I hope Alex gets a game that good — well, OK, it would be nice to have one not quite as long, and one played on a night not quite as much like an armpit or a stagnant aquarium in the sun. (New York City is really no place to be right now.) Weather aside, though, that was a good 'un. Heck, any game that ends with the guys wearing your colors clustered around home plate waiting to spring is, by definition, a good 'un.
Still, for a while it felt like a game on a treadmill, which I suppose is fitting for a season on a treadmill. Exactly how many times were we going to have a runner at second with one out and walk away with nothing? Exactly how many great relievers could the Padres run out of the bullpen? Exactly when was Trevor Hoffman going to come out and blitz us for God knows how many innings? (Thankfully, that never happened.)
While we're sort of on the subject, how terrible are the Padres' uniforms? In fact, have the Padres ever worn a uniform that isn't rub-your-eyes ridiculous? They change them every other year, spinning up the color wheel like crack-addled hamsters while the designs morph from godawful to uninspired and back, and not even by accident do they ever hit on something worth greeting with more enthusiasm than, “Well, I guess that's better than the old Padres uniform.”
I mean, we know bad uniforms. We started out OK (combining the Dodgers and Giants colors gave us an identity as a newborn expansion team, even if our infatuation with ol' Ebbets Field and Polo Grounds favorites served us poorly for a time), mucked things up with the wretched side stripe of the 1980s, banished that only to usher in the thankfully short-lived METS with a tail (which can be seen, for some unfathomable reason, on minor-leaguer Jim Burt's 2005 Bowman card), and then unleashed sartorial hell, with the ice-cream caps probably the low point. Now the classic pinstripes are hardly ever seen, and we're usually screwing up the fairly cool black unis by wearing them with that awful blue-billed cap. If there's any rhyme or reason to when we'll be wearing black or snow white or pinstripes, it certainly escapes me. If I had my say, things would be simple and predictable: Home rotation would be pinstripes as the norm, black on the weekends, snow white on holidays, no blue bills ever. Road would be grays as the norm, black on the weekends and holidays. There. Was that so hard?
But compared to the Padres we look positively classic. Shudder.
Speaking of shuddering, I'm beginning a tiresome and probably futile campaign of complaining about the dead roster spots occupied by Mister Koo and Danny Graves. Koo couldn't manage to get any lefties out, which is his only purpose for being on the team, and was only saved from disaster by a lucky roll up Piazza's arm that deposited the ball in perfect throwing position for Mike to nail Dave Roberts on what sure looked like a lazy call at second. (Jose tagged the immediate space around Roberts' various limbs repeatedly, but I'm not sure he actually got the runner.) As for Graves, well, it would be cruel to state the obvious. Why, oh why, can't we see Ring as the lefty specialist? I don't much care who replaces Graves. OK, not Mel Rojas or Rich Rodriguez, but other than that I'm open to anything.
And why in the name of James Baldwin and Scott Erickson is Ishii getting another start? Augghhh!
On the other hand, there was David Wright batting ahead of Piazza in the batting order. About time — let's hope it lasts longer than the Jose Reyes Bats Seventh experiment. Braden Looper managed to avoid the dreaded Closer's Second Inning debacle. Kris Benson was masterful. And Chris Woodward, well, he sent us all home happy.