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September 29, 2004



Man, what a way to lose a ballgame. These last few days are going to be.. memorable, at least.

El Lefty

It was a what-can-you-do type of loss. There's no shame in being handcuffed by David Wells and Trevor Hoffman. In the fateful 10th, only Torrealba's error was ugly, but I'm not about to bitch about him given how stellar his D has been all year.

Alfonzo made a tough play on the chopper to open the inning, and it easily could have been called an infield hit. Hermanson pitched well. The bullpen, except for those infuriating walks, pitched well when it needed to. Tip your hat, move on, and hope Mohr isn't too badly hurt.

Pete Koel

I am sorry that Mohr was hurt, but my first response to the game ending play was why did he try to catch the ball? Mohr should have been keenly aware of where he was on the field, to avoid injury for one, but also to make the right decision on whether to even attempt to catch the ball. It was clearly foul. The odds weren't in the Giants' favor if he does let the ball drop, but they at least have a chance.

It's obvious that the Giants need to win out to win the division, but since they lost last night, they also lost control of their own destiny with regards to the wild card. With the Rockies in Houston, I think the Giants have to win out to win the wild card. Never say never, but it sure looks like the dream died last night to me.

Ken Norton

It's true about the grounds crew truck, they broadcast an extra 15 minutes or so after the game. Stan Conte looked like he was ready to punch someone, but he took control and eventually told the crews to empty the truck when it became obvious no medical help was imminent. It was good to see most of the Padres stick around to watch Mohr taken off, with a small chunk of fans present as well (most wearing Giants caps).


I counted four "errors" in the 10th:

1. Alfonzo (though I agree with El Lefty)
2. Torrealaba
3. Dallimore's botched throw to the plate that prevented Torrealba from turning the DP
4. Mohr's catch of the foul ball (though I love Mohr and his 407 OBP). He should have let it drop. If its foul, Hermy gets a chance at a K or DP. If it falls fair, the game is over, just as if he'd caught it.

Individually, the errors weren't catastrophic... but FOUR of them in the 10th inning?!

The G-Men are starting to look like the Cubs.

I don't think the Cubs will finish well... they have to play the Braves, and even if they play the AAA Braves, the Cubs just don't seem to want it bad enough.

The Astros, however, concern me. Let's just pray the G-Men run the table.

El Lefty

In defense of Dustan: the ball was not obviously foul. It was at most a foot or two foul. So you're saying at the last moment Mohr should have looked away from the ball to see where he was? He should have taken his eye off the ball in one of the most important moments of the Giants season? I'm glad you're not a little league coach.

Have you ever tried to catch a high twisting fly ball with the game on the line and thousands of people screaming in your ear, knowing that you had to get your body and feet in just the right position to make a perfect throw? "Just let it drop" sounds like the advice of a true armchair fan.

Mohr did the best he could under difficult circumstances, and he might have had a shot at Robinson if he hadn't tripped.

Enough whining.


I'm not going to give Dustan Mohr any grief for catching the ball. There were several mistakes and shortcomings that contributed to the Giants' loss. And even if it does drop foul, there's no guarantee that the Giants shut out the Padres that inning or that they even score a run sometime soon.

Just a tough loss.


The problem with this game (and most others this season) is Felipe. He sends up Snow to pinch hit (good) then doesn't leave him in the game (bad). He sends up Ledee to flail away on three pitches when Tucker is also sitting over there on the bench.

The worst part of this game is that we finally get a clutch performance out of the pen, but still lose the game. It seems certain that Brower is going to have to pitch in every game from here on, and that's going to catch up to him.

Brian G.

Not trying to rub salt in an open wound here but I heard this on the A's broadcast and found it noteworthy: The Dodgers have been playing baseball in various incarnations since 1884 -that's over 17,000 games - and Tuesday's 5-4 comeback win over Colorado was the first time EVER that they'd scored 5 or more runs in the ninth inning to win a game.

Sometimes things just aren't meant to be.


El Lefty-

Hate to break it to everyone, but we are ALL armchair fans.

Addressing the issue with Mohr. I love his agressiveness and will not fault him for one of his biggest strengths. However, the point is not whether it was fair or foul. Ideally, the ball would have been uncatchable because whether it dropped fair or it was caught foul, a run was going to score. There was no way the runner was going to be thrown out (unless you have an arm like Vlad).

In the end, its a tough play that capped an unfortunate series of events. If the ball was 3 feet further toward the stands or Mohr was a little slower, we wouldn't be having this conversation. Ideally, the ball would've dropped. If it drops foul, the game continues. If it drops fair, the game is over. If its caught, the game is over. At least with the ball dropping, there is a 50% chance of the game continuing. I'm not faulting Mohr's judgement because you are supposed to catch every ball hit to you.

Finally, if weren't for 2 errors plus a botched DP, Mohr probably would've been catching the third out... so lets focus on the cumulative result of several fielding mistakes in the same inning... a tough loss after a decent effort by the entire pitching staff...

besides that's what all of us armchair fans do on these blogs. we rant and rave about things we have absolutely no control over!


It's all well and good to pat a guy on the back when he's just ruined his knee for the next week, next six months, or next year, but Mohr should have let that ball drop. The Giants relievers were all telling him to drop it, so he shouldn't even have tried, and as soon as he knew he was going down he should have let it fall out of his glove. The other misplays in the ninth sucked too, but there was room for error with them. What Mohr did was just dumb.

Don't get me wrong, I love watching the guy play. I think he's brought a lot to the team and I think he may well be a legit option as the starting right fielder next year. But that was just dumb. Dumber than those two fly balls in the sun he dropped (including one in the twelfth against the Mets that cost the game) while he was wearing his sunglasses but didn't flip them down? Probably. And it was only magnified by the cruel irony that he'll most likely be watching from the bench from here on out.

It seems that he's the classic young-dumb-and-full-of-cum type guy who plays his heart out on every play and can blow your mind with joy or anguish depending on the outcome. That catch in right field and the subsequent throw to second, in Arizona, or that diving catch in left center a couple of months ago (after one of those oops-I-forgot-to-flip-my-sunglasses fly balls)? Amazing. Gold Glove stuff. But last night? Worse than Junior Cruz in Florida, and almost as crucial.

So is he really that dumb, or just overanxious? I wonder what would happen if he got to play every day and settled down with the daily rhythm and the confidence of knowing the job was his.


A few dissenting opinions to some statements on this thread:

The Giants *DO* control their own destiny in the wild card. Houston doesn't play today. If the Giants win, they draw even again.

There is no way in hell that Torrealba can throw to first for a DP if Dallimore's throw is on line. The runner was too far down the line, and Torry has to take two steps so his throw has the angle. No way.

Felipe shouldn't be criticized for burning Snow. You want to take Feliz out of the game? Great. That means the pitcher is batting behind Bonds.

I can understand using Ledee in that spot. Two out, nobody on. He's saving Tucker for a better run-producing situation.

My concern is Barry. For the first time all season, he looks 40 years old at the plate.

El Lefty

"Worse than Junior Cruz in Florida, and almost as crucial."

This is wrong on several fronts. Cruz dropped an easy fly. He was barely moving. There was no pressure to get into position to make a throw. It was the playoffs. Cruz's muff was worse no matter how you slice it.

"The Giants relievers were all telling him to drop it, so he shouldn't even have tried, and as soon as he knew he was going down he should have let it fall out of his glove."

I don't know Shane from beans, but I would venture to guess he's never tried running toward the foul line with his eyes on a twisting fly ball with runners on base and a ballgame on the line. We love to attribute magical powers to athletes; willfully dropping a ball that may or may not be foul when you're tripping over a bullpen mound is beyond most people's control.

With a runner on first, infielders theoretically could intentionally drop a line drive, pick it back up and start an easy double play. How often do you see that happen? I would have loved it if Mohr were somehow able to assess that the ball would drop a foot or two foul, or if he were able to drop it once he realized he caught a foul fly. But to call him dumb for not doing so is ridiculous.


Dumb, maybe not, but he has to understand the situation he is in. He should have known he couldn't make a play at home if he caught it and he should have let the baseball gods decide where to put it.

Nick Schulte

This is what Mohr has to think: If I can throw the guy out at home then catch it. If I can't throw him out then let it drop.

This is what I saw: The way Mohr was lining his body up he was ready to make a throw and he thought he'd get him at home. He wasn't expecting that last step to be on the mound. When his foot hit the mound it looked like it was just reactions from that point, if he could have dropped it then it would have been great, but that's a lot to ask while you're in the process of blowing out your knee.

Now it seems a lot of people think that he had no shot at the runner, I'm not sure if that's because they are taking into account the mound or not. But Mohr didn't think he was going to step on the mound (or at least not until after he caught it) and he also must have thought he could get the runner.

I thought he had a chance at the runner if he hadn't have stepped on the mound. I don't know, maybe I'm wrong. But he was running in on it, and since he should have only been playing as deep as he could throw the runner out, running in on a ball leads me to believe he was in range.

As far as letting the ball drop and hoping it is foul and hoping you can get out of the jam, I think if you have a shot to get out of it you have to take it. Maybe he didn't have a shot on the throw but he definitely thought he did and if I was in the same situation I can't say I would have done it differently.


Well, I'd say he'd have a chance if he was not drifting AWAY from home plate to make the catch. I can't see how he'd get enough strength into the throw to make the play. *shrug*

Josh from Hollywood

I hate to always start my comments the same way, but... I agree with kintetsu: There is no way they double up Payton on the ground ball in the 10th.

He's also right that the Giants DO control their destiny -- if they win out, not only are they guaranteed at least a tie for the Wild Card, but also the division. And if HOU or CHI win out and the Giants end up tied for both, under new MLB rules they would be allowed to play TWO playoff games -- one vs. the Dodgers for the division, one aginst HOU/CHI for the wild card. Both these games would be at home, and the Giants would only need to win one. If those wild card teams DON'T sweep this weekend, a 4-0 finish from the Giants would tie the Dodgers AND WIN THE DIVISION through a head-to-head tie-breaker (LA would automatically be the wild card). It won't be easy, but it's the Giants -- it's never easy!

As far as the Mohr play is concerned, El Lefty is right -- you just can't ask a guy chasing a fly ball with the game on the line to factor in so many other variables. If he had let it drop and it hits the line I wonder how many angry commenters would be calling him dumb today.

I've seen a much worse example of an the exact same play from the Giants: in 1992, Willie McGee crossed way over the foul line in right at Three Rivers to catch an eventual GW sac fly. In that example he was like 10-15 feet foul when he caught it. There you can criticize. One step? Are you kidding me.

The only questions in my mind about it are: How loud were the relievers yelling? Could he even hear them? Did he think they were just fans (who were probably also yelling "Let it drop!" as good fans would)? Who knows. Suffice it to say sometimes bad things happen to good people, and move on.

It's pretty much all on Jerome now.


This play never should have happened, if the Giants could actually field and throw. But they can't, so ... if Mohr had gotten in the proper position to throw the ball (to the left of it, so he can catch it on his right side, the faster to make the transition from glove to throwing hand as any decent ballplayer knows they should do) he would also have known that he was clearly in foul territory. It's only partly correct to say you try to catch every ball hit to you. On the other hand, outfielders are supposed to go over scenarios when they're standing there. If it's hit to me, what do I do? Fair or foul? Do I have a shot at the runner? From how far away? It's one thing to put on a big-league uniform and call yourself a professional, it's quite another to always act like one. On this test, Mohr failed. Then again, so did scatter-arms Alfonzo, Torrealba and Dallimore. Awful. It's hard to out-Cub the Cubs, but on this day the Giants pulled it off.


"Felipe shouldn't be criticized for burning Snow. You want to take Feliz out of the game? Great. That means the pitcher is batting behind Bonds."

No, Snow hits 9th, pitcher hits leadoff and Dallimore hits 5th. That seems fine with me.


I'm not sure whether Mohr's play was the right or wrong one but I sincerely doubt he had anything more than a very slim chance at Kerry Robinson trying to score.

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