Sometimes you can get away with making stupid mistakes against lousy teams. Unfortunately the Cubs aren’t a lousy team, and they saw to it that the Padres paid for their transgressions.
Carlos Zambrano is a terrific pitcher when he’s on his game. He wasn’t at his best Monday night, but the Padres let him off the hook just the same.
Despite having trouble controlling his pitches and his emotions (he needed separate conferences with the catcher, third baseman, and manager at various points during the first two innings), Zambrano limited the early damage and then settled into a groove. And he couldn’t have done it without the Padres — specifically Michael Barrett, Khalil Greene, and Jody Gerut.
If you get out to Petco Park in June, be sure to pick up a copy of Padres Magazine (the one with Tadahito Iguchi on the cover). I’m profiled on page 73.
Big thanks to Shaun O’Neill and Leslie Filson for making that happen!
His team up 3-0, with Kevin Kouzmanoff at third and one out in the first, Barrett got a strange case of slideritis. For whatever reason, he felt compelled to expand the strike zone and help his former sparring partner get out of the jam. Maybe Barrett caught it from the on-deck hitter, Greene, who has been similarly afflicted all season. Either way, with Barrett and Greene flailing at pitches from a guy who couldn’t find the plate, Zambrano left Kouzmanoff stranded.
Then, in the second, Zambrano started strong before losing the plate again. He issued two-out walks to Gerut and Tadahito Iguchi, then fell behind Brian Giles, 2-1. Zambrano proceeded to pick Gerut off second base to end the frame. How you get caught napping in that situation, I’ll never know.
At the very least, Gerut could have dived back to the back to make it look good. Pulling a Jeremy Giambi doesn’t impress anyone. Curiously, I can’t find any mention of the play in articles about the game.
You would think that a baserunning gaffe with the team’s two best hitters due up might be worthy of attention. An explanation would be nice, too. It wouldn’t help because what’s done is done, but it would be nice to know what went wrong. Or even acknowledge that it happened.
No matter. From there, it was just a matter of watching a superior team take advantage of the situation in a house full of way too many Cubs fans.
Cha Seung Baek? He reminds me of someone, but I’m not sure who. Maybe you can help:
- Sean Bergman
- Dave Eiland
- Justin Germano
- Kevin Jarvis
- Bobby Jones
- Brian Meadows
- Paul Menhart
- Chan Ho Park
- Adam Peterson
- Pete Smith
- Stan Spencer
- Mike Thompson
- Brett Tomko
- Ismael Valdez
Don’t stress; there are no wrong answers…
Jim Edmonds? He stinks when you pay him $8 million but suddenly finds the fountain of youth when you pay him league minimum? What a dork.
Still, I feel good this morning. You know why? Because last night I dreamed that the Padres had traded Adrian Gonzalez for Matt Herges. Is Herges still playing baseball?
Anyway, the point is that it’s possible to remain optimistic about the Padres. You may have to go to extraordinary lengths to achieve that state, but a little delusion never hurt anyone, right?