It was a classic pitching matchup: the veteran, Roy Oswalt, against the kid, Mat Latos.
We all knew it was going to be a huge game because this series has been hyper up to be one of the most important of the year. The Phillies came into San Diego having lost six out of their last eight. The Padres are on the top of the NL West and are definitely making a run for the playoffs. This series could be a preview of the first round of the postseason. And let me tell you, last night’s game was sooo intense, there’s no doubt that it was a preview for those playoffs.
Even though I was hyped about this series, I took the same route that the Padres themselves take: One game at a time, one series at a time. Of course we want to focus on winning the whole series, but we’re only going to get there by winning one game at a time.
Unfortunately, we didn’t do that last night. But it was still an amazing game to watch. I went to the game with my church, which was super fun. It was sooo cool to be there at the game. Right after the Phillies finished batting practice, I heard this huge roar of cheering. I thought, I really really hope that’s just a recorded cheer playing on the commercial on the scoreboard. But no. To my horror, it was the huge amount of Phillies fans in the stands. I thought, “Oh boy. We’re going to have our work cut out for us tonight.”
And we really did. It almost felt like a Dodgers/Padres games because for every play, there was cheering. When the Phillies did something good, there was a large amount of cheering. When the Padres did something good, there was a huge amount of cheering. It was so frustrating to have to battle the Phillies fans the whole time, but it also was a ton of fun.
Oswalt and Latos were great. Their linescores were actually almost identical. Oswalt went eight innings while Latos only went seven, but each gave up five hits, one run, and struck out six.
The umpires bugged me a lot last night. It was pretty sad, but it seemed like they made a lot of calls in the Phillies’ favor. In the bottom of the second, we got caught stealing twice, but I’d say that they were pretty close calls. Man it was frustrating.
Latos allowed the Phillies’ first run in the top of the third. In the bottom of the third, Yorvit Torrealba led off the inning with a solo homer, which was so sweet. It was great to come right back and get that thing tied up.
Not much happened until the eighth inning. Mike Adams came in to take Latos’ place, and he did not do well. It was sooo sad!! After getting one out, he allowed a walk, single, and another walk to load the bases. Joe Thatcher came in to get the left handed, but he didn’t do his job either. He allowed a single which allowed the go-ahead run to score. It was sooo bad.
But in the bottom of the ninth, I knew these boys were not going to give up. Matt Stairs started off the inning, and I thought, you’d better get a hit here. He really has not been that great this year, so it was amazing when he hit a single to start off the inning. Jerry Hairston pinched-ran for him. Eck hit a sac-bunt, and he almost almost got safely to first base because Brad Lidge fumbled the ball. Unfortunately, he recovered quickly, and Eck was out. But at least he got Jerry over to second. Miguel Tejada grounded out, which really stunk.
Then the craziness started. Adrian Gonzalez was intentionally walked. With a count of 0-2, Ryan Ludwick was hit-by-pitch to load the bases. He was hit pretty hard too. Thankfully, he was okay and the game went on.
Chase came up next. Suddenly, I saw Jerry Hairston jumping up and down at third and pointing to the pitcher. Brad Lidge had balked!!!! Oh my goodness, it was the best moment of the whole game. It was sooooooooo exciting!! We tied the game and still had runners at second and third. Unfortunately, Chase grounded out to end the inning, but at least we kept the game going.
Heath Bell came into the game in the top of the 10th. Of course, he just had to allow a walk, but he got out of the inning unscathed.
In the bottom of the inning, we went down 1-2-3. In the top of the 11th, Heath put them down in order. We got a single in the bottom of that inning, but no avail.
Then the trouble started in the top of the 12th. Ernesto Freri came in to pitch, and I was excited because he’s done fairly well this season. But no. Last night he did not do well at all. He allowed a double to start off the inning, and there’s obviously a lot of things wrong with that. It’s a tie game, extra innings, no outs. Very bad situation. Then he allowed a single to center. Luis Durango made a very, very good throw to the plate, but Jimmy Rollins expertly slid in and Yorvit Torrealba missed the tag. It was sooooooooo sad!!!! I was seriously angry at the umpire, but looking at the replay today shows that he made the right call. Still. It was really, really bad.
We got out of that inning without any further damage. In the bottom of the 12th, after two outs, I knew that we weren’t going to win that game. But I refused to believe it. All through Will Venable’s eight-pitch at-bat, I cheered my heart out. I refused to let myself, as a fan, go down quietly. I cheered them through, but Will struck out to end the game. I was pretty frustrated, no doubt about it. But it was just one game, and I’m sure we will go out there and get them today.
It was a blast watching this game. I’m now 2-2 on the year though, so I think I’ll have to get out there again to make it a winning record.
GO FIRST-PLACE PADRES!!!
Yesterday was a great day for the San Diego Padres. Not only did we win the series against the Dodgers with a walk-off, but we also aquired veteran infielder Miguel Tejada.
I just gotta talk about this trade for a bit here because I can’t believe how good it was. When I first saw that we had traded for him, I thought, great, we probably had to give up something big. Imagine my shock when I saw that all it took to get him was a Double-A pitcher named Wynn Pelzer. I think it’s a good sign when you’ve never even heard of that player. I hadn’t, so I figured that he wasn’t that essential to the Padres’ farm system.
I figured that if the Padres were going to make a move at all, it would be something slightly big but not franchise-shaking in terms of us losing something. I’d say that we got a great deal here. I’m really amazed, actually, about how good this was. I’m also really happy that the Padres were able to get right up there with lots of other big teams who wanted this guy, and we came up on top. If this was two, three years ago, we wouldn’t even try to go for this guy. He would be as impossible to get as a A-Rod for the San Diego Padres. But times are changing.
And I absolutely love what Miguel said yesterday: “Now I go into a situation where I can get a ring. It’s not easy to get a ring. It’s a lot of hard work. Now I’m going to have an opportunity.”
How cool is that!?!?!?!! I am so psyched that we would be looked at like that. Most of the time, it was the players who were leaving us who would say stuff like that. But now, players are saying that about us!! It makes me so happy 🙂
I think this was a great deal made by the Padres. Miguel will help us in the middle infield, especially with Eck out, and he’s still got a great bat. I’m really excited about having him on the team. Welcome to San Diego, Miguel.
The other great part about yesterday was beating LA. I got to watch the entire game for free, which was a huge treat. I loved being able to see my boys! It was a ton of fun to watch it.
Mat Latos started the game. He only went five innings, but he allowed two runs (one earned) while striking out seven.
In the bottom of the first, we got our first run on a Chase Headley single. Latos allowed a home run right away in the next inning, so that lead was short lived.
Then we took the lead again in the fourth. Chase Headley walk, Yorvit Torrealba double. Top fifth, Dodgers tied it again.
So we went on for a super long time without scoring. Our bullpen was great, no surprise there. Joe Thacher, Ryan Webb, Luke Gregerson. Heath Bell took the top of the ninth in a tie game.
In the bottom of the ninth, we got down to business. Scott Hairston singled, Tony Gwynn sac-bunted him over, setting up Oscar Salazar. It took eight pitches, but he finally was able to get the bat on one and sent it through the middle. Scotty scored, and we won!!
It was a great series, and I’m so happy that we won it! It’s always great to get two-out-of-three, but especially against the Dodgers. Our first-place lead is very safe and looking good as ever.
I was really pleased with the crowds we got during this series. Of course, I’m sure we were helped out a lot by Dodger fans, but that’s okay. It’s our home turf. Yesterday we had 42,000!!! Big shoutout to all the Padres fans for getting out there and supporting our boys.
I’m super excited about Padres baseball right now. We’ve got a three game series against the Marlins for the weekend, and then it’s off to Dodger Stadium for four. That’s going to be crazy!
Go first-place Padres.
GO FIRST-PLACE PADRES!!!!
Last night’s game was great! After the loss on Tuesday, it was great to get the win against the Dodgers last night.
I really appriciated Clayton Richard’s performance. He went through a rough spot a while back, and it’s good to have him actually throwing well. Last night he went six innings, only allowing one run on four hits with six strikeouts. As usual, the bullpen was just beautiful. Old story there, but really, these guys are just too good.
Ernesto Frieri has been a very pleasant surprise. When he first was called up, I thought he was going to be one of those guys who was up here only because we needed him but actually wasn’t that great of a pitcher. Thankfully, I was wrong. Since he got called up, he’s been in fiave games, allowing only one hit with nine strikeouts. He’s got a perfect ERA of 0.00.
The offensive side was great too. We didn’t start scoring until the sixth, actually. Jerry Hairston Jr. was the man of the night with two hits and three RBIs. We got two runs in the sixth, two in the seventh, and two in the eighth. Chris Denorfia, Adrian Gonzalez, and Nick Hundley each drove in a run.
And….that’s about it. Oh, really bad news about Kyle Blanks. He’s going to have to have Tommy John surgery. We really did have big hopes for him at the beginning of the season, but he didn’t play well and now he’s hurt. Get well soon Blanksie!!
One more game in this series this afternoon, which I’m really excited about. We’ve got the Giants breathing down our necks, so we really need to get this game to win the series and to hold onto our first-place lead. I like our chances with Mr. Mat Latos starting the game. I have a feeling that this is going to be a great game.
GO FIRST-PLACE PADRES!!!
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!!
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!!
Today’s game was sooo good! It was just what we needed: a win!
I can’t say enough about Mat Latos. This kid is a stud. He’s doing amazing things for this organization right now, and I know he’s only going to get better. I can’t wait to see him pitch in the upcoming years. I can honestly say that he is becoming our next Jake Peavy.
Today he threw seven innings of shutout ball. He only allowed five hits while striking out eight. Plus, he went 2-for-3 with his first major league homer. We needed a solid outing, and you can’t ask for much more than that. Amazing outing by Matty.
We had some great offense today. We hit four home runs: Mat, Chris Denorfia, Chase Headley, and Jerry Hairston. Yorvit Torrealba also drove in a run.
Luke Gregerson has been struggling his last few outings, so I’m really glad that he’s going to get a break next week. Today he gave up the only run the Nationals got, but it was okay since we were up by a lot. Still, I’m a little worried about him right now. Hopefully he’ll be able to have a nice relaxing break and will be ready to get back into things after the break.
It was a really great game. I was so happy that we were able to get the third game of the series at least. We’re okay. Still have a substantial lead in the NL West, one more series till the break, we’re good.
So, how are we doing going into the All-Star break? I’d say we’re doing excellent. I know that we’re a ton better than a lot of people thought we would be by now. I didn’t know where we were going to be by the second half of the season. I honestly had no idea. I was content to take it one game at a time and see where we went. And here we are, top of the NL West.
The big question is, are we going to be able to continue this through a whole second half? Is our pitching strong enough? Will our bats stay hot? We’ve been relatively injury-free so far. Will that continue? Will we been as good as we are now?
In my mind, I have no doubt that we will sustain our first-place lead. I don’t see any reason at all for us to suddenly go bad in the second half. We can do this. I think this team is going to do great things. There’s been an atmosphere around this team that I have never felt before. It’s exciting, not knowing what this team is going to do. They’ve played well above expectations this year, and I think it will continue.
Rockies and Jorge De La Rosa tomorrow. But we’ve got Kevin Correia going for us. No sweat.
GO FIRST-PLACE PADRES!!
Alright, we have a problem. Now that all the All-Star stuff is taken care of (Heath’s going…WHOO HOOO!!), we need to focus on the real goal: winning! Which we have not been doing against the Nationals. I think that absolutely stinks.
They are the Nationals. We are the first-place Padres. Do you see the problem here? The first-place Padres should have won the first two games of this series, but they didn’t. No, who won the first two games of the series were the last-place Nationals. Not good at all.
I don’t know what happened, really, but it seems to me like our pitching gave up a bunch of home runs. I think we gave up like four last night. We did hit three of our own, but still.
I don’t like to go into the details of losses like this, so I’m not, other to say that whatever wasn’t going right for the boys these past two days, they’d better get it going tonight. We’ve got a win to get.
We are one game away from getting our 50th win of the season. It’s about time that we get it.
So how are my boys doing, really? I just realized that I haven’t really talked about what’s going on with the players in a long time. I found out today that the Young family is about to have their second child, a boy. I haven’t heard any news from Chris in so long, and this is great news. Congrats to the Youngs!
More good news on Chris’ side. His throwing session yesterday went really well, so maybe, we’ll be able to see Chris out there on the mound sometime before the season ends.
Heath Bell is going to the All-Star game as a replacement for some guy from the Brewers. I am so happy! I’m sorry to say it, but I don’t know if we would have been able to get him there with the vote. We did put in a ton of votes for him and a lot of hard work, and we’ve been rewarded. I’m so happy for Heath! We need someone there to represent our amazing pitching staff, and who better than Heath Bell? I know he’s going to have a great time. Congrats Heath!
Tonight we’ve got Mat Latos going out there. He’d better have a great game! We really, really need to end this first half on a good note. How ’bout a sweep of the Rockies over the weekend? That would be great.
I’d like to point you guys out to a new book that’s coming out soon called, “What the Great Ate: A Curious History of Food and Fame”. It looks like a fascinating book, filled with anecdotes about food and famous people. You can check out some of the interesting stories about a few baseball players on the blog.
Well, big game against the Nationals tonight. We really really really need to win!!!
GO FIRST-PLACE PADRES!!!