1. Congratuations to Brad Hawpe for going 2-for-5 with a double, a single, a flyout, a grounding into a double play, and then almost almost almost hitting a home run. You, sir, have raised your average to .125. Props.
2. Well, it took us 13 innings, but we got the bats going and got a huge win. Ryan Ludwick had a two-homer game, including the two-run game winner in the 13th. It was so great. Nick Hundley walked before that, and in the top of the 13th, Chris Denorfia made the catch of the year for the Padres out in right field. It was incredible. First of all, he made an outstanding catch, and then doubled off the runner at first. It was so great.
3. We had seven hits in the game and scored five runs, which I think is a huge improvement. It was only one game, but man, it was big. We needed this one a lot, and thankfully, we were able to get it with a bang.
After losing the series to Atlanta, we went into Pittsburgh, which was a really good move by the schedule makers. We needed to get back on track, and we did this weekend with a sweep of the Pirates.
Kevin Correia started the game on Friday, which was sweet. We got four runs in the top of the second, a great team effort. K-Cor allowed three runs, but it wasn’t a problem. Our pitching was super solid, so we won the game 5-3. Ernesto Frieri, Luke Gregerson, and Heath Bell threw three scoreless hittless innings. Amazing!
The second game was REALLY great because Mat Latos was back. He was put on the DL right before the All-Star game because of a side strain of some sort, but it was more of a roster move than a serious injury. It was really good to have him back! I love this guy 🙂 He went six innings, allowing two runs on seven hits with seven strikeouts. The two runs were actually solo home runs, which did break a pretty long streak of Mat’s without home runs, but that’s okay. It’s not the end of the world. Great outing by Mat.
Now the question is, how much longer can he pitch? The Padres really want to conserve his innings so that he doesn’t burn out to quickly. We want this guy to be our ace for a long time. But at the same time, we might be making a playoff run pretty soon. Do we let him keep pitching until then, or do we hold him back and wait until we really need him? I think if I were the Padres, I would let him keep pitching every fifth day, but give him an inning or pitch count limit. If he only went say, five innings every start, he could still stay sharp pitching-wise while saving some for later at the same time. I don’t think we can just shut him down and then start him up again when we go into the stretch. Anyways, it will be very interesting to see how the Padres deal with this.
‘Cause if you think about it, I want this guy when we’re in the playoffs. It’s definitely not like he’s the only starter who can actually pitch, but I like our chances when he’s out on the mound. Guys like Kevin Correia, Jon Garland, and Wade LeBlanc are doing their jobs very well, but having Mat is a huge bonus. If we’re going to win the NL West, I want Mat Latos on that roster. Make it happen, Padres.
The offense in that second game was great. We got nine runs, but they were all scored on singles, doubles, ground outs, or sac-flies. No big blast here. Adrian Gonzalez and Chase Headley each had two hits. Will Venable was walked twice and scored twice. Everth Cabrera and Oscar Salazar each drove in two runs.
We had a 42-minute rain delay. It was kind of funny because it was in the top of the eighth and we had the bases loaded with no outs. Talk about a threat. We ended up scoring five runs that inning.
We won the game 9-2, which was great. Especially after the Braves series, it was good to get the next series won right away.
The third game was great too. Wade LeBlanc started, going six innings, allowing three runs on eight hits. He didn’t walk any, though, and got two strikeouts.
The Pirates got two runs in the bottom of the second on a Ronny Cedeno home run. But in the top of the third, we struck back.
After Everth Cabrera lined out, Wade LeBlanc and Jerry Hairston Jr. singled. Chris Denorfia, who I’ll talk about later, doubled to drive them both in. Tie game. Adrian Gonzalez hit a two-run homer, his 21st of the year. An out later, Yorvit Torrealba walked, stole second while Will Venable was batting, and scored on Will’s single. 5-2 Padres.
The Pirates got another run, but then we got another run. Chris Denorfia home run. That was all we needed. The offense, paired with amazing relief performances by Ryan Webb, Luke Gregerson, and Heath Bell, was enough for the sweep. Heath Bell got his 29th save of the year.
One thing I’ve really noticed this year is that our starting pitchers are not that bad with the bats. Kevin Correia drove in a run the other night, and Wade LeBlanc had two hits yesterday.
Kevin Correia: Four hits, three RBIs, four runs scored.
Jon Garland: Seven hits, one RBI, three runs scored.
Mat Latos: Six hits (including two doubles and a home run), three RBIs, three runs scored.
Wade LeBlanc: Nine hits, zero RBI, one run scored.
Clayton Richard: Six hits, five RBIs, three runs scored.
I don’t know about you, but these numbers really surprised me. I realized that they had done quite a bit of hitting, but I didn’t realize that it was this much. Amazing. Wow.
Now, Chris Denorfia. This guy has been seriously overlooked. I haven’t heard that much about him at all, but he’s been absolutely amazing for us this year. He’s hitting .287 with 39 hits and 23 RBIs. He’s contributed so much. I don’t think we would be here without him. Whoever decided to invite this guy to Spring Training is a genius.
Now we are coming home to face the Dodgers for three huge games. We’re actually playing them seven times in two weeks, which is going to be crazy. Never mind that the Dodgers are six games behind us. It’s the Dodgers. Petco Park is going to be crazy for the next three days.
Even though the Dodgers are like a million games behind us, I think this series is very essential. It’s not like they’re right on our heels and it’s a do-or-die series, but we’ve still gotta beat these guys. They’re our biggest rivals, and we need to beat the teams in our division. I don’t know if we’ll be able to sweep them, but two out of three sounds good. We need it.
GO FIRST-PLACE PADRES!!
Last night’s game was crazy amazing.
Let me start off by saying that it’s not very often that we completely dominate like this. And I thoroughly enjoyed it.
The thing that got it all started was Jerry Hairston Jr’s grand slam in the bottom of the second. That was amazing! First grand slam of the year for the Padres. The inning started off with three straight singles by Nick Hundley, Chris Denorfia, and Oscar Salazar. Jerry came up two outs later and got the ball just fair down the left field corner. It was so cool. Lately, we’ve been leaving a lot of runners on base, especially when they get there with no outs. It was really, really good that we were able to take full advantage of that situation.
We didn’t score in the bottom of the fourth, but we got four runs in the bottom of the fifth. Adrian and Chase led off with singles again, and then Nick Hundley walked. After that, Chris Denorfia and Oscar Salazar each walked in a run. I was so loving the Mets pitching at that moment.
After a pitching change, Luis Durango drove in his first two runs of his major league career. At the end of that inning, we were winning 10-4.
The bottom of the sixth was our biggest inning of the night. Adrian and Chase led off the inning again, but this time Adrian was walked and Chase got his third hit of the night. Nick Hundley singled, Denorfia doubled, and we scored two more runs. Oscar Salazar walked. Luis Durango grounded into a force out that got Nick thrown out at home. But then Will Venable singled in three. J-Hair singled, and Eck sac-flied him in. It was a great inning.
In the bottom of the seventh, Chase Headley got his fourth hit of the night with a solo homer. That brought us to 17-6. The Petco Park record for most runs scored by the Padres was 17 runs. We set that on Opening Day here. Thus, our 18th run, scored in the bottom of the eighth, set another record.
I would like to mention that Lance Zawadzki was the one who drove in that run because I think I’m finally finding a new favorite player. At the beginning of the year I decided that Scott and Jerry Hairston would be my new favorites, but that’s not really gone through. Obviously, I love all of these guys, but I think a player becomes your favorite instead of you deciding that he will be. And I do have to say, this kid is absolutely adorable. Whew.
This game was soo much fun to follow. Let’s look at some of these guys’ nights:
Jerry Hairston, leading off, had two hits, including the grand slam. Before this homestand started, Jerry had zero home runs for the season. Now he has three.
David Eckstein was the only one who didn’t get into the party. He went 0-for-4, but he did drive in a run.
Adrian Gonzalez had two hits, two walks, and scored three runs.
Chase Headley had four hits and scored four runs.
Nick Hundley had three hits, drove in two runs, and scored two. Let me tell you, he has been hot. Over the weekend he was absolutely essential to our two wins in the series against the Nationals. He hit a three-run homer on Saturday and then a walk-off single in the bottom of the 11th on Sunday. It’s great to see him heating up like this.
Chris Denorfia had three hits, drove in three runs and scored three runs. Great night for him.
Absolutely amazing 18-6 win. I enjoyed it soooo much. What a great night!!
This team is proving itself to me over and over again. I really truly believe in them. I saw something on MLB.com today that took my breath away: we’re one of the current playoff teams. If the season ended today, we would be the National League West champions. I know that we’ve still got a lot of season left, and anything could happen. But these boys have been winning consistently for a long time. We’ve held onto our first-place lead for a very long time. These guys are for real. They have my support 100%.
GO FIRST-PLACE PADRES!!