Padres Salvage A Game
Baseball proves over and over that we are all human and mere pawns to the game. It dictates its own terms; no human in over a century has been able to bend the game to his own will.
We all had the storylines written out in our minds. Clayton Kershaw was on the mound for the Dodgers as they went for the series sweep of the San Diego Padres. The Cuban phenom Yasiel Puig was coming off of a two-homer, five-RBI night in his second big league game.
So it was all set up for Kershaw to pitch a perfect game in his 162nd start while Puig would be the 17th player to hit four home runs in one game.
And that's where the cruelty of the game of baseball enters in the Dodgers 6-2 loss to the Padres.
Kershaw didn't even get to flirt with a no-hitter, Chase Headley hitting a two-out single in the first inning. An unearned run in the second, a Jedd Gyorko solo homer in the fourth and a Jesus Guzman RBI double in the sixth gave the Padres the 3-0 lead.
It was something that Dodger manager Don Mattingly half expected. "They're a team that gives him trouble," he said. "They seem to run him through pitches."
"They've got a lot of grit over there," Kershaw commented.
Instead of Kershaw it was Padres starter Jason Marquis who flirted with the no-no in his 13th big league season. Skip Schumaker his a double that bounced off the bottom of the wall in right-center field with two outs in the sixth inning to break up the no-hit bid. And from there the Dodgers attempted a comeback.
Adrian Gonzalez hit a single to score Schumaker, and Scott Van Slyke hit a solo home run in the seventh inning that knocked Marquis out of the game clawing the Dodgers back to a 3-2 deficit. But from there the Padres bullpen shut the door.
"We kind of break through there," Mattingly said about the two runs. "But we just couldn't stay there."
Tim Stauffer, Dale Thayer and Luke Gregerson combined to give up only two hits in the remaining 2 2/3 innings.
The Padres put the game out of reach in ninth inning after loading the bases with no outs against Paco Rodriguez. They all came home, and that was all she wrote.
As for Puig? A Cuban missile crisis of sorts with him going 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.
"He's going to be fine," Mattingly reassured. And he will. It's only three games.
And the game continues on as the Dodgers try to manuever themselves back into something resembling a respectable team. They still remain in last place, a distinction they could have eliminated with a win tonight. They still have a payroll in excess of $200 million. And they will be here tomorrow trying for a win.