What a sad series. You know, the series at home vs. the Diamondbacks was great because of the sweep. And one amazing things about this team this year is that they have winning records both at home and on the road. That’s rare. But it seems like we do better at home anyways.
So this series against the Braves was not good. But one series does not a season make. We just need to put this one behind us and concentrate on the next series against the Pirates.
But first, a few comments, questions, and concerns.
Buddy Black got a three-year contract extension this week, which I am absolutely thrilled about. Buddy’s been our manager since 2007, and he’s done an amazing job. Sure, we haven’t won a championship…yet…but I think that was more the front office’s fault than Buddy’s. I’ve always been amazed at what Buddy could do with whatever he had. Especially in ’08, he had a team that wasn’t really a team, but he took what he had and did the best he could with it. I especially love the way he’s been able to work with the pitching staff. As a former pitcher and pitching coach, he’s got the perfect experience to work with our pitching staff. There’s a reason that this pitching staff is the #1 staff in baseball right now.
Congrats, Buddy. This is well deserved.
Now in some very sad news, David Eckstein has been put on the 15-day DL with a calf strain. You can’t even imagine how bad this is for the club. Eck doesn’t get that much recognition for what he does for this team, but he is going to be sorely missed.
I’ve been saying that the only thing that could possibly kill our second half would be injuries. We’ve got the pieces to win the NL West (the pitching, the hitting, the defense), so there’s no problem there. But the only thing that could get in the way would be injuries.
But the good thing about this team is that no matter who goes down, we’ve been able to keep winning. This team is not dependant on one player. We are a team. So far we’ve been able to survive without Chris Young, Everth Cabrera, Will Venable, Kyle Blanks, and Mike Adams. But I honestly don’t know if we’ll be able to keep going without David Eckstein.
I mean, already we’re 1-2 without him. The numbers from other times he’s been on the DL are not good. This guy is so essential to our success. Part of me is really worried that there’s no way we’ll be able to win without him. But the other part of me is saying, “Are you crazy? These are the Padres! They find ways to win no matter what!!”
Get well soon, Eck. We need you!!
I was really scared yesterday when Jerry Hairston Jr. got hit in the hand with a pitch. Thankfully, he’s okay, but that was pretty scary for a minute there. Especially with Eck out, we’re going to need Jerry in the core of the infield.
Last night’s game was a great come-from-behind-er, but today’s game was nasty. First of all, we were shutout 8-0. Ryan Webb had an awful outing, allowing four runs in the seventh. He only got two outs. It was not good. Plus, we only had four hits in the entire game and we lost the best record in the National League to the Braves. Grrr.
Not the mention Nick Hundley grounding into a double play with the bases loaded and one out. Or the fact that we were shutout.
Thankfully, we still have our first-place lead, but only by 3.5 games. Still, I shouldn’t be complaining. Overall, this team has been incredible and will continue to do so.
So this series is put behind us. Pirates up next, plus the return of Mat Latos, which, by the way, I am extremely psyched about. Pittsburgh is on the bottom of the NL Central, 19.5 games behind, so hopefully my Padres won’t have too much trouble with them.
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!!
You know, the Padres have gone 40 years without any player hitting for the cycle. But for some reason, I think that’s finally going to be fulfilled very soon. We’ve come very, very close multiple times this season already. I’d say that we’ve been one hit away three or four times. It’s going to happen. Last night, Will Venable put on quite the show. Even though he didn’t hit for the cycle, it was still an impressive performance.
Will was in the leadoff spot for the first time this season, and I think that’s a good spot for him to be. He went 4-for-5 last night, with a single, two doubles, a triple, and a walk. He also scored four runs. Pretty amazing. He was just a home run away! Huge game for him.
Another person who had a huge game was Adrian Gonzalez. He drove in a career-high six runs, including a massive three-run homer.
I think this is going to be a game that we’ll remember for a long time. Not really for anything too huge, but there were just so many interesting aspects of it. First of all, it was another battle for our first-place lead. With LA’s nine-game winning streak or whatever, they’ve really gotten into this race. Now it’s not just SanFran we’re going to have to worry about. Like I’ve said before, my boys are not sitting comfortably on top of the NL West. This thing is a fight, and we have to keep pushing to keep this lead.
Second of all, this game was ridiculously long. I’m sure it didn’t help that we had scored eight runs before the fifth inning, and that Jon Garland was pitching. The guy’s a good pitcher and all, but my goodness, somebody really needs to speed him up. As it is, he only went five innings, allowing four runs on nine hits. But then again, Ramon Ortiz only went 3.1 innings.
Third, it was overall a great offensive game for the whole team. Sure, we have Adrian and Will as standouts, but the whole lineup really contributed. We had 10 runs and 14 hits. Notable is the top of the lineup: Will, four hits; Eck, two hits; Adrian, three hits. Chase Headley hit a solo home run.
At the same time, though, we left a ton of runners on base. We could have been well on our way to 20 runs, but we left 13 runners on base. We were only 7-for-22 with runners in scoring position! That was something that was a little frustrating, but we did take a little advantage. We got two runs in the top of the ninth after not scoring since the fourth inning.
One person on this team I am really frustrated with right now is Edward Mujica. I mean, he hasn’t been horrible, but he has been giving up a few runs here and there. I don’t like it.
Luke Gregerson and Ryan Webb had perfect one-inning outings, which was good. I was really glad that we got those two runs in the top of the ninth so that Heath wouldn’t have to pitch.
It was an amazing game. It’s always great to beat the Dodgers, and it was cool to break their winning streak, since they were so rude as to break ours over the weekend. I really hope that we’ll be able to get the little sweep tonight.
So I’d like to talk about Trevor Hoffman a little. A couple nights ago, he blew his fifth save of the year in 10 chances. That is not good at all. I’m worried about him. He’s usually a lot better than this. I mean, like he said, it’s not like he was throwing 90 last year and now he’s down to 80. He wasn’t completely solid last year, but he closed down games. I’d like to say that he’s not doing so well because he left San Diego, but I know that even if he did come back here, he would probably be throwing the same way. But whatever happens, he can’t retire yet, and he doesn’t want to do that either. He’s just a little off right now (okay, a lot) and the Brewers are going to give him a break for a couple games. We love you, Trevor!
Tonight the Padres are playing the Dodgers again. Kevin Correia is going against Clayton Kershaw. We haven’t done that well agaisnt Kershaw this season, but the past is the past.
Let’s get ’em, boys.
GO FIRST-PLACE PADRES!!
WHAT AN AMAZING GAME!!! I was super happy when we were able to sweep the Diamondbacks, and I was even happier when we were able to win last night against the Giants. That gave us our fourth win in a row, and we’re now officially in second place in the NL West. It’s notable that we are second only to these San Francisco Giants, who we happen to be playing right now. If we are able to win, say, two more games, we’ve got the top of the NL West, man.
- David Eckstein, of course. Besides his incredible tenth inning walk-off homer, he had another hit and made some amazing defensive plays. You can’t say enough about how valuable this guy has been to our organization.
- Clayton Richard started the game and was super solid. He went 6.1 innings, allowing seven hits, one run, one walk, and struck out five. That outing was strikingly similar to the one by Wade LeBlanc on Sunday. Both were amazing. Both kept the team in the game.
- Luke Gregerson came into the game in the seventh with runners on second and third and only one out. He promptly struck out the two batters he faced. Now that’s what I call solid relief pitching. Wow.
- Clayton Richard again. He hit a booming double in the fourth which was originally called a home run, though it was obviously not. It was really funny.
- Kyle Blanks had two hits, including a triple. Yorvit Torrealba also had two hits.
- Adrian sac-flied in our first run.
- Cheadley stole a base.
There weren’t that many lowlights, other than leaving eight runners on base. I was very thankful that Eck was able to end the game right there in the tenth. I wasn’t up for a 22 inning or so marathon. Also, Heath Bell blew his first save of the year. That was not good, but as I’m always telling the Padres, they need to give Heath at least a two-run cushion. One run is not going to cut it.
I am so happy that we’re in second place in the NL West right now. That’s soooo exciting, and I really think that we’ll be able to take over the Giants in the next two days. My boys are on fire right now, and I really hope that’s not going to stop.
Well, we’ve got Mat Latos going for us tonight against Jonathan Sanchez. Let’s see what my boys will do for an encore.
IT’S TRUCK DAY!!!! YES!!!!!
This morning two trucks got loaded up at Petco Park and then headed out to Arizona. They’re expected to get to Peoria by three this afternoon. Man, that’s exciting. I can’t wait for the boys to get out there and get ready for the season. It’s going to be so great. You have no idea how excited I am about the first Spring Training game this season. It’s been so long since I’ve heard a baseball game!! It’s going to be so great to hear the voices of Ted, Jerry, and Andy calling some Padres baseball. Ahhh I can’t wait!!
But before we get that far…we’ve got the Fan Fest tomorrow!!! I am so super excited!!! I can’t believe that in 24 hours I’m going to be at Petco Park. I miss that place soo much, and I can’t wait to be there.
I’m really really excited about interacting with a lot of Padres fans. It’s going to be so much fun to hang out with Hyun Young again (though I doubt we’re going to be just hanging around much; there’s going to be so much to do!), and I really hope that we’ll be able to meet a lot of new Padres fans. If you see us, be sure to say hi! I’ll be wearing my new and improved Kevin Kouzmanoff jersey:
And Hyun Young will be wearing her David Eckstein autographed jersey 🙂
Like I said, if you see us, be sure to say hey. We love meeting new Padres fans!!
I can’t wait to have an incredible day out at the ballpark tomorrow!!
The last two games of the Padres-Cardinals series were pretty forgettable. On Saturday, when Hyun Young was at the game, my boys lost 7-0. Yeah, great. Just great.
Yesterday (man this keyboard is dirty), we lost 5-2. BUT we had the bases loaded with no outs in the bottom of the ninth. We should have won. It was not good. These Cardinals are soooo frustrating. I have tried like crazy to respect Albert Pujols, since he’s such a strong Christian and excellent player. But I’m sorry. It’s time for a little rant here.
It all started last year when he hit a ball into Chris Young’s face. CY has never been the same. Sure, Albert was very shaken up about the whole incident, and he stopped and prayed with Adrian right there on the field. That made me cry, watching the video. But then, before the inning was over, he slid into Josh Bard at the plate. Bardo was out for months. My goodness. He was pretty disturbed, I’m sure. Taking out a pitcher and his catcher in the same inning. Goodness.
Not to mention that the Cardinals are Padres killers!! Coming into the series this weekend, they had something like nine straight wins against us.
Anyways, fast forward to last weekend. The Cardinals swept us. Badly. Miserably. It was terrible!
Albert hit a ball into pitcher Edward Mujica. I’m pretty sure that Edward is OK, but come on. I said it in an entry last week: pitchers should pitch to Pujols from behind a screen for their own safety. Seriously.
Now, in this weekend series, besides losing it three games to one, Albert thought that Will Venable was out to get him. (in a whiny, sarcastic voice) “Oh, he tried to run me over!” “Oh, he tried to hit me with his left arm!”
THIS GUY IS PARNOID!!! I mean, really? Will Venable, rookie, out to get Albert Pujols, almighty veteran and St. Louis legend? I don’t think so. I don’t think Will is that stupid.
It clearly shows on the replays that Will did not try to bump Albert with his left arm. The benches cleared over this, but thankfully no punches were thrown, just a little shoving. Will hit a little bouncer down the first base line, and Pujols picked it up and tagged Will as he was going down the line. Will did move his shoulder, but only to try to avoid the tag. For some reason, Pujols took offense to Will’s elbow and stared at him. Will turned around and yelled, “What? What?” Will was not trying to bump into Pujols. That much is obvious.
So why on earth is Pujols so upset about it? You would think that a professional ballplayer like him would just let it go. Will did. He guranteed that neither of them cared about it anymore. He said that there are no hard feeling between them. Oh really? I wonder if he talked to Pujols about this, ’cause here is what Albert had to say:
“Next time, maybe I’ll try to hit him in the face with my glove,”
Yikes. Seems to me that someone needs to forgive and forget here. Pujols is clearly in the wrong. I don’t get why he’s holding onto this that tightly. It just doesn’t seem right.
Will seems to be over it, but he’d better watch out next season: he might get a glove in his face.
I’ve tried to like Pujols, but I just can’t. I’m sorry.
Well, the Padres actually had some good news this weekend!!
The Padres signed David Eckstein to a contract extention for 2010. I can’t say enough about how amazing this guy has been for us. He’s an outstanding ballplayer. If there’s something that needs to be done in a game, he’ll do it. Walk-off homer, sac-bunt, walk, move the runners over, you name it, he’ll do it. It is so great that all these kids get to watch a guy like him play. He’s the grittiest ballplayer I’ve ever seen, and I think it’s excellent that he’s going to be staying next year. Congrats, Eck!!
Well, the Padres have an off-day today before playing the Braves for three in Atlanta. I just hope we can win some games, now that we’re done with the Cardinals. Man, we only have like a month left of baseball!!
Well, have a great day everyone!!
I guess my Padres didn’t want to travel to Houston in a school bus.
Chris Young started the game, going six innings, allowing three runs on five hits with four walks and six strikeouts. He had a great outing, he was battling hard.
On the other side, Dan Haren was doing a great job as well. He went six innings, giving up eight hits and three runs with two walks on four strikeouts.
In the third, the Diamondbacks struck first. After a single from Chris Snyder, Dan Haren of all people hit a double to help his own cause. He got to third on an error, and touched the plate on a sacrifice fly.
In the fifth, the Padres found a crack in Haren’s armor and were actually able to take advantage of it!
With two outs, Chris Young walked, Brian Giles singled, and Edgar Gonzalez drove in CY for our first run. Scott Hairston came to the plate and check-swinged on a pitch. Except the ball hit the bat and went into right field to drive in Giles. It was pretty bizarre!
In the sixth, the Diamondbacks added a run to take the lead. But in the bottom of the inning, we got that run right back.
With one out, my boy Kouz hit a single. Nick Hundley then doubled, and Kouz ran all the way home. I love this dude, but he’s really slow. It’s almost painfully to watch. He’s not as bad as say, Henry Blanco the Galapagos tortoise, but he’s still slow. So he almost got thrown out at the plate. But he scored safely, so that’s all that matters.
The game stayed tied for a long time. The Padres bullpen was able to hold the game, though. Barely.
Edwin Moreno came into the seventh, and got a few runners on with no outs, including two walks. I’m telling you, this guy is going to be on the bus to Triple-A very soon unless he stops walking people like he does. We just can’t have that, especially when he walks the first batter in a tie game. No no no.
Thankfully, Luke Gregerson came in and cleaned up Moreno’s mess, keeping the game tied. He also pitched a scoreless eighth.
Heath Bell took the ninth, allowing nothing and striking out one. Man, he’s sharp!
In the bottom of the ninth, Scott Hairston singled, but Adrian Gonzalez grounded into a double play.
Onto extra innings for the second time this week!
Cla Meredith pitched the top of the tenth, throwing five pitches to get three outs. He was sharp!
In the bottom of the tenth, it was time to close this thing down. Jody Gerut started it with a strikeout, but then Kouz doubled. Nick Hundley walked, and Chris Burke came to the plate.
Burke had a great at-bat. He fouled off six pitches, keeping the count full for a long time. He made the pitcher throw ten pitches before finally taking ball four to load the bases. That at-bat was crucial to winning the game.
Next, Hyun Young’s boy David Eckstein came to the plate. He only needed to take a strike and a ball before lining a single past the first baseman to score my boy Kouz.
It was such a great game! We did leave 13 runners on base, which was very frustrating, but we were able to get some clutch hits and win the game.
I was very pleased with our pitching, especially the bullpen. They didn’t give up a run, which is so rare!
My boy Kouz had THREE hits, two singles and a double. He’s definitley been scuffling, so it’s great that he was able to have a good game like that.
We had 13 hits total, which we haven’t had in a long time. I am so glad that we were hitting!
It was a great win for the Padres and their fans, but apparently the Diamondbacks aren’t too happy with their 12-17 record. Arizona fired manager Bob Melvin today. They’re replacing him with A.J. Hinch. Interesting…
Manny is a jerk. Unfortunately, the Padres are only going to play the Dodgers twice during his suspension.
“It would have been nice if this had happened in spring training,” pitching ace Jake Peavy said. “I wouldn’t have had to face him.”
The Dodgers finally lost last night. They built up a six run lead, but blew it and lost 11-9 against the Natinals. Of all teams. Wow.
Well, I can’t say I’m entirely disappointed that Manny was suspended or that the Dodgers lost. My Padres are now only 7.5 games behind, third place in the NL West!
Well boys, I hope you enjoyed your luxury flight to Houston!
Tonight Chad Gaudin is pitching against Wandy Rodriguez. It will be a very interesting game…
(photo credits: Union-Tribune, flickr.com)