In one of the most bizarre ninth innings anyone has ever witnessed the Padres stole two runs off of a dazed and confused Kenley Jansen and defeated the Dodgers 7 - 6 in front of a very unhappy sold out crowd.
Jansen came into the ninth trying to protect a 6 - 5 lead. Two singles later the Padre's had 1st and 3rd, and Kenley was facing a daunting task. His first obstacle was Cameron Maybin who fouled off pitch after pitch until Kenley finally struck him out giving hope that he could still nail down the save. Up next was one time College World Series hero Mark Kotsay who did exactly what was hoped for as he popped up. Two outs, runners at 2nd and 3rd. Don Mattingly took the time to hold a meeting and discuss the strategy. Everth Cabrerra was the runner at 3rd, Will Venable was the runner at 2nd, and Alexi Amarista was the hitter. The Dodgers had an open base to work with. Amarista was left handed, the hitter on deck Logan Forsythe was right handed. They decided to go after Amarista.
With a 2 - 1 count Jansen got a second strike on Amarista. AJ Ellis fired the ball back to Kenley who held the ball on the mound for long moments as he gathered himself for what he hoped would be the final pitch. It would never come. Jansen stepped off the mound, and hell broke loose on the basepaths. Everth Cabrerra took off for home, a clearly rattled Jansen threw a high ball to AJ Ellis who swiped at the ball and made the tag at home where Cabrerra was emphatically called out. The game was over - except - AJ Ellis never caught the ball, Once AJ realized he did have the ball he went to retrieve the ball, as the umpire realized AJ did not have the ball he reversed the call and the game was tied, but the bedeviling was just beginning. Will Venable smelled blood and decided to try for home himself. Jansen who had made the errant throw had not left the mound to cover home confused by the out call, by the time he headed for home it was to late, and Venable scored what would prove to be the winning run.
Everything went wrong for Kenley that could have and they were all of his own doing. He could have payed attention to the runner at third. He could have made a good throw home to nail the would be thief. He could have covered home after making an errant throw in which case they would have nailed Venable. Jansen did none of those things.
Don Mattingly said this would be a learning experience for Kenley but what a price this lesson cost. Of course we have no idea if he had ever thrown the next pitch to Amarista what would have happened, we only know what did happen. You have to give credit to Cabrerra for trying to steal home, that was a clear balls of brass move. In retro probably not even a good move, he should have been out as a good throw nails him. Kenley said the out call by the umpire confused him, at first he did not know that AJ Ellis did not catch the ball and he thought the game was over.
It was a freak play, probably never see it again. If AJ Ellis doesn't think he had caught the ball, no safe call from the umpire and Kenley is probably on his way to cover home to make sure Venable does not score.
The trio of Ellis/Kemp/Andre did good work tonight. All three had multi-hit games, combining for eight of the Dodgers eleven hits. Included in Andre's three hits was a booming home run.
For the first time in a long time Belisario and Kenley were scored on in a hold and save situation. This was Kenley's first blown save since May 26th.
Two Padres many Dodger fans would like to see playing in Dodger blue, slugged home runs (Carlos Quentin & Chase Headley). Quentin's home run got them within a run in the fourth, and Chase's two run shot in sixth knotted the game at 4. Andre then untied the knot with his two run shot in the bottom of the sixth.
Final Score Padres 7 Dodgers 6
Winning Pitcher Alex Hinshaw ( 1-1 )
Losing Pitcher Kenley Jansen ( 4 - 3)
Save - Houston Street (14)
Tonights Attendance 54,014