That Went Well

As weekend plans go, I can think of better ones than getting swept at home by the Phillies. One that immediately leaps to mind is not getting swept at home by the Phillies.

I wish they hadn’t gotten so thoroughly trounced by the Astros before coming to San Diego. I can live with an opponent having talent or motivation, but both is too much.

On the bright side, the Padres lost only one game in the standings thanks to the Giants dropping two out of three at home to Arizona. More troublesome is the fact that the Rockies, as they will do, are still lingering.

Sure, they’re eight games back with 32 to go, but as we learned in 2007, they don’t need much room to operate. The Rockies were 6 1/2 back with 13 to go that year and it didn’t present a problem for them.

This is a different team, of course, and a different year. Still, with Carlos Gonzalez hitting everything in sight, Troy Tulowitzki healthy, and even old guys like Todd Helton and Melvin Mora making contributions, the Rockies concern me. But I remind myself that they are 19-22 since the All-Star break and it helps… until I remind myself that past performance is no guarantee of future results.

I’m not comfortable with these other teams lingering. They should go away already.

* * *

On another note, how are the Padres winning despite getting nothing from their leadoff hitters this year? They rank dead last in MLB in OPS out of the #1 spot and are hitting .220/.295/.293. That’s like a whole lot of… well, there aren’t any contemporary names. I guess Roger Metzger would be the closest fit, although he’s been retired for 30 years.

Rabbit Warstler? Okay, the Padres are getting Rabbit-like production out of the leadoff spot. I wouldn’t mind rabbit-like production, but Rabbit-like production isn’t working for me.

The Padres had this problem last year as well. Their leadoff hitters hit .238/.318/.357 in 2009, worse than every other team in MLB except the Cincinnati Reds. The last time the Padres got good production out of the #1 spot was 2008, when they hit .290/.358/.499. That team lost 99 games, so who knows?

Here are the five worst performances (by OPS) from the leadoff spot since 2000:

Year Team OPS  W-L
2001 Bal  587 63-98
2002 KC   588 62-100
2001 Pit  606 62-100
2003 Det  607 43-119
2001 KC   613 65-97
2008 Oak  613 75-86

I don’t know about you, but that’s not the most inspiring table I’ve seen this morning.

* * *

My comments for this week’s ESPN Power Rankings may shock and amaze you: “Chris Denorfia is hitting .315/.389/.604 and has as many home runs (seven) as Matt Holliday and Alex Rodriguez since the All-Star break.” They shocked and amazed me, but I probably have lower standards than you.

* * *

Well, that wasn’t much of a pick-me-up. I should have bought flowers, eh?

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7 Responses »

  1. There’s some comfort to be drawn from the first two games. An inch difference in Game 1, Rollins is out. If Hoffman doesn’t send Hundley to be thrown out at home by a kilometer in the 5th, who knows what might have happened. Maybe we don’t score anyway, but Eckstein’s bullet went right at a CF playing rover depth. Or if Denorfia doesn’t play Victorino’s hit into a triple, the missed double play doesn’t score Victorino later. If Tejada is more aggressive going after Sweeney’s grounder, Eck doesn’t get hung out and maybe we turn two anyway. We still could have lost 2-1, but those first two games were neck and neck. Yesterday was just ugly down to the bone.

    Black must be agonizing about what to do with Scott Hairston. 2 fer August. He stuck with Headley from the right side and Chase eventually rewarded him, but if you don’t get Cunningham up before Wednesday, and Hairston continues to not-hit, then you’d have to pull some DL shenanigans to get Cunningham on the playoff roster.

  2. Magic Number = 28

  3. Is it time to try Durango in the leadoff spot? Or is it time for him to regress to his mean?

    BTW, his throw from CF to the plate to beat Rollins on Friday night was sweet … only got beat by a *really* good slide.

    TW – I don’t think Denorfia played Victorino’s hit into a triple … I thought that initially, then I watched the replay and that ball was a bullet that wasn’t going to get cut off. I’m not a fan of Denorfia’s defense, but I don’t think TG Jr keeps Victorino to a double there … whereas it does seem like I’ve seen several other highlights this season where I felt like TG Jr presence in CF would have made a differnce …

  4. The worst part was being outnumbered so badly by Phillies fans in our own house. I am really going to give to all the season ticket holders around me who sold their tickets to Phillies fans instead of supporting their first place team. Websoulsurfer may have gone a little for in calling the turnout of Padres fans pathetic, but he is not far off the mark.

  5. I don’t know how Sweeney managed to hit that HR to LF. That was a good pitch from Clayton. Wow.

    Is it possible for the Padres to score minus runs? The Phillies reduced the Padres’ runs from 2 on Friday to 1 to 0 on Sunday.

    Hamels went 3-2 to six different batters without putting them on base yesterday so it’s not like the Padres weren’t making him work. However, there were a couple innings where the hitters helped him with low pitch counts as well.

    Frustrating series but it’s not the playoffs yet so the Padres still get to play more games.

    Could this be the start of the slide that people have been waiting for all season? Oh, no!

  6. The trick is to win these games in October. If you had said even a month ago that the Padres would be in this position, I would have skeptically agreed. Now all they have to do is make it to October without the old historic collapse thing happening.

  7. Looks like I picked the wrong week to stop drinking, smoking, sniffing glue, and taking amphetamines.


    That’s possible, but if he’d taken a route back on the ball (like Werth did in the same game), instead of going directly at it, then he’s got a shot. The dive was neither here not there, it was the path before that sealed his fate. Victorino’s awfully fast, though. He might have made it anyway.