The Padres entered the 2009 season with very low expectations from the fans and from the media. The season has been very up and down, but this 36-52 team has played some great games and given the fans some positives to take away from the seemingly doomed season.
· Injuries. The injuries have killed our season, no doubt about it. Jake Peavy, Chris Young, Nick Hundley, David Eckstein, Shawn Hill, Scott Hairston, Cha Seung Baek, Luke Gregerson, Mark Worrell, Henry Blanco, Everth Cabrera, Brian Giles, and Cliff Floyd. I’m probably missing a few guys, but the point is, we have been a plagued team. I have no doubt that if we hadn’t lost most of these guys, we would be a much better team right now. But that’s just the way things go, so here we are at the bottom of the division.
· Adrian Gonzalez Walk-a-thon. Adrian started out really hot, hitting 22 or 23 home runs. But then baseball finally realized how good this guy is, and pitchers stopped throwing strikes to him. As a result, he went into a deep slump and has not been quite right.
· Scott Hairston trade. Scotty was the biggest threat in the lineup. He was the best protection that Adrian had. Adrian suffered without him when Scott was on the DL, and guess what? He’s going to suffer with him gone. Scotty was an incredible player, and I absolutely loved having him here. And guess what we got for him? Three minor league pitchers!! Just what we wanted.
· Jake Peavy Trading Attempt. I was not very happy when the Padres tried to trade our ace, especially in the middle of a 10-game winning streak. That was just terrible. Bad move on the Padres side. Thankfully, Jake had the sense to use his no-trade clause and stay in San Diego. Since he’s on the DL now, there’s very little chance that he’ll get traded this season. YES!!
· Interleague. We were 5-10 in interleague this year, which is not much better than years before. I truly believe that if we hadn’t had interleague, we would be a lot closer in this division. Interleague killed us, always has. It was terrible.
· Getting no-hit. Sure, it was a great accomplishment for Jonathan Sanchez, a really great feel-good story for all of baseball. Except for Padres fans. Man, it’s really really annoying to get no-hit, even though the Padres deserved it. Ugh.
· Converting to the Red Sox. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Red Sox, but being forced to convert to my second favorite team is not cool. The circumstances made it sad. I mean, I will gladly root for the Red Sox when they are in the playoffs, but having to do it in the middle of the season out of desperation was not good.
· Losing. We have 52 losses so far this year. I hate losing. This team was expected to lose a lot, and they’re doing it. Losing really stinks, so I hope we can do less of it in the second half.
· Fan Fest. I had a blast at the Padres fan fest on the day before the season started. I got to meet Jen and Hyun Young, and I got Jake Peavy’s autograph. It was a very fun afternoon at Petco Park!!
· Heath Bell. After Trevor left the Padres in the offseason, Heath took over as the closer. We weren’t sure how he was going to react, but boy did he do well. He got his first save on the second game of the series, and didn’t stop from there. At the break, he has 23 out of 24 saves, and has earned his first All-Star appearance. He’s done really great this year, and he’s quite the character.
· First Win at Citi Field. In the Padres’ third series of the season, they played the Mets in the grand opening at Citi Field. We won the first game, and also had the first home run hit there, etc. Heath Bell, former Met, got the first save there. It was kind of cool to ruin the Mets’ party as the Padres went on to win the series J
· New Faces. Kevin Correia, Eliezar Alfonso, and Everth Cabrera are three players who have really impressed this season. Correia didn’t start off that great, but now he’s the ace of the staff. Alfonso came up after our Opening Day catchers landed on the DL, and he’s been great. And Everth…oh man. This guy is only 22, and this is his first season above Single-A. He is an incredible player, and he’s only going to get better.
· Extra inning wins. We’ve had some great late wins this year. Like Nick Hundley’s walk-off homer in the 16th against the Reds. I think Eck’s had a couple walk-offs for us. We’ve had some great come-from-behind wins.
· 10-game winning streak. From May 15 to 25, we had a 10-game winning streak. Definitely a big highlight of the year. Everything was just working for us then. The last game of the streak was one of the best played all year. The Padres were down 7-1 going into the eighth. They got five runs in the eighth, one run in the ninth, and two runs in the tenth to win the game. It was so great!
· David Eckstein and Tony Gwynn. Eck was the best pickup the Padres had in the offseason. This guy is the grittiest baseball player I have ever seen, and he gets anything that needs to be done done. It’s absolutely amazing, and he helped this team so much. He’s on the DL now, but I can’t wait until he gets back! We acquired Tony from the Brewers in exchange for Jody Gerut. Besides the excitement of having Tony Gwynn’s son in San Diego, Tony’s played very very well for us. Once he got the chance to play, he’s been thriving. It is so cool to have him here!!
· Getting out to the ballpark. I got to go to the second game of the season, which was our first win of the season by the way. That was a lot of fun! I also got to see a gem pitched by Jake Peavy as our ten-game streak was starting. In that game, we finished a sweep of the Reds. It was a great game! Now, I’m going to get to go to a game this Saturday and meet up with three other bloggers! Hyun Young has treated me to a great seat, and I can’t wait!! We’re going to have a blast. Oh, and I’m 2-0 this year…I’d better wear my “lucky” jersey again!!
· One-year anniversary of Unfinished Business. I celebrated my blog’s first birthday about a month ago. This is a huge positive! Without you guys, I probably would have given up on the Padres a lonnng time ago. But with this blog to run and you guys supporting me, there’s no way I can stop being a Padres fan. Thank you so much for your support of me and this blog, it’s been amazing!!
Last night, Adrian hit two home runs. Wow, great job Adrian!! At least you hit a few of them, unlike some other guy *coughcough.* Ahem. Anyways, this was the first time that I got to watch the Home Run Derby, and it was really cool. I enjoyed it a lot.
It was an interesting first half. It will be very interesting to see how the Padres do in the next one. Let’s hope that there’s a lot less losing and a lot more winning!!