It went down like this on Tuesday:
Zach said in the comments: “Why does Buddy [Black] hate Aaron Cunningham? And I’m pretty sure the Will Venable experiment should be over. I’ll always treasure those two months in 2009 when he looked like a major leaguer.”
I replied: “Not that I mind seeing Cunningham get a look, but check out his and Venable’s 2010 stats so far:
Venable MLB: 202 PA, .227/.297/.370
Cunningham AAA: 201 PA, .239/.307/.383
He hasn’t been killing the ball at Portland.”
Cunningham then said: “Shut up.”
Game. Set. Match.
* * *
The pitch Cunningham hit for the grand slam was a change-up down and away. Brett Cecil caught too much plate, but Cunningham did a nice job of staying back on the ball and… you know, it takes some upper body strength to hit one out to center field at Petco Park using mostly arms. I didn’t think the ball had a chance to leave the yard when he hit it.
Cunningham doubled to right-center later in the game. Not bad for the “other” guy acquired in the Kevin Kouzmanoff/Scott Hairston deal.
* * *
I’m not sure what Chase Headley’s problem is at the plate (anecdotally, it seems like he’s lunging at a lot of off-speed stuff), but he is playing a terrific third base. He started a sweet 5-2-3 double play with the bases loaded and nobody out in the first inning of Saturday’s contest against the Mariners that changed the entire complexion of the game. On Tuesday night, he made a diving stop of a shot off the bat of John Buck that lacked the impact of Saturday’s play but not the impressiveness.
* * *
Mat Latos pitched another gem. He needed just 93 pitches to work 6 2/3 innings. The only trouble came with two out in the fourth, when he gave up a double to Adam Lind, plunked Vernon Wells on a 1-2 fastball, and allowed consecutive singles to Alex Gonzalez and Lyle Overbay that brought home Toronto’s only two runs of the night. Latos needed 26 pitches to get through that inning. Otherwise, he was the picture of efficiency. Or should I say pitcher?
* * *
David Eckstein is ready for the U.S. Open. He’s got the pitching wedge working big time.
* * *
It was great to see so many fans out at the game, supporting the home team. The Padres, owners of the National League’s best record, drew 15,266 for this one but it felt like at least 16,000. I got to wondering how many of those fans are of the bandwagon variety. I tried to work it out on the back of an envelope and got a divide-by-zero error.
Forget being proud of our city’s team, I’m proud of our city’s team’s fans. Way to represent.