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Garland Arrives in Style, Everyone Speculates about Gonzalez

It was nice of Jon Garland to finally arrive at the party. Sure, the ERA has been pretty, but that’s mostly because he keeps putting his defense to sleep.

I fell asleep a few times during Tuesday’s victory over the Marlins, although Garland isn’t to blame (I’m fighting a little bug, nothing serious). He pitched a terrific game.

It didn’t start out that way. Garland needed 30 pitches to get through the first inning and took the count full against five of the first seven batters he faced. But his pitches were moving and eventually he settled down to work six strong innings and tie a career high with 10 strikeouts.

Garland grew increasingly efficient as the game progressed:

Inn Pit
1st  30
2nd  19
3rd  15
4th  12
5th  10
6th  19

Well, not the sixth, but you get the point. Actually, Garland may have done his best work in the sixth. After allowing leadoff singles to Cameron Maybin and Chris Coghlan, he induced the dangerous Hanley Ramirez to rap into a 4-6-3 double play. Maybin scored from third, but the rally was over. Garland fanned Jorge Cantu to end the inning without further damage.

Luke Gregerson was his usual dominant self on the mound. He struck out the side in the seventh, allowing only a bloop single to Gaby Sanchez on one of the most defensive swings you’ll ever see. Dick Enberg described it as “blocking” the ball. Sanchez’s hit snapped a string of 26 straight batters retired by Gregerson.

Mike Adams rebounded from his recent implosion in Cincinnati to set down the Marlins in order in the eighth. Heath Bell, thrust into an “easy save” situation, made things interesting at the end. After Ramirez and Cantu led off the ninth with singles, Dan Uggla crushed a ball to deepest center field for the first out. John Baker then struck out, bringing up Sanchez, who hit a sinking liner to right that had extra bases written all over it until Will Venable came flying in to make a spectacular diving catch to end the game.

Offensively, the win was a team effort. Every position player in the starting lineup recorded at least one hit, with David Eckstein (3-for-5), Adrian Gonzalez (2-for-5), and Tony Gwynn Jr. (2-for-2, 2 BB, 2 SB) pacing the attack.

Speaking of Gonzalez, everyone and their mother is talking about the Ryan Howard contract extension and how it will impact Gonzalez.

My take? This doesn’t change much. Gonzalez already was going to break the bank on the open market; the Howard extension may provide him and his agent, John Boggs, with another data point to reference when negotiating, but the numbers would be mind-boggling either way. As for the Padres, their chances of re-signing Gonzalez go from microscopic to — wait for it — microscopic.

Seriously, am I the only one who finds the whole “Gonzalez’s future” thing a complete non-story? Either he stays or he goes; when something happens, it becomes a story, but until then, I’d rather watch ballgames. Maybe that’s just me, though.

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8 Responses »

  1. But would Adrian do well in a big, media intensive market? Not sure. It’s great seeing the Pads in first place and nice of CNN/Sports to place at the top of the standings even though we are really tied with the Giants. Wonder how they determine that, alphabetical order? Maybe head to head record. Sheet, I see its game time.

  2. Way to go, Luke! On and off the field!

  3. “The Mike Hargrove” worked with a little pace yesterday. Not half bad.

    I’m disappointed in the Howard extension. I’d like to think that there is a microscopic chance to keep him but there doesn’t seem to be. Adrian adds some legitimacy to the organization and gives those outside of SD a reason to mention us in the debate… unfortunately the debate really just revolves around AG being dealt. Hey, it’s something.

  4. Interestingly, the Padres have had only 2 winning April from 2000-2009, 14-12 in 2002 (a losing season), and 15-9 when Petco Park opened in 2004 (a winning season).

    Just goes to show us winning in April is nice but it doesn’t predict the rest of the season.

  5. Well, since you brought up Adrian, what’s your take on the near-unanimous conclusion that the Phillies made a huge mistake, and the speculation on what it means for Adrian? Does the left brain not know what the right brain is thinking?

    Also, John Boggs is taking a hardline pre-negotiating stance in his public comments (no hometown discount, “Teixeira money” if a free agent, etc.). He never did that when dealing with Towers. Do you think the fact that Moorad is a former players’ agent is the reason?

  6. Nah, Geoff, I’m with you; I’d much rather watch a ballgame than speculate about Adrian’s future. Speaking of ballgames, the pen did a nice job of relieving Correia and the team picked up another win. Not bad.

  7. I know it’s only the end of April, but I love how this team has gotten off to a great start. First place, a .600+ record, great starting pitching, a six-game lead on the Dodgers, plenty of hot bats, a lights out bullpen…

    It may be too good to last, but I’ll enjoy it while I can. We could not have gotten a better April.

  8. @Larry: I haven’t looked too closely, but my suspicion is that the negative reaction is overblown. It may not be an optimal contract, but this isn’t Mike Hampton/Barry Zito territory… not even close.

    As to what it means for Adrian, I have no idea. The best I can figure, Howard’s signing gives Boggs another data point when it comes time to talk money. Then again, they were already going to get big bucks and it almost certainly wasn’t going to come from the Padres.

    My guess is that teams interested in courting Adrian will start preparing “evidence” for why he isn’t worth as much as Howard. Whether they will succeed in convincing Boggs and his client to lower their asking price probably depends more on the market than anything else, and one never knows how markets will unfold.