The days of the long ball are back, writes Craig Elsten of 619Sports.net -- Ed.:
My Sunday evening was planned out perfectly. Having watched all I needed to of the Padres game (they were losing to Arizona 6-1 in the 8th), I went to the gym and set the DVR to start taping the NBA Finals. I would get home, walk the pug, and then watch the game skimming through commercials. Then, off to the NBC studios downtown to tape a segment on Sportswrap with Ello and Laz.
I get home, and the Padres are in the 15th inning! Somehow they again had summoned a rise-from-the-dead rally, capped by my man Eckstein lining a three-run homer into one of the two places at Petco Park he could clear the fence, the left-field corner. Suddenly my night was thrown askew. I walked the pug listening to the 16th, then was back home and watching baseball over the NBA Finals.
As it turned out, the horrible, miserable Arizona bullpen, the very same 'pen that blew the game with a 5-run 9th, pitched a nine inning no-hitter against San Diego in the second half of the game. Jon Rauch, Esmerling Vazquez, Clay Zavada (that has to be a fake mustache, right?), and Leo Rosales combined improbably to no-no the punch-and-Judy Padres lineup.
In a tidy 5 hours, 45 minutes they wrapped up the Padres game and screwed up my night completely. Even skipping commercials I only got through 2 1/3 quarters of the Lakers game before having to leave to tape the Sportswrap segment. So that I wouldn't get thrown if it was a topic on the air, I did something I NEVER do, which is to jump online and check the final score. I didn't wind up watching the final horn in overtime until after 12:30 this morning.