The Morning Report
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Back in the halcyon days of my youth, a midweek day game was often referred to as a “Businessman’s Special.” What was special about it, presumably, was that a businessman could knock off work at lunchtime on a Wednesday or Thursday, catch a ballgame and be back home in time for dinner, in order that the missus wouldn’t be upset about hubby blowing her off to go to a stupid baseball game.
The patriarchal Businessman’s Special term has since gone the way of Telex machines and smoking at the office, for obvious reasons. They still play a few games in the middle of the day, though, like the one contested today between the dubiously-nicknamed Atlanta Braves and the less-dubious but still questionably nicknamed San Diego Padres. They started playing baseball at 12:40 p.m., and when it was over, the Padres had five runs to the Braves three. Victory!
I didn’t attend or watch this game, choosing instead of make my sliver of contribution to the GDP at my day job. I did follow the proceedings electronically, however, as many are wont to do in our hyper-connected (and monitored) society.
Major League Baseball’s Gameday application showed that Padres starter Edinson Volquez, he of the tilted cap and inconsistent performances, bounced back from his previous poor start to get the win. After giving up nine earned runs at Denver’s Coors Field last week, Volquez settled down in the friendly confines of Petco Park to hold NL East-leading Atlanta to one run in seven innings.
San Diego’s bullpen was shakier, with five different relief pitchers scattering two Braves runs over the final two innings to secure the win. Right-hander Nick Vincent came in with two on and two out in the ninth, then struck out Justin Upton on a full-count called third strike to earn the save.
While tracking the ninth inning, I noted prolific tweeter Brady Phelps opine from his seat at the ballpark:
I don’t know what that looked like on TV, but from Petco, that’s was one of the sickest plays at short I’ve ever seen. #cabrera #padres
— Brady Phelps (@LobShots) June 12, 2013
The play Phelps referred to was a ground-ball putout by Padres shortstop Everth Cabrera of Atlanta’s Chris Johnson to record the first out of the ninth. Via Fangraph’s Jeff Sullivan, watch in gif form as Cabrera gathers a high carom off second baseman Logan Forsythe, spins and throws to first for the out. You can hang a star on that, baby.
After a disappointing April that saw San Diego win 10 games to 16 losses, the Padres have righted themselves at 32-34 to remain just 4 1/2 games behind division-leading Arizona in the NL West. Those first-place fightin’ Diamondbacks come to town for a three-game series beginning Friday.
First pitch on Sunday is 1:10 p.m., with no day-game excuses needed to attend.