Dropping two out of three to the Diamondbacks in Arizona over the weekend wasn’t part of the plan. On the bright side, the Giants did the same in Atlanta (and but for the left side of the Braves infield forgetting how to play defense in the ninth inning on Friday, the Giants would have been swept) so the Padres gave no ground.
Meanwhile, in the wake of his team’s poor showing in Atlanta, Giants left-hander Jonathan Sanchez provided a Padres team that seems to have lost focus with some excellent bulletin-board fodder:
We are going to make the playoffs. San Diego has been winning series all year. But we’re going to play San Diego now, and we’re going to beat them three times. If we get to first place, we’re not going to look back.
Kids say the darndest things. Aren’t they cute?
As for the weekend in Phoenix, the Padres gave an excellent reminder on the limitations of Pythagorean records by outscoring the Diamondbacks, 16-9, and losing the series. The Padres dropped one-run games on Friday and Saturday before busting out on Sunday with 10 runs for the man who least needs the support.
Mat Latos was, as has become his custom, brilliant. He battled wildness early but finished with six shutout innings. I shouldn’t do stuff like this, but I can’t resist. Here are the records of three high-profile Padres pitchers at age 22, through 31 career starts:
Player GS IP ERA H/9 HR/9 BB/9 K/9 W-L Mat Latos 31 180.1 2.99 6.64 0.95 3.09 8.18 16-10 Jake Peavy 31 184.0 4.55 9.24 1.27 3.57 7.97 11-12 Andy Benes 31 192.0 3.66 7.50 0.89 3.70 7.73 13-11
Act cool, like I didn’t say anything. I will try to wipe the smile off my face.
The only downside is that Ernesto Frieri finally allowed a run. Still, gotta love that 16.8 K/9.
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On Saturday, we caught the Storm/JetHawks game at Lake Elsinore. Left-hander Rob Musgrave (speaking of nice K/9) made his first start of the season after 44 relief appearances and worked five scoreless frames, fanning eight in the process. He allowed just one hit, and guys did not look at all comfortable batting against him.
The same couldn’t be said of reliever Noah Mull, who allowed all seven runs (four earned) in a disastrous sixth that saw him retire just two of the nine batters he faced. Jaff Decker had some nice at-bats (he is now hitting .249/.351/.453 on the season, including .289/.415/.553 since the All-Star break).
Speaking of guys who have heated up, Allan Dykstra hit a monster home run to dead center. Dykstra is at .233/.375/.433 for the year (.266/.425/.548 since the break).
The real star of the show, though, was Beer Fest. I am not a promotions kind of guy — I go to games for the baseball — but the Storm did a great job putting this together. For $11, we got to sit behind the home dugout and quaff 5-ounce samples of 10 different microbrews. There was also a hat giveaway… the phrase “obscene value” comes to mind.
Anyway, kudos to the Storm for a job well done. A night at The Diamond is always fun. This night was spectacular… except for the loss, of course.
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The Pirates are in town for three. Wade LeBlanc starts the opener
Monday night. As reader LynchMob pointed out, the Padres are 2-6 in his last eight starts. As I pointed out, they have scored a total of 20 runs for him in those starts. Local product Jeff Karstens, against whom the Padres enjoyed considerable success in Pittsburgh, goes for the Bucs.
With a 10-game road trip coming up, the Padres need to win this series. Actually, unless they want to make Sanchez look like the genius he knows he is, they need to win them all… especially against the lousy teams.