The winning team naturally gets a boost. And the losing team has a hangover that can last far beyond the following morning.
Case in point -- the Padres 2-1 loss to the Colorado Rockies at Petco Park on April 17, 2008. Yes, ironically, today is the eighth anniversary of the longest game by innings in Padres history. I covered that six-hour and 16-minute marathon that in terms of time was a minute shy of the longest game in Padres history.
The Padres entered that game with an 8-7 record. That loss was the first of eight in the next nine games. They went 4-17 over the next 21 games. Their bullpen was a shambles for almost two weeks and 35-year-old first baseman Tony Clark was never quite the same as a player after playing all 21 innings in his first start of the season.
"Games like this have a carry over," said Padres manager Andy Green after Melvin Upton's two-run, two-out homer gave the Padres the victory Saturday.
"They are tough to lose and carry a bonus when you win. We needed an emotional boost. It's a great win for us."
Yes, the Padres needed a boost. They entered the game with a 3-8 record and had been shutout five times.
It's a "great win" because a loss for an already struggling ballclub could have been devastating.
Some numbers from Saturday night. The Padres used 23 of their 25 active players. The only two who didn't appear were starting pitchers Robbie Erlin -- who is starting Sunday afternoon and will be expected to go deeper than usual -- and Drew Pomeranz. Starting pitcher Colin Rea appeared as a pinch-hitter.
Notes from the scorebook
• Matt Kemp's third inning homer snapped a 2-for-20 drought. Jon Jay had gone hitless in 18 straight at-bats - -although he drew a bases-loaded walk in the second inning -- when he singled in 12th. Cory Spangenberg's pinch-hit single in the ninth snapped a 2-for-18 run and Wil Myers is 5-for-8 since his 0-for-14 string ended Friday night.
• Over the last trip through the rotation, Padres starting pitchers have a 1.97 ERA, allowing eight runs (seven earned) on 21 hits and 13 walks with 29 strikeouts in 32 innings. Andrew Cashner allowed one run on four hits and two walks with five strikeouts in six innings Saturday for his first quality start of the season. Both Rea and James Shields allowed two runs in seven innings. Cashner, Erlin and Pomeranz all worked six. All five were economical as well as effective. Erlin averaged 13.3 pitches per inning Tuesday. Rea averaged 13.4 pitches per inning Wednesday. Pomeranz averaged 16.8 pitches per inning Thursday. Shields averaged 15 a pitches an inning Friday night. And Cashner averaged 16 pitches an inning Saturday.
• Lost in the celebration of Upton Jr.'s walk-off two-run homer Saturday was the first Major League win earned by relief pitcher Luis Perdomo. The right-hander worked a scoreless top of the 14th. His ERA fell from 21.00 to 15.25.
• Myers had struck out nine times while going 14 straight at-bats without a hit before doubling in the eighth inning Friday night. Saturday night he was 4-for-7 with a double, giving him five hits in a span of eight at-bats. Myers is hitting .373 (25-for-67) in 19 career games against the Diamondbacks.
• The walk-off home run was the ninth of his career for Upton Jr., but his first since Sept. 20, 2012. Upton has a total of nine walk-off hits in his career. Upton has hit safely in seven of his last nine games, going 12-for-35 (.343).