The Padres wrapped up a 4 game series vs. the Dodgers in LA on Thursday, hoping to snap their brief 2 game losing streak. They did just that, shutting out the Dodgers 5-0 to take a 2 game lead over the Giants, who lost to the Braves, in the NL West.
A key part to this Padres ballclub is resilience. They do not get upset if they lose a couple games in a row. These last 3 games were a prime example of it. After being on the wrong end of masterful pitching performances by Ted Lilly and Vicente Padilla, in which the Padres only scored 1 run in 18 innings. The Padres had to face the Dodgers right-hander Chad Billingsley on Thursday. They needed a win. They needed runs. And in the 4th, they finally broke through, scoring 3 runs highlighted by RBI singles by Yorvit Torrealba and Chase Headley. The pitching did the rest. Kevin Correia, Joe Thatcher, Esterno Frieri, Luke Gregerson, and Heath Bell pitched scoreless baseball to give the Padres a 5-0 win. The Padres scored their last 2 runs on possibly the wackiest inside the park home run ever.
Tony Gwynn Jr led off the 9th with a walk. In stepped Chris Denorfia. He took 3 pitches, 2 balls and 1 strike was the count. On the 2-1 pitch, Tony Gwynn Jr was attempting a steal. Chris Denorfia swung away and chopped a ball over Casey Blake at 3rd base. The was going down the line, and Scott Podsednik, the Dodgers left fielder, misplayed the ball, as it went all the way to the wall. Denorfia, hustling, made it all away around the bases for a ground ball chopper inside the park home run. Just when you think you’ve seen it all, something you’ve never seen happens. I love that about baseball.
Getting back to the resilience factor, let me give you some stats. Following a shutout loss, the Padres are 6-0. Following 2 straight losses, the Padres are 12-1. They never give up, and I love that about this team. That is a big part of why they are in first place, 2 games over the Giants, in the NL West.
The Padres head to Arizona where they take on the Diamondbacks for 3 games starting today. First pitch today is 6:40 PM PT, Jon Garland pitches for the Padres vs. Daniel Hudson of the DBacks.