You may be wondering how the sad, sad Padres took a series from the big, bad Red Sox in their house. It’s simple, let me explain: I have no clue.
Boston’s starting pitchers played a critical role. They couldn’t throw strikes, which is handy because strikes tie up Padres hitters, who are better at working counts and getting on base.
Red Sox ace Josh Beckett picked a great time to get sick. We all owe him a debt of gratitude. Gift cards are nice…
Not that San Diego’s moundsmen were great (far from it), but at least they mostly found the plate and kept the ball in the park. Here are how both teams’ starters fared during the series:
Team IP H R ER HR BB K HBP WP Pit Str Str% SD 13.2 25 8 8 0 8 11 0 0 300 187 62.3 Bos 14.0 15 12 12 2 13 14 3 1 270 158 58.5
Boston’s big problem was stringing together a bunch of hits and not converting them into runs. I’m sure Adrian Gonzalez would appreciate the irony.
Gonzalez, as terrific players will do, had a terrific series. He went 4-for-4 in Wednesday afternoon’s contest and drove in his team’s lone run… or as he likes to call it, “just like the good ol’ days.” If only ownership would pony up and surround him with some hitters…
Amusingly, Gonzalez had a chance to drive in that run because Clayton Richard walked the previous two batters to get to him. This isn’t a strategy I would recommend, but it worked.
Meanwhile, in the completely unfair but obligatory comparisons department, here is how Gonzalez and Anthony Rizzo (little-known fact: Rizzo used to play in the Red Sox organization) did over the three games:
Player AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K Gonzo 14 3 8 1 0 0 5 0 3 Rizzo 11 2 2 2 0 0 1 1 3
Rizzo is now hitting .158/.347/.368 after 13 games. Small sample, but it’s becoming clear that folks who assured us he absolutely, positively belonged in the big leagues yesterday on the basis of 2 1/2 strong months in the PCL weren’t paying close enough attention.
Hello, adjustment period.
I actually don’t mind seeing Rizzo here, warts and all, because this team is headed nowhere and the decision makers might as well start evaluating potential long-term solutions in real time. But the way some people were talking about Rizzo… the idea that he would come up and dominate right away never made sense.
Enjoy the kid for what he is (a raw work-in-progress), look forward to what he might become (Adam LaRoche or maybe a little better), and remember that it takes time to get from Point A to Point B. Dude is 21 years old and being pushed hard in a situation where expectations are high.
Next up, three
in Atlanta over the weekend against a team that plays in the same league as the Padres. I will miss the DH… mostly when it is Alberto Gonzalez’s turn to bat…
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- Anthony Rizzo and the fewest hits for a career cycle (Baseball-Reference). Speaking of Rizzo…
- NL West: surprising showdown (Hardball Times). Steve Treder brings us up to speed on perhaps the least exciting divisional race in baseball.
- A place for very good in Cooperstown (Albany Times Union). Some former Padres get mentions here — Ozzie Smith, Fred McGriff, Reggie Sanders, Dick Williams… Bruce Markusen recaps the game.
- Petco Park Secret: “The Padres Cruise” (Gaslamp Ball). This has always baffled me. Now that I know, I’m sorry to see that it never materialized…
- Are teams smarter than they used to be? (SweetSpot). Eh, not really.
- With The Padres At Fenway: Vol. 1 (Padres, Chargers, Illini Blog). Ryan made it out to the first game of the recently concluded series and took lots of photos… second game, too…
- Prospect of the Day: Josh Spence, LHP, San Diego Padres (Minor League Ball). I meant to say something about this but got sidetracked by whatever the heck I was talking about earlier. The Padres drafted Spence out of Arizona State last year and here he is, after a whopping 71 1/3 minor-league innings. He’ll take Cory Luebke’s spot in the bullpen because Luebke is taking Wade LeBlanc’s spot in the rotation. So you can stop saying “Free Luebke” now… everyone thought you were talking about cars anyway: “Why would I need a lube key?” Ah, jokes are so much funnier when you take the time to explain them…
- Quick hits: Welcome back, Wily Mo! (Baseball-Reference). There goes Kevin Towers, swapping out one ex-Padre (Sean Burroughs) for another (Wily Mo Pena). Towers is doing something else in Arizona, too: winning.
- Hoping to fill some gaps in baseball (Boston Globe). Orlando Hudson is doing his part to get and keep young African-Americans interested in the game of baseball. [h/t reader Parlo]
- NEW BOOK ANNOUNCEMENT: The Definitive History of the Montreal Expos (Jonah Keri). Jonah has signed a new book deal. To be paid… to write books… JONAH KERI, I HATE YOU! Except I don’t, because he’s a cool dude… and the book will be awesome. Great, now I hate him even more…
- Gyorko, hurlers give Cal another win (MiLB.com). Lake Elsinore third baseman Jedd Gyorko went 2-for-4 with 2 RBI and made a nice defensive play. As Rick Sutcliffe would say, “Jedd, what are you still doing here?” [h/t reader PadresFuture]