A win? Huh, there’s a novel concept.
It was just like old times on Monday night, with the Padres doing the little things… strong pitching, strong defense, timely hitting. What more do you need? As strategies go, it beats hoping the Giants and Rockies keep losing.
To the bullet points:
- Tim Stauffer did a great job starting in place of Mat Latos (stomach flu) on short notice. Despite having thrown 13 pitches in relief on Sunday, Stauffer came out and gave the Padres four innings and left with a 3-1 lead. On another note, the Channel 4 broadcast had his fastball at 92-95 mph; I don’t know that I’ve ever seen him throw that hard. It’s early and there’s still plenty of 2010 left, but Stauffer has to get a serious look at next year’s rotation. He is finally looking like the pitcher the Padres thought they drafted.
- Luke Gregerson served up a homer to Scott Podsednik on an 0-2 pitch. Podsednik once went an entire season (2005, 568 PA) without hitting a single home run. No offense, Luke, but damn.
- Mike Adams deserved the win. I’m glad to see the official scorer made the right choice in giving it to him. Between getting Andre Ethier to chase a slider down and in to end the seventh, to making a crazy behind-the-back-throwing-from-a-siting-position play on Matt Kemp’s grounder up the middle, Adams took care of business when the Padres needed him most.
- Heath Bell looked a little pissed out on the mound. That’s good. We need him to be a little pissed. Those curve balls he threw to Jay Gibbons and Podsednik were all kinds of filthy.
- It’s good to see Nick Hundley come through when used. Thanks to Yorvit Torrealba’s surprising season, Hundley has become something of a forgotten man, but he delivered on offense and on defense Monday night. The home run was nice, but I also liked the way he smothered the pitch that fanned Gibbons and then threw to first for the out. So did Bell, who could be seen mouthing the words “thank you” to Hundley after the play.
- The run in the seventh was huge. After Gregerson coughed up his homer, the Padres came right back against erstwhile Dodgers closer Jonathan Broxton. Down in the count, Aaron Cunningham showed nice patience and drove a 1-2 fastball down the line in right to lead off the inning. Chris Denorfia, who gave a clinic on how not to bunt, did a great job getting on top of a 3-2 fastball from Broxton and pounding it to the right side, moving Cunningham to third. David Eckstein then — again with two strikes, and after having fouled off a couple tough pitches — flied to medium center, plating Cunningham with ease.
- Ryan Ludwick still looks lost at the plate. The “hit” was a ground ball to deep shortstop. I can’t believe the Miguel Tejada trade is working out so much better. Who knew he had anything left to offer and could still play a quasi-legitimate shortstop?
- I don’t mind that Matt Stairs is striking out in a third of his plate appearances, but I sure would like to see him go down swinging once in a while. Apparently he’s been caught looking just six times this season, but it sure seems like those all have come in the last two weeks.
Enough of my whining. A win is a win, and we’ll take it. Latos gives it another shot Tuesday night against southpaw Clayton Kershaw. That should be fun to watch… especially if it results in another victory for the home team.