Brad Hand already stretched when the bullpen phone first rang in the seventh inning. Kirby Yates had already walked a Reds player with one out and hit another. Joey Votto, in the midst of 14-game hitting streak, was walking into the batter’s box.
After four pitches to Votto – and a handful of Hand warm-ups in the bullpen – the count was even when the phone rang again. The gate opened. Yates headed to the dugout as Hand jogged toward the mound.
There, with the Padres clinging to a 3-2 lead, manager Andy Green got right to the point:
“Well, this is new. Go get him.”
The Padres’ unflappable All-Star shrugged.
Then Hand buckled.
At last, he...