Another day, another thrashing of the Diamondbacks bullpen. I’m going to miss those guys. Here’s how the Padres won their weekend series against Arizona:
Starters IP H R ER HR BB K
SD 15.2 8 3 0 0 10 17Ari 17.0 11 2 2 1 11 11 Relievers IP H R ER HR BB K SD 11.1 4 2 2 1 0 14 Ari 7.2 12 14 13 2 9 4
As I said, I’m going to miss Arizona’s relief corps(e).
Wade LeBlanc started in place of the injured Chris Young on Sunday and pitched reasonably well. It’d be nice to see a starter make it through the sixth every now and then, but that’s hard to do when you work deep counts. LeBlanc faced 22 batters in his first big-league start of the season and went to three balls on nine of them, which is irritating.
Still, he finished with seven strikeouts. I know a lot of people don’t believe in LeBlanc, and I get that. The guy throws a ton of slop, but to my way of thinking, anyone who can put an 89-mph fastball past Justin Upton (as LeBlanc did to end his outing) has a chance.
Random thoughts from the game:
- Will Venable appears to be scuffling. Someone should check the data, but anecdotally it seems he hasn’t seen many fastballs since nearly hitting for the cycle in the home opener. Ian Kennedy had him lunging at off-speed stuff on Sunday. Venable seems like someone who is capable of making adjustments. Now would be a good time for him to do so.
- Kyle Blanks also hasn’t done much since last Monday, but one thing he has done is tighten his strike zone. He’s walked in four straight games, drawing six in that span against two strikeouts. Small sample, of course, but good to see.
- Can Scott Hairston hit a fastball up in his eyes, or what? Yes, yes he can. It was kind of cool to see his brother hit a ball in nearly the same spot four batters later to tie the game.
- Rita Mae Brown’s definition of insanity (often attributed to Albert Einstein) is “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” For the second time in less than 24 hours, with the game on the line, Arizona’s Juan Gutierrez walked Adrian Gonzalez intentionally to get to Chase Headley. As on Saturday, the result was three runs and a Padres victory.
- Speaking of Headley, and again bearing in mind the sample size, have you noticed that he isn’t striking out this year? Anything can happen in 52 plate appearances, but five strikeouts is nice. No, strikeouts aren’t evil; still, if there’s been one chink in Headley’s armor from an offensive standpoint, it’s an inability to make consistent contact. I continue to have a good feeling, supported by very little beyond intuition, about Headley in 2010.
That’s all for now. More as it happens…