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I’d Like to Be You for a Day

What’s up with Jerry Hairston Jr.? The guy is hitting .225/.268/.271 with zero homers in 141 PA when the Cardinals come to town. Next thing you know, he’s got back-to-back game-winning jacks. I thought the other Hairston did that sort of thing. It’s like he borrowed Scott’s mojo:

Jerry: Hey bro, I’m kind of sucking right now. Since you’re hurt and can’t use your mojo, I thought maybe… you know, you could hook me up or whatever.

Scott: Hey, it’s like Dave Matthews says… actually, I can’t think of a Dave Matthews quote, but Dave Matthews is awesome, right?

Jerry: Uh, right. So… the mojo?

Scott: Sure, here you go. Dave Matthews.

Jerry: You’re weird.

Then it’s boom, boom, out go the Cards.

Both homers just cleared the fence. I didn’t think the one on Wednesday had a chance, but maybe I was jaded by Will Venable’s drive the previous night.

Other thoughts:

  • The Cardinals may be the worst base running team in baseball. Granted, I haven’t seen every team, but those guys repeatedly ran themselves out of innings on Wednesday. My favorite was the good ol’ 4-2-6 double play Skip Schumaker hit into against Ryan Webb with runners at the corners and no out in the 11th. First off, what the heck is Yadier Molina thinking? Second, check out Hairston sprinting to cover third base on the play. There’s no excusing Molina’s decision to try for the extra base (not that he needs to excuse himself; I’ve already forgiven/thanked him), but the more I watch the replay, the more impressed I am with Hairston’s actions. He starts toward second, but the moment David Eckstein throws home, Hairston moves toward third (vacated by Chase Headley, who is preparing to engage Colby Rasmus in a rundown) in anticipation of a possible play.
  • Speaking of Headley, he does everything right on the play, so I’m not picking on him, but he’s hilarious in the video. He never touches the ball and spends most of the time bouncing around, pointing at stuff. He looks like a kid making his first trip to Disneyland who can’t decide which ride to go on first.
  • Mad props to Chris Denorfia for tagging up and taking second on a failed sacrifice bunt attempt by Venable in the ninth. Former Padres farmhand David Freese made a nice running catch on the foul popup, but his momentum put him in an awkward position and Denorfia alertly took the extra base. Tom Krasovic likens Denorfia to ex-Padre Eric Owens, and not just because both players were drafted by the Cincinnati Reds.
  • Luis Durango is fun to watch — dude makes routine grounders anything but routine, and seeing him fly past Albert Pujols on the bunt he beat out for a base hit in the fifth was something — but he is a bit scary in the outfield. His decision to try for a sliding catch on Schumaker’s soft line drive in the ninth cost Heath Bell a save and nearly cost his team even more. With a one-run lead in the ninth, you cannot let the ball get past you. First-base coach Rick Renteria talked to Durango about it after the inning; here’s hoping the kid listened.
  • Edward Mujica gave up a very long fly ball to Pujols to end the 12th. Pujols thought he hit it out, but the ball barely reached the warning track in dead center. The look on his face was brilliant. It said: “What kind of ballpark lets a pitcher get away with that?” It’s okay, Albert; you’ll be back in the NL Central parks soon. Mujica, meanwhile, is using Petco Park to his maximum advantage. He is holding opposing batters to a .154/.185/.327 line at home, versus .290/.313/.710 on the road (he exhibited similar, albeit less extreme, splits last year). Bud Black seems to have noticed, as Mujica has worked nearly twice as many innings at home.
  • For the second straight night, fewer than 20,000 saw the first place Padres take down a strong St. Louis team. We are advised that winning cures everything, but reality has other ideas. The Padres are still down more than 1700 per game this year versus last. Even that is an improvement from a few weeks ago, before the Dodgers brought their fans into town for a three-game sweep.

I feel like I’m missing something. Oh well, I usually feel that way. Wade LeBlanc looks to rebound from last weekend’s debacle in Seattle as the Padres go for the sweep on Thursday afternoon.

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7 Responses »

  1. Yes, Durango misplayed that single that ended up being the tying run but he also had an assist in the first inning.

    Overall, the defense came through once again to back up the pitching. What a couple of heads-up plays by El Hombre and Jerry Jr. to shorten the innings.

    Let’s hope the offense will heat up as summer is here.

  2. There is always a lag with attendance. Many of the tickets were bought either before the season began, or a month ago. The reverse lag happened in 2008. Attendance held up at first, then the no shows began, then eventually ticket sales dropped way off.
    I can still remember Tim Sullivan writing a column claiming that Petco was still packing them in despite the Padres poor record.

  3. As inexcusable as it was for Durango to misplay that ball, it didn’t cost Heath the save. Even if he kept it a single, there were two more hits after that and the Cardinals would have tied it up regardless.

    Boy, has Bell been unlucky this year or what? All the stuff under his control is the same or better than last year–he’s striking out more (12 K/9 vs. 10.21), walking fewer (3 BB/9 vs. 3.10), giving up about the same rate of homers (0.43 HR/9 vs. 0.39), and getting more ground balls (50.9 GB% vs. 48%).

    But hits are falling in on balls in play just over 40% of the time! That’s insane, and the reason why it seems he can never get a 1-2-3 inning. Hopefully that will even out as the season goes on.

  4. By the by, that Jaime Garcia was pretty good.

    Luis Durango is officially the most exciting player on the Padres. He rates 80 on the excitement quotient (20-80). One just never knows which way the result is going to be.
    Notice how shallow the Cards OFs are playing him. They do a similar thing with Headley, too, though not as much.

  5. The Cards had two singles after Durango’s mishap in the 9th, though, and likely would have tied up the game anyway.

    As soon as they tied it in the ninth I figured the game would go to 400 innings the way both teams have decided to score minimally.

  6. I hope Padres management isn’t counting on improved attendance this year. When last season ended, the county unemploment rate was 10%. It was 11% in March and dropped to “just” 10.4% for April. That’s about 70,000 fewer payroll jobs than the 2008 average. There are a lot of independent electricians, plumbers and carpenters who had more work than they could handle two years ago, just getting by now. Even Jerry Coleman and Mark Neely had their hours reduced!

    The fan base is just as strong as always, and I’ve noticed the Padres’ hot start being talked about everywhere. In this economic climate, they just can’t afford to attend games. The attendance figures measure only how tough times are, not the popularity of the team. I hope Padres management realizes that. Even winning can’t get people to spend money they don’t have.