07/04/07 2:02 AM ET
Maddux suffers loss to Marlins
Right-hander was sailing along until seventh-inning woes
By Corey Brock / MLB.com
Consider what the decisive inning that led to the Marlins' 6-4 victory over the Padres was built on -- a pinch-hit two-run home run, on an 0-2 pitch no less, a wild pitch that led to a run and two intentional walks from the bullpen that fed an unsavory four-run inning.
"That was," Padres manager Bud Black said afterwards, "one of the rare occurrences that hasn't happened. That shows how good our bullpen has been this season."
And, from his perspective, Black hopes that it doesn't happen again, although if it took 82 games to run out their worst inning of the season, then the Padres must certainly be doing something right.
They just didn't do enough of it Tuesday.
The Padres carried a 4-2 lead into the seventh inning against the Marlins (39-45) on the strength of a two-run home run to left by Khalil Greene in the bottom of the sixth inning that chased Florida starting pitcher Scott Olsen.
The top of the seventh wouldn't prove nearly as fruitful for the Padres (47-35), as Greg Maddux -- who had retired 12 of the previous 14 batters he faced entering the inning -- faced five batters and allowed four hits before Black came for him.
"He was at 71 pitches going into the seventh inning. ... I thought Greg was throwing the ball great," Black said.
With one out and a runner on, pinch-hitter Hanley Ramirez -- who didn't start because of a bum hamstring -- got hold of an 0-2 breaking ball that didn't break enough, spanking it well over the wall in left field to tie the game.
"I didn't lose it ... they got me," said Maddux, who allowed all six runs in 6 1/3 innings. "If there was a way for a starting pitcher to blow a save, that's it.
How off was the intended location of Maddux's 0-2 pitch to Ramirez? The future Hall of Famer, who was denied in his bid for career victory No. 341, said that the pitch "was intended for the dirt."
Things really got interesting once Maddux (7-5) left, as Cla Meredith came into the game with the intent of walking Miguel Cabrera to load the bases. Black removed Meredith for left-hander Royce Ring to face lefty Mike Jacobs and Josh Willingham.
"That was to allow Royce enough time to get ready," Black said.
Ring gave the Padres a brief respite when he got Jacobs looking at a called third strike for the second out of the inning to preserve the tie. But with Willingham up, Ring uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Alfredo Amezaga to score the go-ahead run.
"It looks as though he tried to overthrow some breaking balls," Black said of Ring.
Ring then walked Willingham intentionally, only to issue a bases-loaded walk to Jeremy Hermida to force in another run to make it 6-4.
"It's baseball," said Padres leadoff hitter Brian Giles, who reached base three times for the fourth consecutive game since he's been installed as the leadoff hitter. "Those things are going to happen."
Only they haven't happened often to the Padres, who were 33-8 in games where they led after six innings. And Maddux, who had a 2.78 ERA at PECTO Park, certainly hasn't been hit like that on his home turf. Then, of course, there was the rare slipup by the bullpen.
The Marlins jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning when, after allowing hits to the first two batters he faced, Maddux yielded a run-scoring groundout to Cabrera.
Florida scored a run in the second inning when the first two batters of the inning, Miguel Olivo (walk) and Todd Linden (single), reached base. Olson helped himself by reaching on a fielder's choice to make it 2-0.
Trailing 2-0, San Diego scored twice in inning on a two-run single by Brian Giles. In the sixth inning, Greene's home run to left field followed a single by Mike Cameron, a home run that put the Padres in what appeared to be a good position to win.
But one bad inning, arguably the worst of the season, did the Padres in.
Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.