That was satisfying. We took the in-laws out to the ballgame — sprung for Toyota Terrace seats, first time this year. They picked a good time to visit. Mom is from the old country, but I was heartened to see that she chose to root for the home team rather than Hiroki Kuroda. She digs the long ball.
Jake Peavy looked sharp. He was efficient with his pitches (12 per inning) and made a few terrific defensive plays. Maybe he paid extra close attention to Greg Maddux while he was on the disabled list.
In about 3 1/2 weeks, the Padres have cut the distance between themselves and first-place Arizona in half. During that time, the Pads have gained 6 1/2 games in the standings, which is how far back of the Snakes they are today.
Through May 19:
From May 19 to June 12:
My favorite Peavy moment came in the second inning. He missed high with his first pitch to Blake DeWitt. Even in a nearly packed house, I could hear Jake scream at himself all the way up in Section 217.
Back-to-back homers in the first? Nice. Brian Giles‘ three-run shot to right landed on top of the auxiliary scoreboard. Food critic Andre Ethier gave up on the ball a little early and it almost didn’t clear the fence.
The homer Adrian Gonzalez hit was beautiful. He went down and got the pitch, drove it out to left-center. Older brother Edgar had some nice plate appearances, as did Paul McAnulty. Actually, a lot of guys looked good. That happens when you win, 9-0.
One interesting theme of the 2008 season is that players unburdened by the weight of expectation have stepped up and demonstrated that they can play at this level, at least for short periods of time. Guys like Jody Gerut (.274/.354/.372), E-Gon (.322/.385/.424), and McAnulty (.239/.374/.398) have proven themselves worthy of a closer look. Of course, they aren’t young and there’s a reason nobody expected anything from them, so they’ll have to keep proving themselves. Still, a humble foundation is better than no foundation…