has the second-most saves in big league history.

He was taken deep by Russell Martin. 9-8. Back-to-back-to-back homers. But the Padres still led. Then, Marlon Anderson made it an absolutely incredible four straight homers. You can't make this stuff up.

As I write this, San Diego has rallied to take a 10-9 lead in the top of the 10th. Talk about resilient. What a game.

EDIT: The Dodgers came back to win the game in the bottom of the 10th, when Nomar Garciaparra hit a two-run homer off San Diego reliever Rudy Seanez. L.A.'s four straight ninth inning homers represent the first time all year that the Dodgers have hit four homers IN A GAME. Four straight dingers have only been accomplished four times in major league history. This win moves L.A. 1/2 game in front of San Diego in the N.L. West. In terms of momentum, this one could be worth 10 games. What a crushing loss for the Padres.


That was crazy. A friend called me during the ninth and told me what was going on. I flicked it on and watched Hoffman come in, thinking I had missed the fireworks. Not quite. That's a tough one to bounce back from for the Padres. We talked about Bochy's in-game strategy a while back, and gotta ask now why he didn't just bring in Hoffman to start the ninth? Because he had a four-run lead instead of a three-run lead? This time of year, you can't squander wins and I'd rather have my best guy in there in the ninth. Crazy.

Posted by Jason Thornbury at 9/18/2006 11:31:00 PM
Good point, Jason. You can bet that if a save was granted for holding a four-run lead at the beginning of the inning, Bochy would have used Hoffman. He played by the numbers and he got burned in a big way.
Posted by tedrossman at 9/18/2006 11:50:00 PM
Let it be known that ESPN, otherwise known as the "hey, we have Monday Night Football!" network, did NOT lead off their Tuesday morning ESPNews half-hour rotation with MNF today. They started off with Dodgers-Padres instead. A great call, as Bristol subtly conceded that baseball is still the greatest game of them all, and football is just a secondary diversion. But, I'm not sure it's a "crushing loss" for the Padres, Ted. They're still in better shape than LA for the next two weeks, and it's the Phillies they really need to fend off in any case.
Posted by sixsigmagus at 9/19/2006 7:26:00 AM
Updating the Hoffman situation, San Diego conceded after the game that he has been dealing with a sore throwing shoulder. Bochy said that Hoffman would have pitched longer, but he is taking the approach that Hoffman has only so many bullets left, and he wants to save them. Hard to say whether or not this news would have been released if Hoffman hadn't blown the save.

As for the loss being a crushing one, I don't think it's necessarily fatal, but I do think it's crushing. San Diego would have opened up a 1 1/2 game lead over L.A. in the N.L. West and a 2 1/2 game lead over Philly in the wild card had they won. Now they're 1/2 game behind L.A. and 1 1/2 in front of Philly. They could have posted an 8-1 record in Dodger Stadium this year, but that evaporated. It must have been a long bus ride back to San Diego for the Padres last night (yes, they and most MLB teams drive between San Diego and L.A.). The team needs to rebound in a hurry, and with the news that Hoffman has a sore shoulder and Wednesday's starter, David Wells, has a sprained ankle, that won't be easy.
Posted by tedrossman at 9/19/2006 7:42:00 AM
Other than being in first place, until this feat took place, I had lacked emotion about my beloved Dodgers circa 2006. Hardly any of them are home-grown and is anyone else aware the Jeff Kent is a Dodger. Unbelieveable.

Now, after the four-straight-home-run game, maybe there is enough destiny to the 2006 Dodgers to get seriously behind them.
Posted by jarnold at 9/19/2006 10:16:00 AM

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