Hit or Be Hit

I had some computer issues this morning, and I’m still wading through draft material, so I’ll save my thoughts on how the Padres did until Saturday or Monday — then we’ll have the entire draft to look at anyway. Based on the information at my disposal (which obviously is much, much less detailed than what the Padres have), I’ve upgraded my initial assessment of the Allan Dykstra pick (“Man, that stinks” were my exact words) to “Not what I would have done, but I’m beginning to understand the thought process behind it.”

John Sickels had the Padres taking Dykstra at #42. I’d targeted Dykstra at #42 or #46 in the mock draft I participated in, but the Diamondbacks (administered by R.J. Anderson of Beyond the Boxscore) nabbed him at #26. I guess what I’m trying to say is that if the Padres felt like Dykstra was their guy and he wouldn’t be available with their next pick (a reasonable assumption), then I can see the case for taking him at #23. I’m not defending the move — I would have preferred Zach Collier — just trying to understand the reasoning behind it.

Again, I’ll have more thoughts on all this in the coming days. Meanwhile, I highly recommend perusing Paul DePodesta’s blog for more information on the drafted players as viewed through the organization’s eyes.

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Turning to Thursday night’s game, was that the most aggravating way to win or what? The Padres had runners in scoring position in each of the final eight innings of the game and only managed to plate two of them. Heck, they only won because Scott Schoeneweis forgot how to throw strikes.

In case you missed it, here’s the final, exhilarating sequence:

S Hairston walked.
B Giles walked, S Hairston to second.
A Gonzalez grounded out to pitcher, S Hairston to third, B Giles to second.
K Kouzmanoff intentionally walked.
P McAnulty hit by pitch, S Hairston scored, B Giles to third, K Kouzmanoff to second.

If that isn’t going to convince folks that baseball is exciting, by golly, then I don’t know what will.

On a more serious note, wins all count the same, so we’ll take what we get. And we’ll be grateful that we’re not Mets fans right now. As irritating as it was for us to watch that game, at least it had a happy ending. If I were a Mets fan, I’m not sure my television would be operational at this point.

A few quick notes on the contest:

  • Josh Banks looked great. That fluttering change-up thing he throws is beautiful. He made Carlos Delgado look ridiculous in the second and did the same to Ryan Church in the fourth.
  • Speaking of ridiculous, Banks throws eight different pitches? Yowza. I enjoyed Bob Scanlan’s post-game demonstration of how Luke Carlin flashed signs (please, don’t show us the middle finger).
  • Tadahito Iguchi had some terrific at-bats, spraying the ball all over the place before separating his right shoulder while unsuccessfully trying to avoid a ball off the bat of Kevin Kouzmanoff. Iguchi is expected to miss four weeks, with Craig Stansberry being the most likely candidate to replace him on the roster.
  • Brian Giles drew four more walks. He’s walked in 16.5% of his plate appearances this year, as compared to 11.6% last year. His overall offense is at or above 2004 levels. With a healthy knee, Giles has become a force again at age 37.
  • Carlin absolutely crushed that ball in the fourth. He hit it off the padding at the top of the wall in deepest right-center and just beat the throw to third. That’s a homer in almost every other ballpark. Carlin’s track record suggests he’s not a big-league hitter, but I like what I’ve seen of him and think he could have a career as a backup catcher, which is more than the vast majority of us can say about ourselves.
  • It’s really good to see Justin Hampson back in action.
  • Trevor Hoffman, who as we all “know” doesn’t pitch well in non-save situations, picked up the victory with a perfect ninth.
  • Scott Hairston‘s plate appearance to start the ninth was brilliant. He fell behind in the count, 0-2, but came back to draw the leadoff walk and eventually score the winning run.

The division remains up for grabs. The Padres, believe it or not, have the best record in the NL West over the past month. Granted, that record is 13-16, but the point is, nobody’s really doing much. Might as well be us, right?