Everth Has No Power: He Never Got the Memo

The people who say Everth Cabrera has zero power are the same ones who haven’t seen him bat. He drove the ball hard twice in Tuesday night’s 6-3 victory over Arizona, knocking a two-run double off the left-center field fence in the second and a two-run triple to the gap in right-center in the sixth.

My favorite part of Cabrera’s night had nothing to do with power. This takes a while to set up, but bear with me; it involves grit and is totally worth the time.

In the bottom of the seventh, with the bases loaded and one out, and the Padres up, 5-1, Stephen Drew squibbed a weak grounder toward shortstop. Tony Abreu, running from second, had to jump over the ball, screening Cabrera, who still fielded it cleanly and made a strong throw to first to retire Drew. Unfortunately, Cabrera rolled his right ankle while planting to make the throw. The trainer examined Cabrera, who flexed his leg a bit and ultimately stayed in the game.

In the eighth, Cabrera collected his third hit of the night, a bloop single to center. As he took his lead from first, the ankle appeared to be still bothering him. Pitcher Esmerling Vasquez threw over, and Cabrera snuck in just behind the tag of Adam LaRoche. Cabrera called time and flexed his leg a bit more, then took another aggressive lead, which drew another throw. And another. Then Cabrera swiped second.

He was stranded there, so the base didn’t matter. Still, that was fun to watch.

* * *

Chase Headley committed his second error at third base in as many games, had trouble getting the ball out of his glove on a grounder off the bat of Drew in the first. Headley is on pace for 162 errors this year. I love when people say stuff like that… as if…

Headley made a few nice plays later in the contest. Of all the things to worry about in this world, Headley’s defense at third is way down my list. He’ll be fine.

* * *

Chris Young turned in a vintage performance. One hit in six innings, 86 pitches. Nobody will ever accuse Young of being efficient, but if he keeps limiting the opposition to one hit, nobody will care.

The bullpen livened up what had been an agreeable walk through the park. Luke Gregerson couldn’t locate his pitches and suffered for it. Left-hander Cesar Ramos, whose inclusion on the Opening Day roster baffles me beyond words, actually made a nice pitch to Drew on the ball where Cabrera rolled his ankle. If Drew had made better contact, Ramos might have gotten out of the inning with a double play.

Thank goodness for Mike Adams and Heath Bell, who quickly restored order. What a luxury it is to have those guys at the back end.

* * *

For the second straight night, I missed Adrian Gonzalez’s ninth-inning homer. I heard it on the radio, as I was driving to pick up Mrs. Ducksnorts on my way back from two events that I’ll discuss in a separate post. I have yet to see Adrian go yard this year. Has he been traded yet? I wish someone would keep me in the loop on these things.

* * *

After two games, the Padres are at .500. You could say they aren’t half bad. It would be a stupid thing to say, but you could do it.

What more analysis can I offer? The Padres looked bad losing on Opening Day. They looked good winning in Game 2. That’s kind of how it works.

Tagged as: , , , , , , , , , , ,

4 Responses »

  1. Good thoughts and analysis. Some of mine from the game:

    I’m still concerned about Chris Young. His velocity is still at the level it was when he was getting smacked around last year, and his control comes and goes like always. He didn’t have the feel for his offspeed pitches until the very end when he K-ed LaRoche and Reynolds. It was a good start, but I don’t know how repeatable it is.

    Gregerson’s slider was not sharp, and he couldn’t locate it at all. Hopefully he can make an adjustment and sharpen that up.

    Other than that, great game all around. What I love about baseball is, even if the Padres are terrible, I’ll still get to bask in the glow of a win like this 65 times this year.

  2. Heath Bell is on pace for a record 81 saves!

    Oh yeah, and thanks for the cool narrative of Everth’s SB. I saw highlights of his two blasts, but the SB story is even better!

  3. As far as not getting the memo goes, did you see how close in Arizona’s outfielders were playing on both of Cabrera’s drives? I’d say they get better memos than the rest of us. I’d say they get major league memos and that those memos told them to play Cabrera close to the infield. Perhaps the pop in Everth’s bat yesterday was an aberration. Which it will be until it repeatedly shows up. If it does, we will no doubt see a flood of stories about the shortstop’s off-season strength-conditioning program.

  4. @Ben: Thanks for the additional insights.

    @Pat: A day later, Bell’s pace is down to 54 saves. What’s a guy to do?

    @John: Good call; they were playing very shallow. On the triple, their Chris Young had to run forever to get that ball. Cabrera showed some pop last year but the Diamondbacks seem to have forgotten that.