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!!
We saw a great Padres team during Spring Training. Somehow, that team got left behind on Opening Day. But thankfully, they got here last night! That dominant-pitching, base-stealing, agressive-hitting, stunning-defense team that we watched in Spring Training has arrived.
Seriously, it was a huge relief to watch these guys play last night. They had me a little worried there after Opening Day, but I think everything’s going to be okay.
A huge part of the success of this game was the pitching performance by Chris Young. Did you know that this guy hadn’t started a game since June of last year? Anyways, he threw six incredibly solid innings. He threw a one-hitter with three walks and five strikeouts. Man he was solid. That was the Chris Young that we saw in 2007. He’s been plagued by injuries for the past few seasons, but I think he’s really back. And that’s HUGE news for the Padres. It’s just huge. Amazing outing by CY last night.
Then Will Venable hit a solo homer in the top of the fourth. That kid has soo much power!
CY was pulled after only 86 pitches, so the bullpen came in and made things interesting. Luke Gregerson came in and gave up three runs. Not good. Then Cesar Ramos and Mike Adams came in and they did fine.
So we went into the top of the ninth with a 5-3 lead, and I was already thinking about getting some insurance for Heath. Yeah, I know, he did great last year, but he made it interesting enough to make me nervous even with a two-run lead. So I was thrilled when Adrian Gonzalez hit his second home run of the year in as many nights.
ADRIAN’S SOOO AMAZING!!! I just think it’s soooo cool that he’s already got two home runs and we’ve only played two games. Man he’s amazing.
We got our extra insurance run, and Heath Bell came in to try to save his first game of the year. He did make things interesting, as usual, which was actually caused by his defense, but then they redeemed themselves by turning a double play behind him. He struck out the last batter to finish of the game.
Huge sigh of relief. That game was amazing, and soooo much better than the game before. I’m so thrilled that we were able to play so amazingly last night.
By the way, we stole three bases last night. It was really cool to see all that during the spring, but even better to know that it’s actually going to happen in the regular season.
Tonight we’re wrapping up this series with the D’backs. Kevin Correia will be starting for the Padres. YAY!!
I realized something yesterday: I am going into my fourth year as a Padres fan. Wow! It seems unbelievable that it’s been that long, but here I am, a month or so away from pitchers and catchers reporting to Spring Training.
A lot has happened over the past three years, that’s for sure. 2007 was a great year, let me tell you that. We were a great team, with a lot of marvelous players. Things were really clicking, but we didn’t quite make it. That fateful Game 163 knocked us out of the playoffs. It was heartbreaking to listen to Trevor Hoffman just totally fall apart in the 13th inning. Man that was a tough one to get over.
2008 wasn’t easy either. A lot of the prominent players of 2007 left the team, so we were left with a bottom-of-the-barrel group of guys who didn’t really qualify for the word “team.” It was not pretty at all. We were terrible. I was shocked at how a team who won two NL West titles in a row and then came within one game of the playoffs could suddenly have this major of a meltdown. It was literally depressing. And believe me, it was almost a relief to get that season over with.
2009 brought new hope, but a lot of heartbreak, too. We lost Trevor Hoffman, the all-time saves leader, and Jake Peavy, Cy Young Award winner and Padres ace. That was tough. But after an average first half, the team rebounded with the help of a bunch of young guys and actually finished decently. It was a long, hard season, but it was great to see that improvement at the end there. We ended the season in fourth place in the NL West.
Now, we’re really hoping that the momentum from last year will carry over to this year. We’ve got a ton of amazingly talented young players, and I really think that they’re going to only get better. It’s going to be a good year. There’s hope. There’s excitement.
I am just so proud to be a Padres fan. There’s no other team I would rather be a fan of. Sometimes I wish I was a fan of a team who won more, who had more money to work with, who was actually good, but I don’t want to be a fan of the Yankees or Red Sox. My Padres are good enough. And you know what I think, I think that you have to be a true fan to stay commited to these Padres. Not to insult any Yankees fans, but it’s easy to be a fan of a team like the Yankees who gets all the good players and wins a lot of World Series. It’s not so easy to stay a fan of a team who can’t get any good players, who doesn’t win that often, who doesn’t have one World Series win under their belts.
My Padres are absolutely incredible. I love their uniforms, their gorgeous stadium, and this incredible city of San Diego. It truly is America’s Finest City. I love it!!!
I’ve met so many great people, Padres fans. I feel connected to all Padres fans because we all have a love for our team. It thrills me so much to discover new people who have a passion for Padres baseball like I do. I can’t wait to meet more and more Padres fans in the years ahead!
I’m a die-hard Padres fan and proud of it. I don’t care if we stink and never win anything. They’re my boys and I’ll defend them and argue for them anytime. I can’t wait to see what the years ahead hold for my San Diego Padres.
By the way, Everth Cabrera was awarded Nicaragua’s Athlete of the Year yesterday. Everth had an incredible season, and this is totally deserved. He was just amazing. Congrats, Everth!
Oh man, I just watched the video from Everth’s walk-off grand slam, and I’m getting the chills and tearing up. I love these guys so much, and I wouldn’t trade them for any other team!!
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With mainstay players like Adrian Gonzalez, Kevin Kouzmanoff, David Eckstein, and Will Venable NOT in the starting lineup on Wednesday, it looked like kid’s day at the ballpark. Six out of the nine pitchers used by the Padres were under 25 years old. And the guy who’s the buzz of San Diego today made his major league debut at only 22 years old.
Edward Mujica made only his second major league start. He went 4.2 innings, allowing two runs on six hits with no walks and five strikeouts. He was good, but boy we used a lot of pitchers yesterday!
After Mujica, it went Webb, Poreda, Gallagher, Russell, Thacher, Perdomo, Ramos, and finally, Bell.
In the bottom of the third, Chase Headley grounded out, driving in Everth for our first run.
But the Diamondbacks, who seem to be a lot better than what the numbers say, got two runs in the fifth, and one run in the sixth.
In the bottom of the sixth, Henry Blanco walked and Drew Macias was hit-by-pitch. Luis Durango, in his second at-bat ever, hit a bunt single to load the bases. That was his second bunt single of the game. Nick Hundley singled to drive in a run, and Tony Gwynn sac-flied another one in. The game was then tied at three.
In the top of the seventh, Arizona got two runs to take the lead, 5-3. Things were not looking good for our boys. They went into the bottom of the ninth, down by two runs. Tony Gwynn walked to start off the inning. Two outs later, Adrian came into the game to pinch-hit for his brother, Edgar. And guess what he does? He hits a game-tying two run homer to the left field corner. It was soooo great!!
Heath Bell came into the top of the 10, and what do you know, his new shave actually worked! He got two quick outs before walking a batter. Thankfully, that batter was caught stealing and Heath made it through the inning. That’s gotta feel so good for Heath. After those three nasty outings, it must have been amazing to get through one unscathed.
In the bottom of the 10th, Luis Durango led off the inning. He singled yet again, putting the potential winning run on base, with a ton of speed!
David Eckstein then flew out. Everth Cabrera came up next. While he was batter, Durango stole second. Everth singled to right, the first baseman and the second baseman diving and missing the ball. Durango, with his incredible speed, ran all the home and avoided the catcher’s tag, scoring the winning run.
It was so great!! An amazing effort by my boys to come back and win this game.
And talk about Luis Durango. This guy just got called up on Monday, made his major league debut yesterday. In his first two at-bats he had infield singles. He also had a sac-bunt and a single. He stole a base, and ran around like crazy. The Padres have not had a guy with this kind of speed for a very long time. I mean, if you thought Everth was fast, just wait until you see this guy. Whew! This guy is very, very exciting, and the talk of San Diego today. The Union Tribune raved about him this morning.
What a great game. I was so thankful that we avoided the sweep and were able to see some new talent out there.
We have an off-day today before heading out to Pittsburgh for the weekend. We will play the Pirates for four games. Then they’ll head to Colorado and Arizona before coming home for the end of the season. Oh my, it’s coming up fast!
On a side note, Jacob Edward Peavy is going to be making his first start with the White Sox on Saturday. I’m very sad that he’s not with us anymore, but it will be good for him to be on the mound again. He says he won’t be 100%, but I hope he does extremely well. I MISS YOU LIKE CRAZY JAKE!!!
GO PADRES!! GO JAKE!!!
I love these guys. Something amazing is happening here in San Diego, and it’s so much fun to watch.
Wade LeBlanc got the ball for the series finale against the Giants. He threw seven innings, allowing nothing but a two-run homer and four hits. I’m not sure what was going on with him earlier in the season, but he’s finally found his groove (and his strikes). It’s about time. This guy might have a chance to break into the starting rotation next year. Great effort yesterday, Wade!! Well done.
The offense of this game can be summed up in two words: Cabrera and Gonzalez. In the top of the first, Everth led off the game with a single. While Eck was batting, he stole second. Eck grounded out, and while Adrian was batting, Everth moved to third on a passed ball. Adrian singled Everth in to give us the 1-0 lead.
In the top of the third, E-Cab walked. With Eck batting, he stole second. Eck sacrificed him over to third. Adrian came up and hit his 37th home run of the season, giving the Padres a 3-0 lead.
Adrian’s 37th is the most he’s ever hit in a year as a major league player. Last year, he made a career-high of 36. Now his career high is 37. I know it’s just a number to Adrian, but it is a big accomplishment. Congrats, Adrian!!
In the sixth, Oscar Salazar hit a solo homer to extend our lead.
LeBlanc started the eighth, but did not get an out. He walked the first two batters. Luke Gregerson came in and did an incredible job of getting out of the inning. He got three straight outs to end the threat. Let me tell you, the guys in the bullpen have been the unsung heroes this year. They really don’t get much attention, but they have done an excellent job here.
Heath Bell allowed a hit in the ninth, but he closed it to get his 37th save and give the Padres their fifth straight series win.
Oh my goodness, I was soooo happy!!! This is a different team than we saw earlier in the year. These guys are playing hard, working together, and getting the job done. It’s so great!
We are now 20 games behind, which doesn’t really matter at this point, but it’s still good to see us inching back towards the right direction.
Man, with the way things are going, Heath might have a 40+ save season. I think Adrian’s definitely going to have over 40 home runs.
What a great series. I am soooo glad that we didn’t have to face Lincecum!!
I love the Union Tribune. They’ve got some quality writing going there. BUT there was something in there today that I took slight offense to. Every day, they have a “Who’s Hot Who’s Not” section. Recently, Kouz has been in the “Who’s Hot” section a lot, because his bat has been on fire. And of course, because he’s really hot.
But today, he was in the “Who’s Not” section!! How rude. It reads: “Sidelined by strained calf muscle just as the club was launching a campaign to promote third baseman for a Gold Glove. Also had 13 RBI in last 13 games.”
I mean, come on. It’s not Kouz’s fault that he got hurt. He was just trying to throw a ball to first when it happened. I don’t think getting hurt warrants being placed in the “Who’s Not” section. Sure, it’s terribly disappointing, but I guess it’s a good thing he doesn’t read the papers. I love you Kouz!!!!
If you would like to join a Facebook group for Kouz, “Kevin Kouzmanoff for Gold Glove,” click on this link and invite your friends to join as well!!
My boys get an off-day at home today. We will play the Rockies for three games this weekend at our beloved Petco Park. Three NL West rivals in a row. Well, make it four if you count the Diamondbacks next week. 4-2 record against the first two. Hmmmm.
The Rockies have a 8-4 record against us this year, but this team is a much different team than the one that was around earlier in the season.
Tomorrow, Edward Mujica will get the start. Now, that will be interesting. He’s been in the bullpen for us all year.
Enjoy the off-day, boys 🙂
Oh man, this was an amazing game. I think Everth Cabrera, the hero of the game, said it best: “It was definitely one of my worst games, but ended up being one of my best games.”
Everth Cabrera made an error in the first inning that led to two unearned runs. Otherwise, Kevin Correia was amazing. He threw six innings, allowing six hits and no earned runs. He was good too.
The bullpen was perfect, yet again. Joe Thatcher, Mike Adams, and Heath Bell threw three scoreless innings.
Before the ninth, the Padres had left seven runners on. The score was only 2-1, and they should have scored at least one run by then. But they didn’t, so they went to the bottom of the ninth losing by one run.
I fully expected my boys to come back, though. It was only one run, and with this team, that’s gotta be possible. I didn’t think of all the opportunities they had missed already, I just thought of what they could do now. Sure, we were going up against K-Rod, but this is the new and improved Padres. Anything is possible.
The innings starts. Kyle Blanks walks on five pitches. Will Venable comes up and doubles down the right field line. Blanks races all the way around and doesn’t hesitate around third as Glenn Hoffman brought him in. The throw comes in, but Blanks touches the plate and the umpire calls him safe. The replays show that the catcher did get Blanks’ hand before it got the plate, but the Padres got a huge break there.
Henry Blanco walked, then Oscar Salazar was intentionally walked. That brought up the amazing rookie, Everth Cabrera. So bases loaded, 2-2 tie, NO OUTS.
I have no idea why the Mets walked Salazar to get to Everth, since Everth is clearly a better player than Salazar, but there probably were a couple reasons. Everth had struck out three times already that night. He was a rookie, and this situation could put a lot of pressure on him. But I knew that if Everth couldn’t get it done, Eck was right behind him. There was no possible way we would get out of this inning without scoring a run.
So, Everth vs. Rodriguez. Rookie vs. star closer who had already blown the save.
This at-bat was so stressing!! First two pitches: called strike, swinging strike. Then ball in dirt. Two fouls. One ball. One foul. One ball. You just knew that something had to give here. This was the last at-bat. Full count. K-Rod was taking his time.
Finally, finally, the very last pitch was thrown. Everth hit it to right field. Ted Leitner said it would at least win the game. Then suddenly, it was gone!! WALK-OFF GRAND SLAM FOR EVERTH CABRERA!!!!
Oh my goodness, it was soooooo exciting!! I was hanging onto every single pitch in that ninth inning, and we finally got it done!! It was so great. That was the Padres’ first grand slam of the year, and Everth’s second major league home run. What an excellent way to end the game, huh? Sooo exciting. I was super hyper. It was amazing!!
Oh man, I love Everth. He is soooo amazing!! His defense is great, he can hit, and look, he’s only going to get better. Wow. I love him sooo much!! What an amazing baseball player.
So, the Padres did what I asked for: get a split of the series. But now they have the chance to win the next two as well. How cool would that be?
Mat Latos is pitching tonight against Bobby Parnell. Mat’s going to have another great outing, I think. He’s been so good in his past few starts, and I think he’s going to do very well again. And with his amazing offense behind him, he can definitely get this!!
I am sooo excited about these Padres right now. They are amazing!!
Let’s get this series, boys.
Last night’s game was like deja vu, except forwards. I think we saw a glimpse of the future, an echo of what is to come.
GLIMPSE OF THE FUTURE #1
Mat Latos made his fourth start as a Padre this season, and he was amazing. This guy has been called the next Jake Peavy in the Padres’ organization, and he’s one of the most prized pitching prospects we have. I wouldn’t say he’s a Jake Peavy yet, but he’s been very good.
Last night he threw seven innings, allowing two runs on six hits and striking out three. He did struggle early, loading the bases with no outs in the first, but he only allowed one run in that inning and one in the second. He kept the Braves down the rest of the way. It was great!
The Padres are probably going to shut down Mat in a month or so because he threw a ton of innings in the minors this year, and he’s been going seven a lot up here too. Gotta watch out for that arm of the future, you know 🙂
Will Venable has really been heating up in the last week or so. Last night, he had three hits and drove in a run. Plus, he had a great sliding grab in right field.
Will was first called up to the majors in September last year, and he did very well. I think he came up this year when Brian Giles went on the DL. Now that we’ve got our outfield slimmed down, I think these guys are getting the playing time they need. Last night, Chase Headley was in left, Tony Gwynn was in center, and Venable was in right. And it worked!
I’d say that the biggest part of Will’s game is his defense. I watched a game once from the Beach out in the outfield, and I watched him make two spectacular plays to rob the hitters. It was so cool!! He’s good out there.
GLIMPSE OF THE FUTURE #3
Kyle Blanks has been so hot in the last week! Last night, he hit his sixth homer of the year to tie the game at two in the second. This guy had been tearing it up in the minors, so we knew he could hit. It took a while for him to get in a groove, but now that’s he’s made it, it’s so much fun to watch this big boy blast those balls out of here.
Blanks started playing the outfield after Spring Training, so he had even less time than Chase did last year to learn the outfield. Kyle has been decent out there. He hasn’t embarrassed himself, at least. But he has been able to play his natural position, first base, to give Adrian a break.
It’s going to be interesting to see how the Padres play Kyle. I think they would like him to be in his natural position eventually, but we’re holding onto Adrian for now. Hopefully they will be able to work that out without getting rid of another fan favorite.
GLIMPSE OF THE FUTURE #4
This is Everth’s first season above Single-A. He was definitely ready for the Majors. Last night he had a hit in the seventh. He then stole second AND third base. Oscar Salazar drove him in with a single to give us an insurance run. What a player!! I love this guy. He’s going to be sooo great in the future!!
It was a great game. We got a run each in the first, second, and third innings. The bullpen was excellent. Mike Adams was ridiculously sharp. Wow. Did you know that his ERA is 0.86 right now? WOW!!!
Heath Bell was really great too. He went 1-2-3 with two strikeouts. The last out was a great play by Kouz, and we won the game 4-2!!
Tonight Tim Stauffer is pitching against Javier Vasquez. I think we can do it! These guys have confidence. I think that’s something that had been missing in the past few months.