I jinxed the Padres with the title of Sunday’s article. Because, you know, I have that kind of power. And this is the best use I can find for it. You’d think something of greater consequence might be in order, but no… I’m all about writing headlines that inspire their subject to negate said headlines. As powers go, it’s not much better than being able to predict ice cream headaches, but what can you do.
Dustin Moseley pitched a terrific game on Sunday. Who knew he could do that? Too bad Jaime Garcia pitched an even better game, keeping the Padres sweepless in St. Louis.
Garcia also got one great defensive play behind him that changed everything. In the top of the sixth, Ryan Ludwick dug in against the young southpaw with the bases loaded, one out, and the Padres trailing, 1-0. Here’s what happened next:
- Strike (foul)
- Strike (swinging)
- Ludwick lined into double play, to third; Moseley doubled off third
The thing is, Ludwick had a great at-bat and terrible luck. Both foul balls just missed being fair. Either would have driven in at least one run, probably more. And the ball he hit fair was smoked, but right at third baseman Daniel Descalso.
Wait, who? No clue. Heck, even the FOX announcers thought it was Chris Denorfia.
Anyway, Descalso snared Ludwick’s drive and then tagged third base before Moseley could retreat safely to the bag. So much for that.
Baserunners are taught to freeze on a line drive. That said, it’s hard to blame Moseley for the gaffe (although to his credit, he makes no excuses, calling it “a boneheaded move”): When he singled to right to lead off the inning, that marked the first time he’d ever reached first as a baserunner in the big leagues. It’s not like he’s had a lot of practice leading off third base.
A hit from Ludwick would have made up for his previous trip to the plate. With Orlando Hudson at third and one out in the fourth, Ludwick popped an 0-1 pitch to Albert Pujols at first base. Unfortunately, an infield fly is one of the few ways a hitter can make contact and fail to drive home a run in that situation.
Beyond those two chances, Garcia didn’t yield much. Some platitude about missed opportunities could go here, but I’m not the guy to write that. The Cardinals won the game, the Padres took the series, end of story.
The Padres are off Monday, then have their home opener Tuesday afternoon against the Giants. I look forward to seeing San Francisco’s “defense” in action. The strategy in this series will be to put as many balls into play as possible and hope they find their way toward the Giants’ fielders.
Big positive from the series: the Padres’ run-prevention, which is what this team will have to always have to rely on, appears to be in mid-season form. Allowing less than 3 runs per game on the road to that team is pretty impressive. Even without Holliday, Pujols and Rasmus aren’t anything to laugh about.
I was wondering what the Padres saw in Moseley. I didn’t know Black worked with him when he was pitching coach of the Angels. Maybe somebody should make a list of pitchers Black worked with in Anaheim so we’ll have a better idea which veteran the Padres might pick up. We should also plan on visiting Tucson if we want to see LeBlanc pitch, at least in the early part of the season.
OT … a Mitch Canham sighting in the A’s org …
OT … Kulbacki released …
… bummer … seems like talent derailed by injury.