Random stuff I didn’t get into tomorrow’s paper. … The Dodgers and Pods drew 130,448 for the series, the highest attendance for any three-game series in Petco Park history, although that history only extends back to 2004. … Jeff Kent and Luis Gonzalez connected consecutively on the third inning, the first set of back-to-back homers by the Dodgers this year. They came off David Wells, against whom Gonzo is now batting .448 (13 for 29) with four homers and nine RBI, and against whom Kent is now hitting .500 (9 for 18), although this was his first homer off Wells. … This was the Dodgers’ fifth game of at least 14 innings in the past year, and it missed by five days being their sixth (they went 14 at Houston last April 25). It was their second 17-inning game in the past year, as they also went that long last June 17 at Oakland. … The Dodgers had 63 at-bats and fell one plate appearance shy of going all the way through their lineup eight times. For the mathematically challenged, that computes to 71 plate appearances. … After combining to throw 190 pitches in Saturday night’s tidy little two hour, four-minute affair, the Dodgers and Padres combined to throw 458 pitches today in a game that lasted 4:55. … I’m out. See ya tomorrow.
Wilson Valdez reached on an error in the top of the 17th and scored on Brady Clark’s double into the leftfield corner. Brady was 0 for 5 with two walks in the game before that hit. Chad Billingsley, who had been perfect in the 16th, pitched around a one-out error by Ramon Martinez at third and his own one-out walk of Geoff Blum to strike out the final two batters with the tying run on second. Had Martinez made the play, it would have been his 11th assist in the game. … Franken-friar evidently doesn’t have much staying power. While most of us, including regular Friar, were here all the way to the end of this four-hour, 55-minute affair, Franken-friar was never seen after showing off his moves in the fourth inning. … They must have exhausted every piece of music in their collection here today, because now, 45 minutes after the game, they’re playing something by Hilary Duff. With apologies to my teenage daughter, who is such a big fan that she even has the Hilary perfume, that’s the musical equivalent of using pitchers to pinch hit. … Dodgers go to 15-10 and hold onto their half-game over the Snakes for at least one more day. The two teams begin a three-game series tomorrow night on the hill.
… in my scorebook, that is. Each sheet only goes to 14 innings. In all my years as a beat writer, I never had to do it until last season, when I had to do it THREE TIMES. And here we are not even through April yet, and I’m doing it again. … Dodgers have left 14 runners on base, eight of them in scoring position, which is as good a reason as any why I’m not halfway up the 5 by now. … I have to give credit to both managers or the way they have handled their benches in this game. Most of the time in the National League, when you have these marathon games, the game becomes a joke after about the 12th or 13th inning because both benches get emptied and you end up with pitchers pinch hitting and stuff like that. That hasn’t happened today. Grady still has not one, but TWO guys named Wilson on his bench. Bud Black has used everybody, but he hasn’t been forced to do anything weird yet. Nomar just GIDP’d to end the top of the 14th. Heart of the Pods’ order due up, so Bud might have to use a pitcher to pinch hit here. Billingsley coming on, so hold onto your hats. Dodgers 4, Padres 4, middle 14th
These are arguably the two best bullpens in all of baseball. Right now, the hitters on both sides are just props. The show is watching all these relievers match each other pitch for pitch, out for out, at a point when one mistake could be catastrophic. For the Dodgers, Beimel, Broxton, Tsao and Seanez have combined now for 5 2/3 hitless innings, including two perfectos by the unbelievable Tsao, who now has allowed no runs on one hit in 8 2/3 innings since his most recent callup. For the Pods, Doug Brocail, Heath Bell, Cla Meredith and Kevin Cameron have blanked the Dodgers on four hits over seven-plus innings, although Russell Martin just led off the 13th with a single off the leftfield wall. Dodgers 4, Padres 4, top 13
Derek Lowe began the seventh by walking Geoff Blum on four pitches. The same Geoff Blum who came into the day batting .074. He eventually scored the tying run on Marcus Giles’ single, which chased Lowe from the game. Don’t know about you, but I had the feeling at that point the Dodgers were done, and they have done nothing since that point to prove otherwise. Brady Clark led off the ninth with a walk, but Grady went by the book and had Ramon Martinez bunt him over. Hey, I have nothing against the proverbial book, other than the fact that it usually doesn’t work. The next two batters went out quickly, and Clark never got off second. Meanwhile, after the Dodgers got their first two runners on in the 10th, Cla Meredith retired the next two on a fly ball and a popup, at which point he had thrown a TOTAL of six pitches to those first four batters. Russell Martin then grounded out. Dodgers 4, Padres 4, bottom 10