One thing I do miss…

It’s mid-summer in San Diego. The air is balmy and the sea breeze is blowing gently through Petco park. There is a special section out in the bleachers for people to bring their dogs, and people to watch over your best friend while you go for a beer. The fish tacos are even better at the park, and the beer is allegedly less overpriced there than at other Major League venues. (The last I find hard to believe.)

The Padres are in first place in their division, because they are almost unbeatable at home. The first year in the new park there was a lot of whining from Padre’s hitters, but this year I don’t think you’ll be hearing any complaints.

Yesterday, a lovely Monday, the park was filled to 98% capacity for the first game of a series against the evil Los Angeles Dodgers. Jake Peavy was on the mound for the good guys – he had been held back a day in the rotation so he could pitch against the division rivals. I suspect very few teams (St. Louis doesn’t count – they’re just nuts there) are getting that kind of turnout at this point in the season.

And pitch Jake did. He allowed two hits and no runs over eight innings. He was crafty, using change-ups more than usual, and had the Dodgers drilling themselves into the ground, cartoon-style. The crowd, I read, was going nuts for the entire game.

Peavey needed every bit of that craft as well. The other pitcher was also in fine form, and when the dust cleared the Padres were the winners, 1-0. The Padres are winning the close games so far this year. I love those games. One little slip is the difference between victory and defeat. One hanging curve ball, one bad throw to first, and that’s it. The fans feel it, too, and celebrate every strikeout and good defensive play. Those are great days to be at the park.

4 thoughts on “One thing I do miss…

  1. The Sherwoods were there last night, twelve rows back in right field (right where Giles made his running catch in the second). The mood was indeed electric. You left out the most noteworthy achievement: a new personal best (and best in the majors this year) 13 strikeouts. Jake fanned 8 of the first twelve he faced. He got good defense from Klesko in left and Burroughs at third, and overcame a miscue by Nevin at first. The Padres got their one run from first base when they hit and run on a Giles double to the wall. Great, great game.

  2. Is Petco the new name for Evzena Rosického Stadiun? Last I heard they were doing renovations. Or was that Toyota (Letna) Arena?

  3. No, they turned Strahov into two full sized baseball stadiums, one for San Diego, one for the Dodgers. If you ask me, this outsourcing thing has gone way too far.

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