Less Is Less

I’ve run out of words to describe the ineptitude of the Padres offense. Well, words that I care to use in decent company.

Here’s how they fared while being swept at Petco Park by the Phillies:

4 145 133 3 22  3  1  0   3 11 39 .165 .229 .203

Brad Hawpe? I can’t even pick on the guy anymore; it’s like making fun of someone with a speech impediment. He is hitting .098/.145/.118, has struck out in 40% of his plate appearances, and is testing the cliche that anyone with a bat in his hands is dangerous.

He makes me miss Jim Edmonds. Heck, he makes me miss Donaldo Mendez.

We made it to Saturday night’s offensive explosion. The Padres started strong, but after scoring a run in the first (and receiving a sarcastic standing ovation for not getting shut out like they had the previous two games), they put runners at second and third with one out and left them there.

Our pal (and USD alum) Steve Poltz performed the national anthem. That was the game’s highlight (or as Tom Krasovic called it, the series’ highlight).

Another USD alum, first base umpire Mike DiMuro, played a pivotal role in the outcome. In the sixth, with the Padres clinging to a 2-1 lead, DiMuro initially ruled that a ball hit by Philadelphia’s Pete Orr was foul but then reversed his decision, resulting in a double for Orr. He later scored the tying run on a Jimmy Rollins single… Then other stuff happened and the Phillies won.

To be perfectly clear, DiMuro had nothing to do with the Padres’ inability to hit. A call like that, whether right or wrong (couldn’t tell from my seat), shouldn’t make a difference when you’re getting the kind of pitching the Padres have been getting.

On Sunday, in what David Schoenfield rightly called a mismatch, the Padres scored a run against Roy Halladay in the ninth. As I wondered on Twitter, “Does Halladay get fined for allowing a run to the Padres?” It was mostly facetious, but a part of me thinks that maybe he should…

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16 Responses »

  1. Geoff – You know how I feel about Hawpe (from twitter), so I’d be very disappointed if you stopped harassing him. I mean, “Hawpe Just Blows” from the other day is just classic. :)

    Did you know the Padres are 30th (dead last) in runs, batting average and slugging percentage? Of course you did. I say we just ship everyone but the pitchers, Nick Hundley and Chase Headley down to Tucson and bring up the AAA team. Couldn’t get worse, right? We’re 30th already.

    Oh…padres have struck out about 25% of their at bats. Hawpe closer to 45%. I was hoping Easter would resurrect the Padres bats, but I think we’d have to crucify someone first (guess who I pick)

  2. We keep saying “it can’t get worse” year after year, and damn if it doesn’t often get worse.

    Hoyer’s toughest job may be timing future minor league promotions so they stand a decent chance of helping the major league club without putting the prospects at too much risk.

  3. When I see players with track records of success come to the Padres and develop holes in their swings that weren’t there before, something’s wrong. I don’t want to pull an Alderson and say “fire the hitting coach”, but awareness of the players’ individual hitting zone and focus on pitch selection is non-existent. Maybe all that bunting threw them off? Randy and Bud need to call extra batting practice and stress focusing on the hitting zone. Then maybe we’ll see some major-league discipline in Padres’ at-bats.

  4. @Larry

    Sometimes it’s just age and skills, though. The Yankees have had the same batting coach for the last 5 years, but he can’t turn back the clock for Jeter and Posada.

    If it was the coach, wouldn’t we see guys like Hundley, Headley, and Maybin struggling, too? It’s a very small sample, but Maybin seems to have closed at least one hole in his swing. The whole team seems to have a decent walk rate, 2nd in the NL, 5th in MLB. The K rate is high, too, but what really jumps out is the ISO. It like most of the team is hitting with steamed celery sticks.

  5. Personally I think part of the offensive struggle is because of how Bud Black manages the game. Not many other teams have infields and outfields by committee. In the 22 games they’ve played they’ve had 5 different leadoff hitters. Set a lineup and let the players get in their reps.

    He acts like he looks at the percentages, but he would pull Gwynn Jr vs lefties last year despite the fact that he was batting .325 vs them. Let the starters play. Patterson is a career .212 hitter, is there really a reason for him to start?

    You can’t manage players out of a slump, switching around a lineup of people who aren’t hitting isn’t going to magically make them hit. Pick a starting 8 and stick with it, like most of the winning teams have.

  6. Should I feel dirty for piling on Hawpe?


    Hopefully noticing the GY and Ducksnorts references in the article make up for further Hawpe talk.

  7. Tom-

    I agree. Start by dropping Hawpe and bringing up Rizzo. They need to make a statement and see if Rizzo can inject some life into the lineup. Anyone still hitting south of .220 after May should also be traded/cut/demoted.

  8. I’ve found the answer! The Padres’ offensive woes are all due to the “Year of the Pitcher II”:


    Oh wait – that doesn’t explain whey they’re dead last in any of the categories requiring that the ball meets the bat.

    Maybe MLB will pass a special “Padres” rule and allow them to use cricket bats.

  9. TW: That is true on Maybin. Let’s stay positive and focus on him. A past criticism of Maybin was that he hit too many groundballs to hit for the power needed to overcome his strikeouts. He has fixed that so far this year (with the help of the hitting coach?)- hitting fly balls on 43% of balls in play against a career mark of 33%. Thus he has a .221 ISO this year versus his career .144 mark. If he can keep up that level of power, he can be a plus hitter even if he keeps striking out 27% of the time like he has this year.

  10. Here’s some good news … you gotta like a BA article that starts with this …


    If you were faced with the question of which team’s hitting prospects has had the best April, you might want to answer the Padres.

  11. I don’t know if it is just me, but this year several of the hitters seem to be taking the first pitch, especially Hawpe, Ludwick, Venable, and Cantu. They are taking what look on TV like a lot of hittable first pitches, then often swinging at second pitches that are off the plate; so it’s 0 and 2 and they are trying to stay alive instead of be aggressive.
    Maybin, Hudson, Denorfia, and a couple of other guys look aggressive at the plate. Cantu looks like he is psyched by Petco, Ludwick and Venable are streak hitters (I guess, still waiting to see a Ludwick streak), and Hawpe looks like he is pressing. I don’t know if bringing up Rizzo is going to turn around a team with five holes in its order and a .200 batting average; it puts a lot more pressure on the kid.

  12. So, Moseley gave up 3 runs and the team won. He should have done that earlier.

    The good news is that the last two hits by the Padres drove in runs, the bad news is that they were 5+ innings apart.

    Hawpe sucks…again!

  13. @Frank … does one game count as a “streak”? :-)


  14. Here’s a reference from a few years past, but Jake Blackwood is the new Adam Bass.