Photo: © Scott Jones |

June 7, 2009: Arizona 9, San Diego 6 (18 innings)

Time travel with me to eight years ago today. The Padres are in their camo unis, hosting the Diamondbacks on a sunny Saturday at Petco Park. What started out as a routine blowout of the home team turned into an epic 9th inning comeback followed by nine extra innings. Often the Padres find innovative ways to lose, but they took it to a new extreme in this one.
Let’s rank the game’s developments on a crazy scale from 0 to 10:
-The Padres trailed 6-0 to the Diamondbacks through 6 innings after starter Josh Geer gives up four runs in the 5th inning and Joe Thatcher gives up two more in the 6th. (0/10 crazy, come on a 6-0 deficit happens like 10-15 times per year)
Kevin Kouzmanoff breaks the shutout in the 7th with a solo shot. (1/10 crazy, mostly just an excuse to yell Koooooooooouz!)
Adrian Gonzalez leads off the bottom of the 9th with a double, then comes around to score on a Chase Headley RBI single to make it 6-2. (still just 1/10 crazy, pretty par for the course for these two)
Brian Giles walks, Kouz flies out to deep CF and moves Headley to third, a Nick Hundley infield single scores him to make it 6-3 and bring the tying run to the plate. (3/10 crazy, just to get within one swing of a tie game was impressive enough)
-After a Chris Burke groundout leaves SD down to their final out, the Padres bring in noted slugger David Eckstein. On the first pitch, this happened. (10/10 crazy, Arizona’s win expectancy was 99% entering the inning! “Where did that come from??”)
-The game went into extra, then extra extra innings, with Heath Bell, Edward Mujica and Luke Gregerson all throwing two scoreless frames, followed by Chad Gaudin, who pitched 5 innings as a starter two days earlier, also throwing two scoreless. (7/10 crazy, good relievers getting guys out is hardly surprising, but Gaudin adding to the zeroes on one day’s rest definitely was)
-In the top of the 18th inning, the Padres discover “Hey, we have no more pitchers!” and bring out utility infielder Josh Wilson, who had been a Diamondback himself a month earlier and threw a scoreless inning in a blowout loss for them on May 11. (13/10 crazy, a position player pitching in a tie game???)
-After a leadoff single, the Diamondbacks for some insane reason choose to have Gerardo Parra lay down a sacrifice bunt (10/10 crazy, again, this was with a position player pitching!!!)
-After a walk to Ryan Roberts and a Stephen Drew popout to catcher, Wilson was an out away from a miraculous scoreless inning when Mark Reynolds came to bat. On a full-count, he hit a 3-run opposite-field homer(0/10 crazy, this is what is expected when YOU HAVE A POSITION PLAYER PITCHING IN A TIE GAME)
-Adrian’s brother Edgar Gonzalez strikes out, Adrian flies out and Headley strikes out to cap 9 extra innings in which the Padres didn’t get a single hit. Padres lose 9-6. (10/10 crazy, SD going the equivalent of a full game without a hit is nothing new, but doing it after a 5-run 9th inning was a first!)
Box score:
Union-Tribune game recap:

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