That’s right, after eight innings of getting mostly shut down by San Diego righty Andrew Cashner, it was Adrian Gonzalez & Hanley Ramirez taking Huston Street deep on back-to-back pitches in the top of the ninth to break a 1-1 tie and split the series. (Based on the reaction, and even predictions, of Padre fans I know, their opinion of Street right now is only slightly better than how we feel about Brandon League, so there’s that.) It was, somewhat surprisingly — or perhaps not, depending on your perspective — the first time all season two Dodgers in a row went deep.
Special attention here must be paid to Ramirez, who followed up yesterday’s absolute rocket with today’s no-doubter, and is now hitting .358/.397/.679 in 58 plate appearances on the season. That’s obviously a small sample size, and he’s not going to keep it up all season, of course, but just having him in the lineup after months of Dee Gordon, Justin Sellers, & Luis Cruz… well, it really does change everything, and we’ve seen that in the last few days.
The funny thing is, through eight innings the heroes here were Chris Capuano & Juan Uribe, not Ramirez & Gonzalez. On three days rest, Capuano was more than expected, tossing five shutout, walkless innings on 74 pitches. Considering how easily this could have turned into a disaster, Capuano’s effort was phenomenal and more than he could have hoped for, but the lead was lost when Peter Moylan gave up a solo homer to everyone’s favorite Padre, Carlos Quentin.
Then there’s Uribe, who is rapidly turning the corner from “ha, it’s fun that people kind of like him now because he isn’t awful apparently and especially because he isn’t Cruz,” to “wait… is he actually useful?” Uribe doubled twice, driving in the first run of the game and pushing his line to .267/.357/.400, while kicking in a fantastic defensive play at third to save Don Mattingly‘s bacon when he inexplicably replaced Paco Rodriguez with League in a tie game. (League got the win, because… well, you know.) Useful isn’t the same as good, but considering what we thought of him last year and what the alternatives would be… I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I am really, truly happy to have him. I’m going to go take a long hot shower now.
Kenley Jansen nailed down the lead in the ninth, and the fact that we’re sort of breezing past that indicates that he did his job and he did it well. The less said about a closer — or any reliever, really — the better.