Tagged: baseball

My Opening Day Adventure

Padres pitcher Edison Volquez, who started Thursday's game against the Dodgers. (Photo credit Kaity Bergquist)

Opening Day is magical. When you’re in the ballpark. But when you spend over an hour looking for parking and dealing with horrible traffic before the game, it was hard to settle down and enjoy. But thankfully, we did.

Word to the wise: if there’s a 4:05 Opening Day start, you should probably leave for the ballpark around 8 a.m.

So that was miserable. We missed all of the pre-game festivities. We were sort of able to see the flyover, and we did see Jerry Coleman throw out the first pitch. But that was it.

We were also in the nosebleeds of the nosebleeds, and there were some very unpleasant Dodgers fans up there. Right behind us was a group that was extrememly loud and obnoxious for the entire game. It was miserable having to endure them the whole time. I do not appreciate the fans who come in here and think that this is their stadium, and that they can say whatever they want and insult people as much as they want. There was one guy who was literally insulting Padres fans for the entire last half hour of the game.

Thankfully, Colleen and I are going to be sitting in a classier section for tonight’s game.

The game itself was not good. I was really impressed with Edinson Volquez for the first three innings. He was spot on. But then he suddenly lost it in the fourth inning and walked in two runs. I was not happy.

Though this is a new season, I felt like I was watching last year’s team. Weak offense, somewhat strong pitching with a lot of weak moments, and pathetic defense. We had three errors. None of those helped the cause at all.

We only had five hits in the game. Cameron Maybin had two, one of which was a two-run homer. Jesus Guzman had one, and then the pitcher and a pinch-hitter each had one. That was it. None of our “big” players had any hits at all. Not that we really have any big players, but guys like Chase Headley, Nick Hundley, Orlando Hudson and Chris Denorfia did not contribute.

Hundley did have two exceptional defensive plays, though. In that fourth inning where Volquez was busy having a meltdown, Nick was able to get an out at the plate with the bases loaded. That was HUGE. He also caught a critcal runner stealing.

Pitcher Anthony Bass did well in relief, but Brad Brach did not. He allowed two runs in the eighth. Ernesto Frieri was also okay, but he’s soooo slow.

So overall, a very disappointing game with the 5-3 loss. Not what we were hoping for, that’s for sure. Hopefully we will be able to turn things around tonight.

GO PADRES!

The Eve of Opening Day

Tickets for Opening Day!

There are a million cliches about Opening Day that I  could probably use in this post. Things like the playing field is level (in terms of standings), everyone is in first place, anything can happen, it’s a clean slate. All of them look forward to the future, to the long season, but ultimately, to the playoffs. The playoffs and then the World Series is the ultimate goal, and the journey starts tomorrow.

From my perspective, it is really a new slate for the boys. We have a new team. We lost so many solid guys over the offseason, and now we have a patchwork of players who aren’t proven. Yet. Tomorrow it begins.

I’m excited. It’s against the Dodgers, which adds a whole new level of intensity to any game. But put Opening Day on top of that…man, it’s going to be intense.

I’m excited beyond belief. Getting to wear my new Padres jersey, to hang out at Petco Park, to be apart of all of the festivities and to watch a game of Padres baseball. It doesn’t get much better than this.

GO PADRES!

P.S. I will be tweeting quite a lot tomorrow: @kaitybergquist 

Happy New Year!

2011 is officially over, and 2012 has begun. With that comes a new beginning to the San Diego Padres season. We’ve said our goodbyes to Heath Bell, Jed Hoyer and Mat Latos, and we’ve welcomed Huston Street, Carlos Quentin, Edinson Volquez and of course, Mark Kotsay. There still might be some moves to be made, but it’s time to put the business aside and get down to the game.

We are about three months away from Opening Day.

As usual, I look ahead to the season with excitement, but also a lot of questions.

Are we going to hit? Is our rotation going to be okay? How’s the bullpen going to pan out? Will we still have Anthony Rizzo by the start of the season? And when will the Padres sign Kevin Kouzmanoff already? (He’s currently a free agent.)

Truth is, I have no idea how this team is going to look on Opening Day. I have a good idea of what players will be there, but there are a lot of new guys. I don’t know how well the team will play together or how strong of a team we’ll be.

I don’t think we’re going to do exceptionally well, but we might not do terribly either. It’s all up in the air right now. This year’s team is already looking a ton different from last year’s team.

As always, it’s going to be an adventure.

GO PADRES!

Oh yeah, there was a game yesterday too…

In all the Trevor Hoffman excitement yesterday, the actual game sort of flew under the radar. But it’s worth knowing about, because it was a seriously great game.

Cory Luebke started it, and he carried a no-hitter to the fourth inning with two outs, just like he did on his outing before (on Tuesday.) The no-hitter was broken up by the Marlins’ Mike Stanton hitting a solo home run in that fourth inning.

But rewind to the bottom of the first, with leadoff hitter Will Venable starting off the game. With a count of 2-0, he hit a solo home run to right field.

An out later, Cameron Maybin walked. An out after that, Orlando Hudson singled. Then Kyle Blanks doubled in both Maybin and Hudson for a 3-0 Padres lead.

Cory and the Padres cruised through the seven innings. Other than the home run, not much happened. The Padres did leave quite a few runners on base, but we had a solid lead and we’re feeling pretty good.

In the top of the eighth, the Marlins’ John Beck hit a sacrifice fly to move Florida within one run of a tie. Heath Bell came in because there were two outs, and got the final out.

Then the top of the ninth was when the craziness started. Heath Bell got two quick outs when Mike Cameron came to the plate. And. He. Hit. A. Freaking. Home. Run. I couldn’t believe it. I could not believe that he hit a solo home run to tie to game.

“You did not just do that,” I said over and over again. “You did NOT just do that.”

I was not happy. We were literally within one out of winning that stupid game and Mike came in and stole it away from us. Garrrr.

But then we got to the bottom of the ninth. Whew. Thank goodness for the bottom of the ninth.

Nick Hundley, who has been on fire since he came off the disabled list, hit a triple to lead off the inning. SOO exciting.

Then Edward Mujica, who was pitching for the Marlins, intentionally walked the next two hitters to load the bases (Logan Forsythe and Alberto Gonzalez.) We booed him, of course. I knew that it wouldn’t help him at all. Because guess who was coming to the plate? That’s right. Will Venable, the man who started off the game with a home run, was about to finish the game with another bang.

Single over the head of the right field. Nick Hundley scored. Padres win.

It was a great game. Even Heath blowing it gave us the opportunity to finish off the game with excitement. So everything turned out well in the end.

Yesterday was a great day to be a San Diego Padres fan. Thank you to the Padres organization for such a wonderful day at the ballpark.

GO PADRES!!

Looking Up

Last night’s game was a great one for the San Diego Padres.

We had 15 hits, which is rare. But it was so much fun to watch! Nick Hundley, who recently came off the disabled list, had three hits, two triples and a double. Two triples!! It was so great.

Then Logan Forsythe, Jesus Guzman, Kyle Blanks, Orlando Hudson and Alberto Gonzalez had two hits each. Cameron Maybin hit a solo homer in the seventh.

We actually got the early lead with two runs in the bottom of the first, and kept that lead for the rest of the game. The Mets were able to get one run in the top of the fourth, but we added one run in the bottom of that inning, two runs in the seventh, and one run in the eighth.

Cory Luebke, who started the game, threw very, very well. He had a no-hitter through 3.2 innings. He ended up only giving up three hits on one run with five strikeouts. What an outing!

In relief, Chad Qualls allowed the Mets’ only other hit in the game. Luke Gregerson and Erik Hamren threw the eighth and ninth with no problems.

It was a really good 6-1 win. We had some really solid hitting, really solid pitching. It was great to see.

 Guess what? Trevor Hoffman day is only a few days away!!!! I am sooooo excited. But I’m going to cry so bad. Just the sound of Hell’s Bells makes me freak out, so I’m pretty sure I’m going to be a mess on Sunday. But that’s okay. Trevor Hoffman is my all-time favorite Padre (besides Kevin Kouzmanoff), but more than that, he’s one of the all-time favorite Padres in San Diego. I have so much admiration and respect for Trevor, I could go on and on about how much this guy means to me.

I’m just so happy that this retirement ceremony is happening. There was a time just a few years ago where I thought Trevor and the Padres would never be on speaking terms again. Those were some bad days. But I’m so, so, thankful that we have new leaders in the front office, people who respect Trevor and all he means to San Diego, people who will give him an amazing ceremony to honor his incredible career. It’s going to be a great day to be a Padres fan.

GO PADRES!!!!!

Epic Fails

The Padres have had a bad past two days.

Last night, we had a 8-6 lead when Heath Bell came in to get the save but instead gave up three singles, two wild pitches, and three runs to give the Mets a 9-8 come-from-behind walk-off win.

 

Then, tonight, Chad Qualls gave up a solo homer in the bottom of the eighth, and then Josh Spence gave up two runs to give the Mets a 5-4 lead and win.

Usually, our bullpen isn’t like this. And two fails two nights in a row? Unheard of.

Hopefully they can pull it back together for the last game of the series. Let’s not get swept!

GO PADRES!!

Sigh…offseason…sigh…

I hate the offseason.

It’s been so sad without Padres baseball. I couldn’t even watch the playoffs with more than a passing interest because the Padres weren’t in it. I am extremely mad that the Giants won the World Series!!!!! It is just so wrong. When you think about the fact that the Padres were in first place like 97% of the season, and the Giants just came out of nowhere and snatched the NL West from us right at the last second…oh my goodness. It just drives me nuts. Even worse that the Giants won the whole thing. Man, that was our spot. We were the ones who should have been there. Oh man it is so frustrating and heartbreaking.

But anyways, things have been pretty sad around here after the World Series ended. Chris Young, after five years with the Padres, has become a free agent and the Padres aren’t showing too much interest in getting him back. I love Chris so much!

cHRIS yOUNG.jpgEven though he’s been of little use to us in the past few years, I still feel like he’s one of the all-time Padres. He’s been here so super long, and when he was good, he really did have a big impact on our club. Thank you so much for all the great times, Chris, and no matter where you go, I hope you’ll be able to play the game you love.

Also, Yorvit Torrealba had become a free agent, and will not come back because he wants a multi-year contract and the Padres are not going to give him that. I can’t help but think that this is seriously going to hurt us next year. Yorvit was such an essential part of our success this year. I honestly don’t think we would have gotten close as we had without him.

yorvithomer.jpgPlus, our catching situation has not been that great at all. Sure, we’ve got Nick Hundley, but he’s been up here for a few years, and not much to show for it. I don’t trust him as an everyday catcher, mostly because of his offense. I know that catchers aren’t supposed to be that great offensively, but still. Nick is really going to have to step it up.

Hopefully the Padres will be able to pick up a good catcher for the season though. But I don’t know about you, but I’m getting kind of tired of the whole pick-up-a-veteran-catcher-for-one-year thing. I think it’s about time we find a guy who can be a long-time catcher for us. I think the pitchers deserve to have a guy will be consistently there from year to year instead of having to get to know a new guy every single season.

Jon Garland has also filed for free agency. I believe that Jerry Hairston Jr., too has become a free agent, but he’s very interested in returning to the Padres.

I have a feeling that there’s going to be a lot of change to this Padre team over the offseason. Hopefully it won’t be too bad, but still.

We also picked up Adrian Gonzalez’ option for 2011, but Jed Hoyer said that he will most likely become a free agent after 2011. Sigh.

Well, one super fun thing that I’ve done this offseason was attending “Unashamed: The Movement” in Long Beach. It’s a group of Christian rappers who are touring the United States right now, including Lecrae, Trip Lee, Tedashii, and Sho Baraka. It was an amazingly fun concert for me because Lecrae is one of my all-time favorite artists ever. (yes, I know that’s redundant) Seriously, if they come to your town, go see them. It is an incredible concert and I would highly recommend it to anyone. Check out the details here: http://www.reachrecords.com/unashamed/

I can’t wait for Padres baseball to start.

GO PADRES!!!