Hero of the Game: Omar Infante .574
Goat of the Game: Josh Johnson -.576
Play of the Game: Omar Infante doubled to center. Hanley Ramirez scored.
In a game that featured just about everything under the sun, Steve Cishek would end up the hero of the night. Friday night included home runs, stolen bases, a pick-off, runners interference, diving catches, mistakes but no errors, a 3-run triple by a pitcher, passed balls, poor pitching by an all-star, bloops, bad calls, bad throws, a balk to score a run, plays at the plate, a great slide to score a run by a pitcher, a flurry of intentional walks, great base running, bad base running, aggressive calls, empty bullpens, lots of sacrifice attempts, magical gummy bears, dramatics up the ying-yang, and of course...a blown save by Heath Bell.
It all started with a bang for the Fish. Jose Reyes started the game with a bloop single which was followed by an Emilio Bonifacio walk. That drew a catcher-pitcher meeting with Hanley Ramirez coming up. Anthony Bass and Nick Hundley must have been sharing lasagna recipes because Hanley took one deep to left center on the first pitch. That promptly made the score 3-0 with no outs. Greg Dobbs then grounded out before Omar Infante would beat out the throw hustling on an infield single. Giancarlo Stanton continued his hot steak with a powerful shot that had the whole stadium in awe. Stanton cleared the bullpen in center to give the Fish a 5-0 lead. Gaby Sanchez was then robbed of a hit by a diving Cameron Maybin before Brett Hayes would strike out to end the assault.
The bottom of the first didn't appear to start so well for Josh Johnson either. After a deep fly out, JJ allowed two singles and hit Chase Headley in between the two to load the bases. Johnson was able to recover. He got Hundley to fly out to shallow center before striking out Orlando Hudson to end the inning.
In the bottom of the third, things imploded for the Fish. Will Venable would open things up with a walk. JJ would get Kotsay to pop out, but Headley would double to score Venable. Alonso would then ground out, giving hope that the Fish could escape the inning with just one run allowed. Not so much. Hundley would double, followed by a Hudson single making the score 5-3. Hudson then stole second because Hayes, who has normally been spot-on with his throws to second, short-hopped it and Infante could not pick it. Maybin and Bartlett would both walk to load the bases. Bass, the pitcher, who had never had a major league hit, would send a line drive to right. Stanton mis-timed it and failed to even knock it down. The ball sailed past him and rolled into the corner. Bass would end up at third and all three runs would score, giving the Padres a 6-5 lead. Dan Jennings would relieve Johnson and Veneble would walk for the second time in the inning before Kotsay would ground out to end the inning.
Dan Jennings would open the top of the forth with a ground out before Reyes would beat out a double. He would advance to third on a Bonifacio ground out. With Hanley at the plate, Reyes acted like he was going to steal home. Bass saw him out of the corner of his eye and accidently balked to give the Marlins the run. It was a great move by Reyes as Hanley would strike out to end the inning with the score tied.
The score remained the same until the bottom of the fifth. With Chad Gaudin pitching, he allowed three consecutive singles after getting two outs. The last single by Mark Kotsay would send around Bass to the plate. Bonifacio came up with a decent throw, but Bass would slide around the tag and give the Padres a 7-6 lead. Gaudin would retire Headley to end the inning.
In the top of the seventh, Luke Gregerson relieved Bass to start the inning. Gregerson would get Reyes to fly out before issuing a walk to Boni. San Diego, expecting Bonifacio to steal, would throw to first base more than pitch to Hanley. Ramirez would eventually just miss on a pitch and flied out to left. With Greg Dobbs up and two out, Bonifacio would use his famous delayed steal and took second for his 13th stolen base of the year (he has yet to be caught). Dobbs would then single to right field and Bonifacio would easily score even with the throw to home. Dobbs alertly took second base with the ball coming home. Up next was Omar Infante who would single himself to left. Joe Espada played it aggressively and sent Dobbs home. The play at the plate was close, but Dobbs was able to slide under the tag giving the Fish the lead! Stanton would follow the action by drawing a walk, but Gaby would end the rally by popping out in foul territory.
In the bottom of the seventh, the craziness continued. Ryan Webb would strike out his first two hitters before allowing a single to Parrino. Choate would come in and pitch to Denorfia. While pitching to him, Brett Hayes allowed a passed ball which moved Parrino to second. With a runner in scoring position, Hayes would allow yet another passed ball which would move the tying run 90 feet away while the pitch also walked Denorfia. With runners on the corners, Choate would get Kotsay to ground out to first to end the threat.
The eighth inning was rather uneventful considering the way the game was going, but we had yet to see a base runner interference call...so we got one. With two out, Jose Reyes laid down a bunt and proceeded to run a few yards deep in the grass until the throw to first hit him in the arm. He was called out and the Padres would come to bat, only to be put out in order by Randy Choate. The Padres would follow with their own 1-2-3 in the top of the ninth with good pitching by Thayer.
The bottom of the 9th started with Heath Bell taking the mound for the Fish. Bell would attempt to hold the one run lead and save the game. It didn't start well. Guzman would hit a line drive down the right field line that would land fair. He trotted into second with a pinch-hit double. Bell would then get two strikes on Maybin before allowing yet another double down the right field line to score Guzman tying the game. With the winning run in scoring position, Bartlett would sacrifice bunt and moved the winning run (with great speed) 90 feet away.
With one out, the Fish decided to intentionally walk Parrino to set up the double play. On a 2-2 pitch to Denorfia, he sent a liner to the right field line. Everyone in Petco was on their feet, but the ball landed just foul. On the very next pitch, Bell would get Denorfia to strike out on a foul-tip. Kotsay would then come to plate with a chance to win the game. After getting behind in the count 3-1, including a wild pitch that Hayes had to save, Ozzie decided to intentionally walk Kotsay. The bases were now loaded with two out, but the only run that mattered was at third base. Headley would come up to plate and battled with Bell. After getting two strikes, Headley would line a scorcher to Omar who picked it and threw to first for the inning ending out.
In the top of the 11th, the Padres got two out before Emilio Bonifacio drew a full count. On the next pitch, one that was a few feet outside, Boni threw his bat and began to trot to first only to be called out on strikes by a horrible call by home plate umpire Adrian Johnson.
The bottom of the inning had more dramatics, Cishek came out for his second inning of work and issued a lead-off walk to Maybin. Bartlett would then sacrifice Maybin to second. With one out, Parrino was intentionally walked to set up the double play. Denorfia would then hit a ground ball to first where Dobbs threw to get the out at second, but Denorfia was up the line quick and could not be doubled up. Former Marlin, John Baker would then come to the plate with an attempt to win the game. Maybin, for the second time in the night, represented the winning run just 90 feet away. Baker hit a slow roller up the middle, which Reyes grabbed and threw a laser to first to just beat out the catcher and end the threat.
To the 12th we went where Hanley drew a lead-off walk of his own. Greg Dobbs would strike out while Hanley remained at first. Omar Infante came to the plate and crushed a ball into the gap in left-center. The ball bounced off the wall as Hanley raced around third. The throw came to the plate, but it was too late and too wide. Hanley scored the go-ahead run while Omar pulled up with a double. The Padres decided to walk Stanton to get to Cishek, who would bat because the Fish had no one left in the pen, expect for Mujica, who Ozzie did not want to use. Cishek would lay down a nice bunt down the third base line, but Infante did not get a good jump and was out on the throw to third. Hayes would then end the rally by striking out.
Cishek took the mound for the third consecutive inning and attempted to get the win. He struck out Headley to start. Next came Alonso, but he singled to right. That brought up the winning run to the plate in Hundley, who popped out to Dobbs at first. With two outs Alonso stole second on a close play in which Hayes made a great throw, but Alonso simply got to good of a lead. The tying run was now in scoring position with two outs. Guzman came up to the plate, and Cishek finally made a pitch that ended this insane game. Guzman hit a line drive right to Omar Infante who recorded the third out and finished the game, giving the Fish a 9-8 win in twelve innings!
This game was truly one-of-a-kind that lasted 4 hours and 45 minutes and ended at 2:52 A.M. EDT. If you were lucky enough to watch this game, congratulations. If you missed it, it was incredible, and I advise you to watch the highlights.
Frank Forte interviewed Cishek after the game who stated he was low on energy but could continue enough to finish the game. Cishek threw 52 pitches and attributes the energy to the gummy bears shared among the bullpen.
"Gummy Bears are Delicious"
Yes they are Steve, and so was this victory.