Hooray! Interleague is over!! Low and behold, the San Diego Padres made it through without killing their season. They faltered a little, but I’d say that they more than survived: they thrived against their American League counterparts. They did something that a Padres team had not done in a very long time. They held their own and stood up to the mighty American League.
I know this doesn’t seem like a very big thing to some of you, but for us Padres fans, we know how meaningful this really is. The Padres went 9-6 in Interleague, which is a very good record. That was the best in our division. For example, the Dodgers went 3-9, which is where the Padres probably would have been if this was the team of years past. But obviously, something is different this year. I’m not sure what it is, but it’s there.
This final series against the Tampa Bay Rays of the American League East division, a very good team right now. They’re in series contention for their division. They’re right up there with the Yankees and the Red Sox. You know what my Padres did? They came in and took the first two games of the series, though they dropped the last game. But please. Two out of three against the Rays? I’ll take that any day.
A huge part of the Padres success this year has been their pitching. No doubt about it, we’ve got one of the best staffs around. On Tuesday, (future Jake Peavy) Mat Latos started the game and threw a gem. He went seven innings, allowing three hits, no runs, only walking one, but striking out eight. This guy is soooo amazing!!!
I am just so thrilled at how professional and solid these young pitchers are. Our minor league system really must been doing something right. These guys are professional major league pitchers. I know the last few years have been tough for us Padres fans, but don’t you think that time of waiting was worth getting to see this kind of pitching every day now? I mean, two years ago, all we had to look forward to was Jake Peavy pitching every fifth day. But now, we know that we have a chance to win every single day. Amazing.
Anyways, in that game, Chase Headley singled in our first run and Will Venable got hit by pitch to drive in our second one. Mike Adams had a pretty rough outing, giving up one run, but Heath Bell got a four-out save to win the game.
In the second game, Kevin Correia started and didn’t have that great of a game. He went 5.1 innings, allowing two runs on three hits with five walks. Not the best, but it’s a good thing that the offense made up for it.
Will Venable hit a two-run homer in the fifth. Adrian hit a solo homer in the sixth. In the top of the seventh, Jerry Hairston hit a bro-bi to break the 3-3 tie. Then, in the top of the ninth, Chase Headley hit a solo homer to make the game 5-3. Heath Bell allowed one run while he was trying to get the save, but thankfully he was able to close it out for the series win.
There were two outstanding defensive plays by Adrian Gonzalez and Aaron Cunningham which definitely helped us win the game. I love our defense!
The third game was kind of belch because we lost. Wade LeBlanc didn’t have a good outing. Oscar Salazar hit a two-run homer, but our pitchers gave up three homers. Adrian broke his 11-game hitting streak.
But the good news is that we did extremely well in interleague. We dominated. We are a much better team than years past. I don’t know about you, but I believe that this is a special team. Something great is going on here. I just love the fact that we are in first place and that we’ve been holding it for a very long time. I am so happy that we seem to be heading for a possible championship…but I’m getting ahead of myself. For now, we have to focus on dominating all teams that dare to confront us. We’ve got to keep this winning thing up, and I have complete confidence in my boys that they’ll be able to do that.
Do you guys think we need another bat? I’ve been thinking about this question. On one hand, the guys we have right now have been winning consistently for a long period of time. They’ve been getting by, and at some times, dominating. I love the chemistry and balance of this team right now, and I’m worried that any major change would severely disrupt that. (For example, trading away Adrian Gonzalez.) I feel like we’re doing fine right now in terms of bats, but would we be even better by adding a bat? I’m just not sure. I guess I’m so happy with this team and the way they’re playing right now that I don’t want anything to happen that would change it for the worse.
I guess I shouldn’t be worried. Things will work out. And hey, we’ve got some celebrating to do now. WE SURVIVED INTERLEAGUE!!!!