Seat Belts Fastened, Tray Tables in Upright and Locked Position

The Padres, thanks to Wednesday’s 3-1 victory over the Dodgers, are back on top in the National League West for the first time since… whew, Saturday? Time flies.

Game o’ the Night

I can’t say enough good things about Tim Stauffer. He has done whatever was asked of him this year and done it well. I think I’ve mentioned this before, but to my way of thinking, Stauffer has become a viable mid- to long-term option in the rotation. His numbers since the start of 2009:

   IP  ERA ERA+  H/9 HR/9 BB/9  K/9
142.1 2.78 136  8.09 0.63 3.41 6.64

I’m down with that…

Miguel Tejada hit another bomb, this one off Ted Lilly. It was Tejada’s 300th career home run and pretty much the difference in the game. He now has eight homers for the Padres, good for seventh on the team. With the Hairston brothers not contributing much these days, it’s conceivable that Tejada could end up in the top five, which is sort of insane. I’ll admit, I didn’t see the point when Jed Hoyer went out and got him… now I understand…

In the eighth, with Rafael Furcal on first and two out, Mike Adams got ahead of Andre Ethier, 0-2. Ethier, who is one of the few Dodgers that makes me nervous when he’s at the plate, smoked the next pitch down the first base line but Adrian Gonzalez smothered it and fell on the bag to record the final out. The camera cut back to Ethier, who was visibly muttering… something about burritos, if I’m not mistaken.

Mrs. Ducksnorts remarked at how agile Gonzalez is at first base, and how incongruous that seems for a guy who has trouble scoring from third on a triple. I knew someone like that once. He was slow and awkward, but once he got onto a tennis court, he became an entirely different person. Weird…

I like that Heath Bell refers to himself as the Drama King. He went to 3-1 on the first two hitters he faced on Wednesday. James Loney bailed him out by hitting a soft line drive to left for the first out. Everything was up and in to Matt Kemp, who ended up drawing a walk. Bell struck out the next two batters to seal the victory. It seems to work for him, but speaking as a fan, I wouldn’t mind if Bell decided to become, say, the Drama Prince. He could still make things interesting, just maybe a little less so.

Results, Odds, Matchups

  • Ari 8, Col 4 – The Rockies scored all four of their runs in the first, Arizona chased Ubaldo Jimenez after four innings, and the bullpen (would you believe… Mike Hampton?) held for the second straight night. On another note, several people have mentioned that the Diamondbacks hired Kevin Towers as their general manager and asked for my reaction. Here it is: I was hoping they would choose someone less competent, but oh well. Best of luck to Towers; may his team finish second every year.
  • ChN 2, SF 0 – I wonder if Jonathan Sanchez saw that coming? Randy Wells got all the offense he needed from Kosuke Fukudome, who once was courted by the Padres. Now Fukudome is helping the cause on someone else’s dime… and by dime, I mean $13 million.
  • Phi 1, Atl 0 – Roy Oswalt and SuperFriends one-hit the Braves.

Here are the current playoff odds:

Tm   W-L  BPro Cool
Atl 86-67 73.0 74.9
SF  85-67 49.3 56.3
SD  85-66 68.0 61.9
Col 82-69  9.7  6.8

The Padres are up 19% from yesterday per Baseball Prospectus, 17% per Cool Standings. It’s going to be a bumpy ride from here on out, so get comfy…

And here are Thursday’s matchups:

  • SF @ ChN, Madison Bumgarner vs Ryan Dempster, 4:05 p.m. PT
  • Col @ Ari, Jeff Francis vs Ian Kennedy, 6:40 p.m. PT
  • SD @ LA, Mat Latos vs Hiroki Kuroda, 7:10 p.m. PT
  • Atl, Phi off

Go Padres, go Cubs, go Diamondbacks!