Sweeps Week

The Padres got swept by the Twins in Minnesota this weekend. All three games were decided by one run, which would be fantastic news if teams played for runs rather than for wins.

Pitchers of record were Brian Duensing, Scott Baker, and Alex Burnett. I know, right? They now have 83 big-league victories among them (60 of those belong to Baker, who is sort of a better version of Adam Eaton).

Minnesota batters hit three home runs in the series. Danny Valencia (.218/.279/.351, 73 OPS+) knocked two and Alexi Casilla (.264/.327/.358, 90 OPS+) accounted for the other.

The Padres are now 0-6 in interleague play but figure to turn that around with a three-game set in Boston, where they face the American League’s best team. Anything but more Duensing, Baker, Burnett, Valencia, and Casilla. Those guys are beasts.

The Red Sox can be beaten. Adrian Gonzalez? David Ortiz? Kevin Youkilis? Josh Beckett? Morons!

You might wonder how I wrote that last paragraph with a straight face. Easy: I didn’t write it with my face at all…

As I’ve noted in this week’s ESPN Power Rankings, Nick Hundley is 2-for-29 with 15 strikeouts since returning from the disabled list on June 8. As I’ll note in tomorrow’s Baseball Prospectus article, Anthony Rizzo is 1-for-20 with 4 walks and 8 strikeouts in his last 6 games.

Is it time to start tracking the race for next year’s no. 1 draft pick? The Padres are in a virtual tie with the Cubs for second place, three games back of Houston. Exciting stuff…

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12 Responses »

  1. Geoff-

    Having attended all three games in MN, I couldn’t help but wonder who this team is anymore. Do the Pads play small-ball anymore? Do they get a few on and hope Ludwick comes to the plate to house one? What happened to the great defense? Errors were plentiful. At one point Friday night, I thought Delmon Young was playing for the Padres.

    Last year’s team would have scored Denorfia on Saturday after the lead-off triple. This year’s team seems more comfortable making Baker look like Nolan Ryan. I’m confused. On occasion I think “One or two hitters would mean these 1-run games go our way” and on other occasions I don’t know how they win any at all.

    The Padres front office is being allowed to get by on the cheap. I’m not asking for a huge 3x salary bump in personnel, but certainly a number that reflects good, long-term talent that can produce runs sufficient to get guys with the best ERA in the game a victory on most nights. (Poor Tim Stauffer.)

    Let’s hope Mr. Hyde visits the Red Sox at Fenway and we eek one out.

  2. Love any/all Princess Bride references … especially in the face of dismality …

    And Anthony Bass turned back into a pumpkin at AA …


    … which only reminds me that the chasm between AA and MLB can be both wide and razor thin!

  3. @GY – I am sensing some frustration.

    @Levi – I agree, the Padres seem to have abandoned their ways.

    I think the Padres need to bring in an eye doctor. The amount of K’s is insane.

    The Padres are 11-18 in games decided by 1 run or games that went into extras.

    I was hoping getting players back would change the outlook, but it appears the Padres are heading towards selling. I will give them 10 more days before I officially call for a sell off.

  4. OT … Diamondbacks sent INF Sean Burroughs outright to Triple-A Reno.
    Burroughs spent a little over a month in the major leagues, serving primarily as a pinch-hitter. He batted just .250/.250/.292 in 24 plate appearances.

  5. The bar has been set so low for this Fenway series that they only need to win one game, and keep another one close, for it to be considered a success.

  6. Given the amount of K’s the Padres put up in MN, I wonder if Beckett will set a MLB record. I bet he could strike out at least 1 throwing left-handed.

    They need to try something, if they’re not striking out they’re struggling to hit the ball out of the infield.

  7. Last time the Padres were in the hunt for the number 1 draft pick, Strasburg was the prize. They finished four games out, by going 5-4 over the last nine, including a 3-game sweep over the competition (Washington). They went 7-10 over the last 17.

    Washington had much better talent down the stretch, posting a 1-8 record over the last 9 and 3-14 over the last 17.

    Even Seattle was more capable, going 4-5 down the stretch and 4-13 over the last 17.

    Thus, I hold little hope that the Padres will lose when they need to down the stretch.

  8. @Sean: You say that as if the Padres would have put up the $ for Strasburg even if they had the #1 pick. His demands were far higher than other picks the Pads have passed up for, shall we say, lesser talent.

    @Parlo: I think “success” would be holding Boston to less than 10 runs in these games and being close in the late innings. This team is pathetic (ANOTHER runner at 3rd with no out stranded? What is the deal?).

  9. I’m guessing this was an outing Frieri will remember forever …

    - J. Ellsbury walked
    - D. Pedroia grounded into fielder’s choice, J. Ellsbury out at second
    - A. Gonzalez doubled to left, D. Pedroia scored
    - E. Frieri relieved C. Luebke
    - K. Youkilis flied out to shallow left
    - D. Ortiz intentionally walked
    - J.D. Drew hit for D. McDonald
    - J.D. Drew walked, A. Gonzalez to third, D. Ortiz to second
    - M. Scutaro hit by pitch, A. Gonzalez scored, D. Ortiz to third, J.D. Drew to second
    - J. Varitek hit by pitch, D. Ortiz scored, J.D. Drew to third, M. Scutaro to second
    - E. Scribner relieved E. Frieri

    … at least he put some pain into the Bosox :-)

  10. @LynchMob: does 10 runs in an inning count? They didn’t score 11!

  11. and another lead-off triple wasted…sheesh!

  12. @LM: Evan Scribner was even worse…didn’t get a single out.