Tagged: nick hundley

Pro Day @ The Rock

Everyone is talking about the Padres Awards Dinner and the Town Hall Meeting, especially all the bloggers. But I went to something last night that’s seemed to go under the radar.

Yesterday was Pro Day at The Rock Church. Which meant that Adrian Gonzalez, Nick Hundley, Jacques Cesaire of the Chargers, and heavyweight champion Chris Byrd were there to share their testimonies.

IMG_0056.JPGI hadn’t been to The Rock before, but it was a really good experience. They have five services every Sunday and a congregation of over 12,000, so things were a little crazy.

I was really excited to see Adrian, especially since he’s been traded. I know that he’ll still be around San Diego a lot, but it’s pretty sad that he’s no longer a Padre.

The service was great. Pastor Miles McPherson (a former Charger) was really funny. You could kind of tell that the guys had done this four times before, but they were still really great. Nick was making all sorts of jabs at Adrian because he’s on the Red Sox. McPherson asked Nick how he was going to pitch to Adrian when we meet the Red Sox in June.

“I’ll tell you later, when Adrian’s not listening,” he said. “If he hits two home runs against us, we’re going to have to drill him in the leg.”

“What’s the sign for drilling him?” McPherson asked. 

Nick laughed. “I couldn’t show you in church.”

IMG_0059.JPGThere were a lot of great laughs, but the highlight of the night was hearing these guys’ stories. All of them, being very successful athletes, thought that they had it together, but ultimately realized that it wasn’t about them or their accomplishments, but what God was doing in their lives and what He wanted for them.

Adrian talked about how when he was with the Rangers, he heard about a trade that he thought was going to give him more playing time and a better chance to improve. But instead of the trade helping him, it sent him back down to the minors. He had thought that he was getting somewhere in his career, but then that roadblock was thrown into his way and he had to decide whether he would sit at home and pout or realize that the Lord had a plan.

IMG_0062.JPGIt was really inspiring to see these big athletes really open their hearts and show us that they’re not the ones who have it together; it’s only because of God working in their lives that they’ve been able to live like they have.

It is so cool to think that these guys are just like me. They’re sinners desperately in need of grace. They’re broken people leaning on the God who heals. They have struggles just like me, but the One who lived the perfect life that we couldn’t and who died the death that we deserve is holding us in His hands. Jesus has got us. And it’s so cool to think that someday, these guys will be in Heaven right next to me, glorifying God together. I truly think of these guys as my brothers. They don’t know who I am, but it doesn’t matter. We’re all a family because of Jesus Christ.

After the service I got to go up to Adrian and Nick and get their autographs and pictures with them. They were so nice, especially considering that they probably signed autographs after every service that day.

All in all, it was a wonderful event. I’m glad I was able to get pictures with the guys, and have Adrian’s signature on a Padres card before he abandons us. I was greatly encouraged, and I hope that The Rock does this again next year.

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IMG_0074.JPG GO PADRES!!!   

Moving On…

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!!  

We’re BACK!!

Yeah, that’s right, Dodgers. Thought you were safe in that first-place lead did you? Thought maybe you were going to stick up there? No way! Not on my watch!! That’s right, my Padres are back and they are not going to give up until they have complete and utter possesion of first place. So there.

Last night’s game was great! I am so glad that we’re back home. In our last ten games, we are 5-5. In fact, we were on a one-game losing streak going into last night’s game. It was a huge relief to get off of that, as I’m sure you understand.

I think the theme of this game is that the boys never give up. These Padres don’t give up. They just don’t. I was distractedly listening to the game last night, not even knowing what inning it was, and I thought, are the boys able to come back and win this thing? Do they have what it takes to overcome a one-run deficit? Well, I’m here to tell you that they can and they will.

Kevin Correia started this game and pitched very well. I was impressed. He went six innings, allowing eight hits and three runs. He was really good. I’m telling you, our pitching is perfect.

The Padres actually scored first on a single, a triple, a ground out, and a single. That gave us a two-run lead.

Then the Mariners got three runs. That wasn’t good. But at least we got first blood.

In the bottom of the ninth, we got down to business. Will Venable singled, Eck sacrificed him over, and Chase was hit by pitch. Then Adrian came up and doubled in Will. So sweet. Scotty “Walkoff” Hairston was intentionally walked, which set up things for Nick Hundley.

My goodness Nick has been hot. I love that dude. In fact, he was so hot that he drove in our winning run with a sac-fly. We’ve seen a lot of weird walk-offs before, but I’m not sure if I’ve seen one quite like that before. Good job, Nick!!

See? We did it. We came back and won the game and we put ourselves back in first place. Big thanks to the Dodgers for losing last night.

I was also very excited that we won this game because we’re back in Interleague again. And as you all know, I HATE interleague. Mostly because the Padres have always been HORRIBLE in interleague. That thing used to literally kill our season. But thankfully, the boys are going to dominate this year and not totally drown under the almighty American League teams. We are 3-1 in interleague. Amazing.

Lance Zawadzki didn’t play at all last night 😦 Me sad. But he did get a start on Thursday, and uh…lowered his average to .207. Hmm.

We are now back in first place, and if I have anything to say about it, we are there to stay. Ahh. It’s so good to be back.

GO FIRST-PLACE-TIED PADRES!!!!! 

Grand Slam Domination

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.

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hairgrandslam.jpgIn the bottom of the third, Adrian and Chase led off the inning with singles. Nick Hundley, who’s been amazingly hot lately, hit a double to drive both of those guys in.

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.

luisdurango.jpgOn the other side, Kevin Correia was having a fairly good game. He ended up going six innings, allowing six runs on seven hits. Not the best, but thankfully, his offense was well-ahead of him.

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.

lancediving.jpgAfter K-Cor left, the bullpen did great. Ryan Webb, Sean Gallagher, and Joe Thatcher held on to that lead (haha) and didn’t allow any runs.

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!!   

Top of the NL West!!!

This Padres team is amazing. I don’t care what anyone says against them. They are winners and they are on the top of the NL West right now. They are number one. And it’s not because the Diamondbacks and the Giants are really bad teams. I don’t believe that either of them are terrible. Even if they were, thay would not be the reason that we just won six games in a row. We just won six games in a row because we have the talent. We have the bats. We have the gloves and the pitching and the defense. We are the only ones to blame for this six-game winning streak.

We had a great game yesterday. Adrian Gonzalez and Nick Hundley each hit a home run, Jon Garland was finally able to pull off a descent start, and best of all, we won the game to sweep the Giants to take over the top of the NL West.

numberone.jpgI am sooooooo proud of these boys. They’ve done amazing in the past two series, and I can’t wait to see what else they’ll do. Well done, boys.

GO PADRES!!! 

17 For The Padres and Top 10 For Me

openingday2010.jpgYesterday was a great day for Padres fans and all of San Diego. It was Opening Day, it was raining (sort of), and it was so much fun that I could be laughing my head off right now if I really wanted to. Because my Padres, at Petco Park, that pitcher’s park as it’s so often called, scored 17 runs. 17. Yeah, you read that right.

The start of the season on the road wasn’t that great, and definitely not what I was expecting. But then, once we get home in front of a home crowd of 42,843, things really turned on. I think the boys were a little frustrated about their start and everything really came out yesterday.

To start it off, Colbie Caillat sang the National Anthem and Phillip Rivers threw out the first pitch. I’ve heard a lot of theories that one or both of these people sparked out offensive bombing.

Then, as I talked about in yesterday’s entry, Kevin Correia went out there and threw amazingly solid. If he hadn’t been on his game like he was yesterday, things would not have been as pretty. But as it was, he was incredible. He threw 5.2 innings, only allowing two runs, two hits, four walks, and three strikeouts. Doesn’t look like much, but he was solid.

kcoropenignday.jpgTake a look at the Braves’ Jair Jurrjens’ numbers: He only lasted 3.1 innings, allowing eight runs!! BWAHAHAHAHA!

Going into the bottom of the fourth, we had already scored a run on a Nick Hundley single in the second. But in that fourth inning, things really clicked for the Padres as they sent the Braves’ pitchers down the drain.

nickhundleysingle.jpgIt all started with a Chase Headley double, a Will Venable single (then steal of second), and a Nick Hundley walk. I was very excited because we had bases loaded with NO outs, and we just had to get some runs in that inning. If only I’d known.

After that, T-Gwynn walked to drive in our second run. Up next was Kevin Correia, the starting pitcher, and guess what he did? He hit a two-run single!! I was laughing, it was so funny. I mean, you wouldn’t expect the pitcher to come up and actually help himself out, but that’s what happened!

kcortworundoubleopeningday.jpgA few batters later, Adrian hit a ground rule double to bring in yet another run. The Braves had seen enough, so they made a pitching change. Little good that would do.

Kyle Blanks doubled in two guys, and then Chase Headley singled in Kyle. Will Venable hit a two-run homer. Kevin Correia finally ended the inning by striking out. All in all, we scored ten runs and got seven hits in that fourth inning. And it was only the fourth inning!

venablehomeropeningday.jpgI could not believe what was happening there. It was just so amazing, and so unlike what I’ve been seeing for the last week!

In the bottom of the fifth, Kyle Blanks hit a three-run homer. It was about this time when I realized that Will Venable had had three hit so far in the game: a single, a triple, and a home run. And then I started getting really excited. Like breathing-hard-overwhelmed-with-excitedness excited. Like it could be actually possible that the Padres would get their first ever cycle.

Well, it didn’t happen. Turns out that both Will and Kyle were one hit away at the end, and neither of them got it. But that’s okay. I know (at least I’m hoping) that we will hit for a cycle someday. Even though it’s already been 40 years and it hasn’t happened. It will.

Even though they didn’t reach that goal, they both had incredible nights at the plate. Kyle Blanks had three hits and drove in five runs. Will had three hits, drove in two runs, and scored four runs. Other standouts in this game are David Eckstein, who had three hits, and Chase Headley and Nick Hundley, who each had two hits.

Overall, it was an incredible game. We were 10-for-17 with runners in scoring positon. And hey, we had 19 hits and 17 runs. IT WAS SUCH A SWEET GAME!!!

Another thing that was super exciting for me was when the Latest Leaders list for MLBlogs came out yesterday. I’m #10 on the list!!!

I’m sooooo excited!!! It was totally unexpected and completely uplifting. I’ve been blogging here for almost two years now, and the closest I’d ever been to the top of the list was #15. I’ve always been okay with wherever I was on the list, but it’s just really cool to know that people are reading my stuff and enjoying it too!

I know that I owe big thanks to a few people whose influence is definitely part of this ranking. Gaslamp Ball has been linking my entries on their blog for a while now, and I know that that’s helped me a lot. Thanks so much guys!! RJ’s Fro has also been linking by entries, and I know that that’s had a lot of influence too. I am so grateful to you guys! Thanks so much!!

Thank you also to websites that I’m not aware of who are linking my blog. It always excites me to discover you guys, and thanks so much! 

And a HUGE thank you to all my readers. If it wasn’t for you guys, I wouldn’t even have a purpose for blogging here. Thank you so much for getting me to where I am today. I have a blast doing this, and I hope you love reading and I much as I love putting all this together. THANK YOU!!!!!

thanks.jpgThe Padres have an off-day in the middle of the series, which is a little odd, but I guess they deserve it after that amazing game yesterday. Man, we scored 17 runs!! So cool.

That’s my boys.

GOOOO PADRES!!! 

Coming Together

On Sunday, my boys played a great game. I told you we didn’t have to be worried.

Chris Young started the game, throwing 3.2 innings, allowing two runs on five hits. Not the best outing, but it was good enough. I am so excited that CY is pitching at all. I’m just praying really hard that he won’t get injured this year. It’s been a couple tough years for him, but hopefully he’ll be able to stay healthy and pitch amazingly this year.

We had nine hits: Nick Hundley had two, driving two runs. Jerry Hairston Jr. had a hit and drove in two runs. Kyle Blanks had two hits and scored two runs.

Surprisingly, we only had one stolen base, but that’s okay. We were caught stealing twice, though. You know, as amazing as all this base-stealing is, I don’t think that they’re going out there thinking about stealing a base. I think that they’re just more aware of the pitcher and the catcher, like how slow the pitcher is or if the catcher has a less-than-average arm. Then, armed with that knowledge, they go when they think the moment is right.

Liz, Bell, and Luebke pitched scoreless innings. Craig Italiano got the save in the 5-3 win. CY got his first W of the season. So great to see!

Last night we played the Giants in Peoria. It was so amazing, because we ust had Daylight Savings Time and it had been a warm day. It was a taste of what it’s going to be like in the regular season. Listening to some great Padres baseball on a warm summer night…ah. I can’t wait!

Anyways, phenomenal pitching performances by Mat Latos, Wade LeBlanc, and Edward Mujica last night. Would you look at that! Only three pitching! Man, that REALLY feels like the regular season!

Mat Latos…man. I am super excited about seeing this guy pitching in the majors this year. He was great last year, and I think he’s going to be amazing this year too. Last night, he pitched four full innings, allowing one run on three hits with two walks and three strikeouts. Amazing. He was perfect. Wow.

Wade LeBlanc took over after Mat’s incredible performance. I remember when Wade came up at the end of 2008. He was always facing the Dodgers, and he was terrible. But when he came up last year, he wasn’t that bad. Last night, he was amazing. All these young pitchers are so exciting!

Wade also threw four innings, but he didn’t allow a run. All he gave up was two hits, while striking out three. I guess he was even better than Mat!

I think the best thing about these two guys’ outings last night was that they were able to go four full innings with so little trouble. Sure, that’s not a regular season start, but they’re getting there.

Edward Mujica pitched for the first time this spring, and he was great. He allowed a hit and stuck out one and closed the game. It’s great to see him out there again.

The offense is exciting me soooo much!! These guys are sooo great, even if they had some help from the Giants’ defense 🙂

In the fifth inning, we were down 1-0 when things really turned on. Everth Cabrera started the inning off with a walk. Wade LeBlanc laid down a sacrifice that sent Everth to second. Tony Gwynn doubled, tying the game. Jerry Hairston came to bat and the pitcher threw a wild pitch, which got Tony to third. Jerry walked. Adrian came up and singled in T. Gwynn. Kyle Blanks doubled, sending in Jerry and Matt Antonelli (who replaced Adrian). Matt hustled all the way from first to score. Chase singled and stole second. Will Venable struck out, but then Nick Hundley got on base on an error, which also allowed two guys to score.

Then Everth came up again and singled, driving in Nick. Everth got to second on another error. Then Wade LeBlanc got on base by an error. Finally, Tony Gwynn struck out to end the inning. All in all, we got seven runs on five hits and three errors. Whew.

The score stayed that way for the rest of the game. We ended up with ten hits on the night, with no errors. The Giants ended with four errors. HAHAHAHA!!! I thought that was funny.

We got five more stolen bases last night. We’ve stolen 20 bases this spring, and have been caught only seven times. We’re leading the majors in stolen bases, by the way. I’m loving it! 

What a great, great 7-1 win. It was clean, quick, and wonderful. Definitely the best game of the year so far. I am soooo excited for the regular season!!!

We’re looking good. We really, really are. I’m not worried a bit about these boys. They’re going to be just fine.

Today we’re playing the Los Angeles Angels of Aneheim again. Jon Garland vs. Jered Weaver. It’s going to be sweet.

Joe Thatcher is going to be pitching for the first time this season. I didn’t realize that the Thatch hadn’t been around yet. Hmm. Thatch is the guy that I’ve always not liked in the bullpen. I mean, he was great at the end of 2007. He was amazing then. But when he totally fell apart in ’08, I was not happy with him at all. He was actually pretty decent in 2009, so I feel like giving him a second chance. GO JOE!!!

GO PADRES!!!!