I missed most of Saturday’s win against the Rockies. Caught the first few innings while driving to Elsinore, then heard Heath Bell’s high-wire act in the 14th. Watched a little of the rebroadcast on Channel 4 when I got home.
It will shock you to learn that I have some thoughts on the game anyway:
- Mat Latos served up three homers in six innings. I didn’t see the other two, but the one he surrendered to Brad Hawpe in the fourth was a joke. That pitch coupled with that swing produces an out in any other ballpark. If Latos keeps doing what he did right there, he’ll be okay.
- Speaking of Latos, he issued zero walks. He threw two-thirds of his 84 pitches for strikes, and went to three three-ball counts on the night (Todd Helton grounded out to second on a 3-2 pitch in the third; Chris Iannetta flied out to left on a 3-1 pitch in the fourth; Troy Tulowitzki grounded out to third on a 3-1 pitch in the sixth). That’s the right approach at Coors Field… or most anywhere.
- How about the bullpen? Bud Black used six relievers in this one, and they pitched well: 8 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 8 K. Great to see Luke Gregerson and Edward Mujica bounce back from rough outings. Cesar Ramos, thrust into an unfamiliar role, fanned both batters he faced (Hawpe, Ian Stewart with the game tied in the ninth). Ducksnorts favorite Tim Stauffer worked three innings to notch the win.
- I’m down with the aggressive baserunning meme that permeated camp this spring, but the Padres need to be smarter out there. In the first, with Adrian Gonzalez at the plate and one out, Tony Gwynn Jr. got picked off second. In the fourth, with runners at the corners, one out, and a 3-1 count to Everth Cabrera, Nick Hundley fell for the third-to-first move. Cabrera followed with a run-scoring double that would have plated Hundley and kept the game from going into extra franes.
- Earlier that inning, Will Venable knocked a bases-loaded triple to left-center. I love watching him run the bases. Venable is going to outperform his projections this year. I keep vacillating on comps for him; my current favorite is former Padres outfielder Al Martin.
I was going to look at some stats, too, but it’s five games. They don’t mean much yet.