Luebke Gets Randa’d

Nice outing by Cory Luebke on Monday night at Coors Field, eh? Luebke and Ernesto Frieri combined to spin the 25th one-hitter in Padres history.

The only blemish was a two-run homer to dead center off the bat of Rockies second baseman Mark Ellis. Luebke fell behind in the count, 3-1, and then grooved a fastball out over the plate that Ellis crushed.

Luebke worked from behind for much of the game. He went to three-ball counts on each of the first three batters he faced and 10 of 25 overall on the night. Twice he fell behind San Diego native Ty Wigginton, 3-0, and came back to strike him out. Although such feats are impressive in their way, they also caused Luebke to burn through 119 pitches in 7 innings.

Ellis, for his part, joins a short list of individuals who have ruined a potential Padres no-hitter with a home run. There have been five:

Date     Opp Pitcher     Batter
9/18/71  @SF Clay Kirby  Willie McCovey
4/10/89  Atl Bruce Hurst Lonnie Smith
9/22/06  Pit Chris Young Joe Randa
7/29/09 @Cin Mat Latos   Jerry Hairston Jr.
9/19/11 @Col Cory Luebke Mark Ellis

I was at the Randa game. The guy next to me kept yelling in my ear that Young was throwing a no-hitter. Maybe he thought my lack of reaction meant I didn’t understand the significance of such an event, but of course, I just wanted him to stop talking about no-hitters. I probably should have acknowledged him sooner.

Young’s game came a couple days before Trevor Hoffman broke Lee Smith’s career saves mark. The Padres were headed to the playoffs for the second straight season. Those were good times.

Sometimes I wonder what might have happened had the Padres hung on in 2007 and/or 2010. It could have altered San Diegans’ perception of their team. Then again, maybe not. We will never know. But we will have good times again…

* * *

My latest at Baseball Prospectus ($) focuses on Rockies right-hander Aaron Cook but includes a fun tidbit about Padres southpaw Wade LeBlanc, who is the all-time single-season srikeout leader among pitchers born in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Lest you think I am offering LeBlanc a backhanded compliment, consider that one of those pitchers, Ted Lyons, is in the Hall of Fame.

Lyons is ranked 43rd among pitchers in The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract. James cites Lyons as MLB’s best pitcher of 1927 and also notes that the right-hander went to Baylor on a trombone scholarship that didn’t work out as planned:

…at a football game againt Texas A&M a fight broke out, and Lyons put down his trombone to participate in the fight. His trombone was crushed in the melee, and Lyons lost his scholarship.

That is unfortunate, although enshrinement in Cooperstown makes for a nice consolation prize. LeBlanc should be so lucky…

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6 Responses »

  1. I noticed that Millwood was initially charged with 7 runs, 2 earned, but now it’s 7/6. That reminds me that the official scorers have been especially cheap with unearned runs, especially the scorers at Petco. The worst scoring to me was Chad Gaudin’s outing against the Dodgers in 2009 on Manny’s first game back from his suspension. In the first inning, Manny walked, and more than one observer thought he should have struck out but was saved by a generous call by the umpire. None mentioned the scoring in that first inning.

    With runners on 1st and 2nd and one out, Everth fielded a double play grounder and got the force at second for the third out but overthrew Adrian for an error. Gaudin backed up first and caught the throw, saw the runner coming in from third and overthrew Hundley, allowing the runner to score standing up. The throw easily beat the runner to the plate. Despite two errors trying to get the third out, that first run and the four afterward were all charged to Gaudin as earned.

    I’m beginning to suspect there are new rules for official scorers to reduce the unearned runs, and Petco scorers are especially tough. Is there any way to check the performance of official scorers by ballpark? League aggregate unearned runs can be checked easily by year, but is there a way to check for a difference by scorers in each park?

  2. so, now, i know the culprit of that Randa game. stupid guy behind GY. was at the game with a couple of friends and we just kept looking to the field watching the game after 6 IP lest we were tempted to talk about it had we start to interact. weird way to watch a game for sure. next time, i’ll be the guy behind GY and talk about the no-no nonstop, be like anti Costanza.

  3. This is going to be a concern going forward:
    Blanks – right quadriceps strain.

  4. Is Venable hurt as well?

  5. It’s nice seeing the guys get back on the winning side of the ledger, its been a while since we’ve been able to do that (going 3-17 was pretty painful). What bugs me about this team is, I feel like they should be around (probably a little under) a .500 team, and sure enough when I checked the pythagorean standings, the Padres are 7 games under their pythagorean number, the worst in baseball. 74-81 (actual: 67-88) isn’t lighting the world on fire by any stretch, but is much more respectable and gives more hope for next year.

    The other thing that’s killing me is Rizzo and is 1-for-September. I understand he’s young, and I had relatively modest expectations (like Geoff, I wasn’t expecting Adrian 2.0), but the kid has looked just awful. I think the sample size is way too small to really back this up, but I think the kid is going to worse against righties during his career, because right now, he has a hole the size of a small planet down and in that righties pound, not just with breaking and offspeed stuff, but fastballs out of the zone that he whiffs on. I don’t know what the answer is, maybe backing up a few inches, a lighter bat, more of a crouch at the plate or shortening his stroke, but the kid needs to make some sort of adjustment.

  6. re: RIzzo, he should be back in Tucson next year to start the season for more seasoning.