The Padres have done a thorough job losing games this season. They're on a pace to finish with a 54-108 record. So, they don't need any help from umpires to come up short.
Saturday night at PETCO Park, a strange call ended up costing the Padres in a 4-2 loss to the Diamondbacks.
It happened in the 7th inning, with the game tied 2-2. Joe Thatcher was on the mound for San Diego. Arizona had runners at first and third.
Keep in mind, Thatcher is a left-handed pitcher who throws from the stretch. When he comes to the set position, his hands are directly in front of his face.
So when 3rd base umpire Brian Gorman called a balk, allowing Gerardo Parra to score what turned out to be the winning run, Thatcher asked for an explanation. He didn't get one.
"No, I didn't," said Thatcher. "He said I moved my hands, but he's behind me. I don't know how he saw that. The second base umpire was right behind me. He was shaking his head, I didn't balk. He had the best look at it. It changed the game. It was pretty ridiculous."
Several replays were still unable to reveal the alleged balk. Padres manager Bud Black, and former big league pitcher (and fellow lefty) and pitching coach also took a close look. His response was simple.
"I didn't see anything."
Thatcher ended up getting a strikeout and groundout that would have preserved a 2-2 tie and given the Padres a chance to win.
So, thanks to a balk, we can chalk up another loss at PETCO Park. The good news is, the Padres can still win their series against Arizona with a win on Sunday afternoon.
That game is a unique 3:35 start Downtown. The Padres pushed it back because of the morning's Rock 'n' Roll Marathon.