I received a delightful note from a fan the other day. It didn’t make sense to me at the time, but apparently he was anticipating this past weekend’s three-game sweep in Pittsburgh. I’ll reprint the message in its entirety:
Am Mr Jerry and i would like to order Brooms from you and would like to know the types and sizes you have in stock as well as the prices and the types of credit cards that you take for payment.Thank you and waiting to hear from you as soon as possible.
Thanks for writing. I don’t know anything about types and sizes, but I’m pretty sure you can’t put a price on a series like that. Still, if you insist (and who am I to argue?), I’m happy to accept any form of payment.
I don’t care what anyone says, Jerry is good people. Here’s hoping he finds what he needs…
The Padres found what they needed in the Steel City, namely offense. They outscored Pittsburgh, 35-10, in the series. Kyle Blanks broke out in a big way (6-for-13, 2 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 6 RBI); even his outs were loud.
The 28 runs the Padres scored combined on Friday and Saturday nights represented the largest offensive outburst in consecutive games in team history. Chase Headley and Blanks hit grand slams on each of those nights, marking the first time since 1991 that the Padres had done so in consecutive games. (The Padres had zero grand slams this year before coming to PNC Park, where they now own a 26-9 record.)
Aaron Harang didn’t pitch well on Friday, but with 15 runs behind him, it didn’t matter. Harang is now 10-3 on the season, which is good for a .769 winning percentage. Among qualifiers, only two pitchers in Padres history have fared better: Gaylord Perry went 21-6 (.778) in 1978 and Dennis Rasmussen went 14-4 (.778) in 1988. Both of those teams finished with winning records.
The highest winning percentage by a Padres pitcher on a losing team belongs to Butch Metzger, who went 11-4 (.733) in 1976. Metzger, though, was a reliever. The best starter, according to one antiquated measure, on a sub-.500 Padres team is Brian Tollberg, who went 10-4 (.714) in 2001.
Cory Luebke and Mat Latos pitched better than Harang and also received wins for their efforts. Luebke fanned a career-high nine batters on Saturday. This also tied the high-water mark for strikeouts in a game by a Padres hurler in 2011. The last time the Padres failed to have a single pitcher reach double digits in strikeouts in a game was 1980, when Steve Mura notched a season high of seven on June 26 against the Giants, and tied that mark on August 1 and again on October 3. The only other seasons the Padres had zero 10-strikeout games were 1975 and 1976.
Not that it made a huge difference in what became a blowout, but the Padres showed good hustle in a three-run fourth in Saturday’s contest. After doubling home two runs to extend San Diego’s lead to 4-0, Rob Johnson stole third base standing up because Pittsburgh starter Paul Maholm, like the rest of us, assumed Johnson wouldn’t be running on account of he is incredibly slow. After Luebke tapped back to Maholm for the second out, Cameron Maybin grounded sharply to shortstop Ronny Cedeno, who, perhaps thinking Johnson was running down the first base line, took too much time in making his throw to first, allowing Maybin to beat it for an infield single.
We break now for another letter, this one from… sorry, I didn’t catch the name:
Throughout the grand design of things you’ll secure an A with regard to effort. Where exactly you confused me was on all the particulars. As as the maxim goes, the devil is in the details… And it couldn’t be more accurate at this point. Having said that, let me inform you just what exactly did work. Your authoring is actually really engaging and this is most likely why I am taking an effort to opine. I do not make it a regular habit of doing that. Next, while I can see the leaps in logic you come up with, I am not necessarily convinced of exactly how you appear to unite your ideas which inturn make the actual conclusion. For the moment I will yield to your point but hope in the future you actually connect the facts much better.
[Inserted final sentence inadvertently dropped from letter]
Don’t feel bad, my nameless friend. I often confuse people on all the particulars. It’s how I roll…
Latos’ final line on Sunday (7 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 7 K) doesn’t do his performance justice. He dominated the Pirates for seven innings before giving up a couple of hits to start the eighth. The second hit was a broken-bat single by Pedro Alvarez that skipped just past second baseman Orlando Hudson’s outstretched glove and sent Latos to the showers. Chad Qualls entered and, on his first pitch, served up a three-run homer to Brandon Wood.
Injuries and Such
Some of these are a bit old, but whatever. So am I, and you don’t hear me complaining…
- Left-hander Clayton Richard and right-hander Dustin Moseley both had season-ending left shoulder surgery last week. With Luebke taking Richard’s spot in the rotation, Moseley’s absence creates another opening, presumably to be filled by right-hander Anthony Bass.
- Outfielder/first baseman Brad Hawpe had Tommy John surgery on his left (throwing) elbow last Friday, “effectively ending his short tenure with the Padres.” Hawpe got off to a miserable start in San Diego, rebounded, then got hurt. The Padres have many younger, better options at the positions Hawpe plays, so… here’s wishing him a full recovery and the best of luck in future endeavors.
- Lefty Joe Thatcher was reinstated from the 60-day disabled list on Friday and made his first appearance of the season in the sixth inning of that night’s game. The linked press release indicates that Thatcher replaced outfielder Blake Tekotte on the roster, which was true at the time; however, Tekotte has since been recalled to take the place of injured outfielder Chris Denorfia (right hamstring strain).
- Headley broke his left pinky while sliding head first into second base on a stolen base attempt during Saturday’s game. Logan Forsythe started in his place and delivered a key two-run single back up the middle in the sixth that extended the Padres’ lead to 3-0. No decision regarding Headley’s status has been announced, but Corey Brock informs us via Twitter that James Darnell will be recalled from Triple-A Tucson. The kids just keep on coming…
Next up, the Padres head to New York for four against the Mets. Can San Diego continue its hot hitting at Citi Field? Don’t ask me, I’m lousy at particulars… and apparently at selling brooms…