A weblog covering the San Diego Padres.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Johnson Not Long Enough; Long Goes Deep

What a ballgame. Victor and I had to scrap for tickets among a huge crowd of walkups who guessed right that today's game would be a good one. Aging lefties David Wells and Randy Johnson both pitched brilliantly, handcuffing the others' offenses.

As usual, the Padres really couldn't find much offense, but it was a solid outing given that Johnson was on the mound. Today's game also marked the ML debut of catcher Humberto Quintero and he did not disappoint. He singled and doubled, the first coming in his first ML at bat against the imposing Johnson.

Quintero helped Wells to one of his best outings of the year and also made some dazzling Pudge-like throws to second base and first base, almost nailing a lazy runner on both. No wonder the guy's arm is so touted, he backed it up tonight. Especially heartening was the nerve and confidence needed to take such risky plays in a tight ballgame.

His bloop single to right was pure luck, but it plated two runners and escorted the Pads to a 3-1 lead before Otsuka again blew a save opportunity after Wells left the game.

That set up a dramatic top of the ninth where Arizona nearly scored twice, the first time stopped by a tremendous running catch and throw from Jay Payton that stunned the D-backs' runner on third and kept him from coming home. His second terrific throw nailed the would be lead runner at home and closed the inning to get the Padres into the bottom of the ninth tied at 3-3.

Terrance Long then slapped a sleepy homerun deep into the rightfield corner, striking the foul pole and the Padres into a victory. He made a celebratory gesture while rounding first and the Padres had swept the D-backs at home.

-Brian Buchanan went 0-3 against Johnson with three strikouts. He had been 6-19 against the Big Unit, but I think he went down on nine pitches. Terrible performance, but he's back on the roster for the first time in what seems like a month.

-Wells picked off a runner at first early in the game.

-Quintero was thrown out at second on a failed hit and run, but he showed surprising speed and almost beat the tag after the batter had struck out.

-The Padres are now 2-2 in games Brian attends, both of which were won with walkoff hits (Payton against Colorado and Long against Arizona). Could be 0-4! Yikes. The late game heroics were fun though.

* * * * *
So you want to know my thoughts on Matt Bush? Well, charges are chages and in America that means innocent until proven guilty. That said, it's fair to say he probably snuck into the bar and had some kind of altercation with the bouncer.

This kid is a genius. Not.

What's funny is that site co-author Victor had sort of been on him for a while. He had heard the kid interviewed and kept telling me what an idiot he sounded like and how naive he was.

Then at the previously mentioned Fashion Valley sighting, Victor couldn't get over the fact he was wearing his own uniform. I didn't mind so much, but he saw it as unnecessary.

When the news broke, it kind of tied those things together.

A friend of mine once got tossed from LA's The Standard, after calling the bouncer a "certified a**hole" or something like that, but at least the said friend was a)a legal age and b)not into the idea of an altercation.

This goes far beyond that. Bush has a lot to learn, and although people are piling on and it sounds like I am too, there's just such blatant stupidity here that it's hard not to talk about what happened. I doubt it's much of a lesson for him.

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