July 2008

Greene Blues

Last night Khalil Greene was frustrated. After a painful foul-off-the-shin and strikeout, Khalil went down the tunnel and punched a storage box with his left hand. He fractured the thing that has given his season some worth. His glove hand. He might miss the rest of the season. I think this will be good for Khalil. To step back, rest. It wasn’t good that he hurt himself, but I am so glad that he showed his emotion and talked to the press about his struggles. There is a really good article in the Union-Tribune about last night called Punch out for Maddux, Greene? by Tom Krasovic. It was well written and showed Khalil’s situation really well. I think he will benefit from this setback. Meanwhile, Maddux stays with the Padres for now. The biggest trade of the day was Manny Ramirez going to the Dodgers. I can still hardly believe it. But he seems like a perfect fit for the city of LA. I think the Dodgers will win the West. It will be interesting, playing against the Dodgers. What will Boston do without him? So, bad news about Khalil, but hopefully this will help him eventually. Luis Rodriguez is our shortstop now. Maybe we can make a trade for a solid shortstop, though. Tommorow it’s Banks vs. Lincecum. Hopefully we can find our bats and our gloves. Go Padres!   

July Gloom

  • 7-3 Arizona

 It was pathetic. We did have leads in this game, but we gave up. Our good defense has disappeared. We had 7 errors in three games! It is really discouraging when your team goes out there and doesn’t try. We did get put up against some incredible pitchers. Arizona is a very good team. They deserve to be in 1st,  just as we deserve to be 14 games behind them. In 5 innings we went down in order, including the last 4 innings. According to John Kentera and Ernie Martinez on the postgame show, it seemed like some of the guys weren’t into the game mentally. Thankfully, we have an off-day where the guys can get themselves back together. Hopefully we can beat up on the Giants this weekend. Right. Well, we’ll see. Trade deadline is midnight tonight, but Sandy Alderson said not to expect much, if anything. I have a few more discouraging notes about the Padres’ July: We stole 1 base in July. Actually, Greg Maddux did. We were 9-16. All year, we have scored 414 runs. Our opponents have scored 524 against us. Let us hope for a better August. Go Padres!  

We only got 2 hits…

  • 3-0 Arizona

It was so exciting. It seemed so promising, so hopeful. In that game-deciding 8th, Chase Headley singled for our second hit and second baserunner of the game. Then Khalil Greene and Josh Bard walked, and what do you know, the potential winning run is at the plate. With two outs, granted, but this seems like our inning. The tallest pitcher in baseball comes in, with Jody Gerut at the plate. The crowd is full of energy, anticipating, like all of us, a big inning. When the first pitch almost sails to the backstop, the energy intensifies. But maybe we’re getting too excited. You’ve got to be careful with baseball. It will break your heart in a moment. Last night, were we too hopeful? The second pitch, Gerut crushes it to right field. The way Ted Leightner called it, I thought it was gone. The emotions were so high. I thought we had a lead, a late rally. It had to be gone! But the baseball was in the glove of Alex Romero, the right fielder. No way. It is horrible to be so high on hope and have that hope slammed to the ground. That catch by Romero probably is the best in MLB all year. Most would call it a lucky catch. But I know better. It was providence. As a Christian, I know that every single thing that happens on this Earth is in God’s control. Romero wouldn’t have been able to make that catch in his own strength. It was a tough game. We were humiliated for six and two- thirds innings, not getting a baserunner against Doug Davis. He was extremely good. I’m glad for him, you know, with all he’s been through this year. CY was great, too. 8 K’s in 5 innings. Hensley was the one who got touched up. So, we are back to 13 games behind. One thing that I’m wondering about is why did Hundley catch last night? Young might have been more comfortable working with a guy (Bard) he knows. Hmm. Well, Cha Sueng Baek tonight. Go Padres!    

 

Beat AZ!

 In the first game of this three game series, Greg Maddux pitched…and won. He now finally, FINALLY, has his 351st win. Congratulations, Greg! In this game, Khalil hit a 2-run homer and Hundley slammed a 3-runner. Kouz had a 2-run single and Gerut drove one in with a double. Arizona had more hits than us (7-12), but we came through. The pitching wasn’t the best tonight. Maddux only went 5 innings, giving up 4 runs. Ledezma, Hensley, and Adams were good. Heath got himself into another bases loaded jam, but he got out of it. Corey hasn’t been as good lately. He allowed another run to make it a save situation, so Trev had to come in. Hoffy got one out, then Mark Reynolds, who had never faced Trev, swung first pitch and sent it to left to end the game. It was pretty chill. Now we’ve won 4 games in a row. Trev has saved our last 5 wins. I think he will have tomorrow night off no matter what. An interesting thing in this game was when Maddux left the field. Usually he just walks into the dugout, but tonight he lifted his cap to the crowd. This could be Maddux’s last days in San Diego. I really don’t want him to go to LA, ’cause he would probably get a complete game shutout against us. Now that he’s finally won 351, will people’s thinking change? The Padres can get him wins, obviously. But I think he will most likely be traded. Well, CY’s pitching tomorrow night. I am so glad he’s back! Hopefully he can “begin again” with a win. Go Padres! 

We Can Hit!

In an amazing turn of events, our Padres have won 3 games in a row. And it turns out, our guys can hit. On Saturday, we hit 4 home runs with 12 hits overall. Kouz and Adrian had huge 3-run blasts. Nick Hundley got his first major league home run. Adrian added a second homer later that night. We won 9-6. Trevor came in with two outs and a runner on and threw a pitch to clinch his 20th save of the year. He now has 14 consecutive 20+ save seasons. On Sunday, we got carried by Bard and Peavy. Bard had a RBI single and a solo homer. Scotty hit his 17th homer of the year. Peavy went 7 strong, giving up a run and 4 hits with 10 strikeouts. Trev saved it and we won 3-1. The bullpen has not been perfect, but they are getting the job done. Mike Adams has been an unsung hero. He has been really good since he came up. He has a 1.98 ERA over 36.1 innings. WOW! We are 13 games behind, but who cares? We’re WINNING! This is what I’ve been talking about. I really don’t mind that we’re 13 games back, because we’re winning. Hey, we have won 3 games in a row and we haven’t moved anywhere! But winning feels great, doesn’t it? There is still hope for a fun season. No matter what happens, I will enjoy the good Padres games. And who knows? This season might have some worth after all. GO MADDUX AND GO PADRES!

Go Bullpen!

I’m back! So far, the Padres have lost every day except Monday and Friday this week. Both wins Trevor saved. I guess you could say that we’ve been hitting. We’ve had a few blown leads. Kouz, Scotty, Gonzo, and Gerut have had home runs this week. One of the most exciting things for me is thet Joe Thatcher got sent down!!!! That totally made my day. Carlin also got sent down. He was a good catcher, but some more time in the minors will do him good. Besides, his demotion means that Bardo got activated and played last night. Josh’s first AB? RBI single. He had never caught Cha Seung Baek, and Baek was not the best, but we hit last night. Trev saves it 1-2-3 to get his 543rd on the 10th anniversary of Hell’s Bells. Speaking of bells, Heath Bell had a tough night. He allowed two singles and a hit-batsman to load the bases with no outs. Then he went strikeout, fly ball to shallow center, walk to drive in a run (6-5 Padres now) and pop to shortstop. Bad news, though, is that Wil Ledezma is back. But Chris Young is coming back on Tuesday! Randy Wolf got traded to the Astros. We got a minor league pitcher. Mike Adams was really good last night. Hopefully Josh Banks can do well tonight. Go Padres!  

What Can We Do?

This St. Louis series has been horrible for the Padres. We have had sizable leads in all 3 games only to have them quickly erased. We’ve scored 15 runs in the last 3 games but have lost all 3. We are actually hitting for a change! So what is the problem? Well, it’s our starting pitching. Jake gives up 4 solo homers in game 1. Maddux and Wolfie give up 6 runs in their starts. Thatcher blows it again. I said that we were hitting. Let me rephrase that: we are hitting in the early innings. We are down by 1 run today and we leave 5 runners on with less than two outs in 2 later innings. We had the chances to win this game. But we didn’t. We have failed once again. I’m going to be out of town next week with no way to find out how the Padres are doing. If they’re going to be playing like this, then I am so glad that I won’t be able to know. As fans, what on earth do we do in a situation like this? We are getting a win a week. If you’re as attached to them as I am, how do you cope with it? I haven’t been listening to the games as much. I don’t listen to XX that much anymore during the day ’cause I don’t want to hear about the problems. I don’t listen to the postgame show. I think isolation will do me good. Maybe it’s just St. Louis.They are very good. They are fighting back and winning. Somehow I don’t think things are going to change this season. I just wish we could be winning. But this is not the end of the world. We will survive this. I don’t have hope for this season, so we need to look ahead.There is hope in the future. In 5 years, we could have a young team with talent. We could have a real contending team. I love baseball. I can still enjoy the playoffs without the Padres. It will be a long, hard offseason, but next year is a new chance. And tomorrow is a new day. So let’s get us a win before I leave! I’ll be back in a week or so. Go Padres!  

We’ll miss you, TC!

As we could see last night, our pinch-hitters did not come through. Brian Myrow had the tying run at 2nd with no outs. He struck out. We could not score the run. Not to say that Tony Clark would have got a hit, but he probably would have had a better chance. When I first saw that Tony had been traded, I instantly thought about how it would affect the club. But there are some personal things that make me disoppointed with this trade. My friends and I made up a chant for him while we were watching a game on TV once. Now we won’t ever be able to use it at a game. We went to an event where Kouz and Tony signed autographs. Tony was really nice, really friendly. So I have a Tony Clark autograph from when he was a Padre. Is it more valuable now? Basically, I am not very happy with this trade. Chris Young did very well in his rehab stint. He started the game with 10 straight strikes. He will probably do another stint before coming up. Bardo is also progressing. Clay Hensley came up today! Now, if only Thatcher would go down. Strange game going on right now. Both team’s pitching is weak and both team’s hitting is strong. It’s 7-6 in the 6th. Hopefully this goes our way… Go Padres!  

TC is Traded!!

 Tony Clark was traded to the Diamondbacks today! We’re getting a minor league pitcher. I don’t like this trade, but we kind of expected it. But the Diamondbacks? We’re trying to catch up with them! The question is, did TC really help us? I think he was a good presence in the clubhouse, and he did very well pinch-hitting, but did he really contribute to winning? Hopefully this trade doesn’t help Arizona too much. Well, the pitcher is Single-A, Evan Scribner. SInce we are sellers, it is obvious that this trade is looking towards the future. Go Padres! 

2008 All-Star Game

In an event revolving around MLB’s biggest and best hitters, you would think the All-Star game would be a slugfest. That’s the Home Run Derby. But not the All-Star game. No, this year’s Midsummer Classic was a pitcher’s duel. Oh, sure, the offense did help out a little, but the story of this game was the pitching. In a crazy game that lasted 15 innings, 11 NL pitchers gave up 4 runs and 12 AL pitchers gave up 3 runs. Remember, these are starters and closers-no long-relief or setup guys. Matt Holliday went deep in the 5th to give the NL its first lead. The NL added another run, but J.D Drew of the Red Sox tied it with a two-run homer. Our boy Adrian Gonzalez sac-flied to make it 3-2 NL. The AL tied it, so we went on and on and on to the 15th. The AL finally won it early Wednesday morning, 4-3. This game really reminded me of the way the Padres have been playing. Leaving runners in scoring position with less than two outs ( 28 total left on), unable to catch base-stealers (2 out of 9 caught total), fighting back but not hard enough, and extra innings. I can totally see Adrian walking in the dugout in the 13th: “Come on guys, this is nothing! We aren’t even to the 22nd yet!” In fact, after the game, Adrian said, “It was like a Padre game.” Adrian entered in the 6th and stayed the rest of the way. The defense was pretty good. Dan Uggla made 3 errors, though. But Adrian made an amazing play that saved the game for the moment. A huge part of this game was base stealing. It was like CY was pitching. Russell Martin was very busy trying to throw out baserunners. But like I said, the story of this game is the pitching. The NL got out of so many jams! Tons of runners in scoring position and only 4 scored. It was amazing. The pitching and the defense, working together, were able to work their way out of some major problems. But like the Padres, the NL finally gave up the lead in the 15th. It was a wonderful but disappointing game.  

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