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The Padres Win, the Padres Lose

     If it weren’t for the Pittsburgh Pirates, I’d be really depressed. I can ’most always count on the Pirates to lose more games than the Padres, much to the despair of my favorite uncle who lives – you guessed it – thirty miles south of the Steel City.

     Not long ago, playing in drenching rains, the Padres pulled out two of three games at PNC Ballpark in Pittsburgh.

     Barely. One of the games started with a three hour rain delay and ended in a downpour that sent players and fans scattering, but that night the Padres reigned. The next game was a squeak-through, one to nothing.

     Not that the Padres aren’t good. They’re just not good all at the same time. When the pitching’s perfect, the hitting’s deplorable. Well, that’s not right. When the pitching’s good, there is no hitting. When the hitting’s flying out of the park, the pitching gets no relief.

     This night, we have a great start. Chris Young’s locating his pitches up, down, inside, outside… No hits, no runs, twelve strike-outs, seventh inning.

     Padres have one run.

     In comes the reliever. His pitches zing over the middle of the plate, fat ’n juicy. Balls fly off the bats of the Marlins and next thing you know, first and second base are occupied by smiling Marlins.

     Second relief pitcher mounts the mound. Four pitches later, the batter bends over, loosens his shin guard and walks down the first base line.

     Three happy Marlins are hanging out on their bases, waiting for the grand slam to put them over the top. It does. We lay down our bats and go home.

     Another evening. Another ball game. Padres’ bats are connecting like Velcro. Giles is hot. Roberts is hot. Balls go flying out of the park, ripping down the right field line, nasty-hopping across the infield.

     Padres, eight runs. Diamondbacks, eleven.

     We knock out three more runs, but in the end, even Trevor can’t save this one.

     And then there’s the base running… On this night, the pitching’s good; the hitting’s fair. The score is six to five. Dodgers, six. Padres – you know.

     Ninth inning. Two outs. Bard is at the plate, Cameron’s on first.

     The pitch comes in low. Bard watches it. The pitch comes inside. Bard waits. The pitch goes high. Way high. One more and he’ll walk. We hold our breaths.

     Low and inside. Bard strolls to first. Cameron jogs to second.

     Barfield comes to the plate. The fans come alive. The bases are loaded. We’re gonna do it. We’re gonna do it tonight. Heck, we might even start a winning streak…

     Whoa! Barfield connects. Ball flies up, up, up and over the side of the left field foul pole.

     Wrong side of the left field foul pole. The fans sit down.

     But Barfield smacks the next pitch and the runners run and the bases are suddenly loaded with Padres.

     Wait… What’s happening? Cameron’s heading for home? He’ll never make it! The catcher is squatting in front of the bag, glove extended. The ball zooms in from left field. Swack! Hits the glove. Glove swipes across Cameron’s ankle. Game over.

     Yep, it’s tough being a Padres fan, but still it’s kind’a fun. We don’t know how it will end, but it has its moments and it has its moments and then every once in a while, it has its streaks. We prefer the winning ones.

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