The thick air here at PETCO Park is where fly balls go to die. Scott Rolen popped out to second base in the second inning and it looked like he was hitting a bowling ball. Ditto for Mike Piazza in the bottom of the inning. It made Albert Pujols’ go-ahead, two-run home run in the fourth inning — the first blow by eiher team in this series — all the more amazing.
Pujols crushed it, just like he crushed 49 homers in another MVP-caliber season. From the press box at PECTO it looked like Padres catcher Piazza missed a chance to retire Pujols five pitches earlier on a pop-up behind home plate, but the consensus here from replays is that the ball hit the netting before glancing off Piazza’s glove. Peavy fell into a 3-0 hole in that inning and is facing another leadoff baserunner in the fifth as his pitch count reaches 70 and Pujols looms again.