LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 14: Carlos Quentin #18 of the San Diego Padres runs the bases after hitting a home run in the fourth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on July 14, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)
When you've lost 10 straight games in another team's ballpark, you kind of need something nutty to happen. But what transpired at Dodger Stadium on Saturday night was so (forgive the pun) out of left field, even Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn was shocked.
"I've been in baseball for 30 years now," said Gwynn, "and that's the first time I've seen anything like that."
What could he be talking about?
How about a 9th inning steal of home that resulted in the game-tying AND game-winning runs being scored?
The Padres trailed the Dodgers 6-5 to start the inning. L.A. went to closer Kenley Jansen, who promptly allowed singles to Yonder Alonso and Will Venable, putting runners at 1st and 3rd with nobody out.
Then the Padres tried to give the game away. Cameron Maybin struck out. Mark Kotsay popped up on the infield. Two squandered chances to bring in a runner from 3rd with less than two outs, the kind of horrible situational hitting that has plagued the Padres all season.
They'd have to make something happen. Enter Everth Cabrera.
He pinch-ran for Alonso and was just waiting for someone to drive him in. When that didn't happen, he asked 3rd base coach Glenn Hoffman if he could steal home.
"He had picked up something on him," said Hoffman. "I don't know if it was out of the windup, or what he was thinking at that time. He was just being aggressive."
That's an understatement. Cabrera waited for Jansen to turn his head toward centerfield, and broke for home.
Jansen's throw sailed over the head of catcher A.J. Ellis, all the way to the backstop. Cabrera scored the tying run, but the play wasn't over.
Venable was on 2nd base, and took off running when he saw Jansen make a move to the plate. When he approached 3rd, he saw Hoffman waving him in.
"Will didn't know what was going on, I don't think, but I just kept waving him because I knew the ball was at the backstop."
Venable actually beat Jansen to the plate, sliding in the with game-winning run.
Almost an afterthought is the performance of the Padres three most desirable trade chips.
Chase Headley (who the Dodgers are known to covet) hit a 2-run home run off Aaron Harang to tie the game at 4 in the 6th inning.
Carlos Quentin had a home run, a single, and drove in three runs.
Houston Street worked a scoreless 9th and still hasn't blown a save this season.
The Padres and Dodgers have been playing against each other for a long time. I'm not sure anything tops the ending we saw on Saturday night.