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Sunday, July 15, 2012
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.
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