September 2008

Top Plays of 2008

It was a long, hard season. There were some high moments, some low, some funny, and some just plain depressing. Here’s my assesment.

TURNING POINT: 22 inning game against Colorado. After that, we were never the same. The pitching suffered, and the morale did, too. Not even Jeff the Ram’s Head could help us after that.

BEST SERIES: Home opener vs. Houston. In the first game, Jake threw a marvelous game and also got a few RBIs. We won the second game on a Scott Hairston homer. We should have won the third game, but Trevor blew it. But on Thursday he bounced back and saved the win. That was an amazing series.

WORST SERIES: April 15-17 at home vs. Colorado. This was the series that ended with the 22 inning game.

FUNNIEST GAME: I couldn’t pick. It was either one of the 15-8 or 16-7 thumpings of Colorado. They were laughers.

WORST GAME: Again, the 22 inning game. I believe that it really killed our season.

BEST GAME: Scott Hairston’s or Jody Gerut’s walkoff. Or Maddux’s 350th victory after all those failed starts.

WEIRDEST GAME: Paul McAnulty’s walk-off hit by pitch. Hey, it got the game won.

FUNNIEST PLAY: Chris Young’s homer. Watching that big guy run around the bases was hysterical.

WORST PLAYS: Kouz grounding into a triple play and a double play on the same night. It was sad.

BEST PLAY: Kouz’s diving catch it Milwaukee on September 5th. His defense improved drastically this year.

WEIRDEST PLAY: McAnuty’s game ending diving catch over the wall in foul territory. Also, Kouz diving over the railing. These could be classified as funny plays, as well. 

In more recent Padres news, Bud Black, Darren Balsey, Glenn Hoffman, Darrel Akerfelds, and Rick Renteria are coming back next year. Bench coach Craig Colbert is not. GO PADRES!! 

 

 

Season’s End

It doesn’t get any easier. Two seasons in a row, both ending with a loss. Last year was more devastating–we should have been in the playoffs. This year we knew how it was going to end, but it is still tough. As I write this merely hours after the game, it still hasn’t sunk in. I can’t believe we just ended the season with a loss to the Pirates of all people. But it’s true. And it’s going to hit me sometime this week. But I can’t believe it’s over.

Everyone knows the Padres had a horrible year. It was disgusting, disappointing, and utterly detestable. But they’re my team. I am a Padres fan, through thick and thin. As bad as this season was, there are so many positives. The young players: Will Venable, Chase Headley, Nick Hundley. The veteran players: Trevor Hoffman, Brian Giles. And the comeback players: Jody Gerut, Mike Adams, Shawn Estes. Adrian with his big bat, and Kouz with his stellar glove. From the induvidual standpoint, there were many positives. But as a team, it wasn’t working. 99 losses is proof of that.

This season changed my life. At the beginning of the season, you would have called me an obsessed fan. I would listen to every Spring Training game. As the season started, I was all-Padres all the time. When I wasn’t on the internet reading stuff from the Padres, Union-Tribune, and XX 1090 websites, I was writing, thinking, and breathing Padres baseball. My schedule and my time were revolving around the Padres. I was up listening to every pitch of the 22 inning game. When I had the opportunity to go to a youth conference in Minnesota, there was consultation of my Padres schedule. Thankfully, my love for the Padres didn’t hinder me from going, because it changed my life. In the weeks before I left, I was growing incresingly depressed over the Padres. I wouldn’t sleep well after a loss. My attitude and outlook on life was horrible. Because I was so attached to the Padres, their patheticness was hitting me hard. Looking back, I think I was seriously depressed. But I didn’t see it then. The day I left, the Padres got beat in extras by a walk-off grand slam in St. Louis. I was really upset. I knew I needed help. One of my classes at the conference was called “Does God Care About Sports?” It was taught by a pastor, a big football fan. I learned so much from him. He had been an obsessed fan once like I was. This pastor helped me realize my problem. The Padres were essentially, my idol. I was pretty much worshipping them. The problem was that the Padres were taking God’s place in my life. That’s why I was so depressed. Because without God, I’m dead. The scary part is that I didn’t realize that the Padres had taken over. There are a few things that are essential to this situation: 1. I recognized that I had a problem. 2. I wanted to change. Also, I was disconnected from the Padres for the whole week. I knew nothing that the Padres were doing during the week. When I talked to my youth and family pastor later that day, he noticed a change in me. He told me that he had noticed that something had been weighing on me, and that God was setting me free from it. It was then that I realized how awesome my God is. He was relieving me of a burden that I didn’t realize I had been carrying.

What happened that week is what I like to call “The Release”. I let go of the Padres and got God back into the center of my life. I can certainly still enjoy games. But as long as the Padres are not ruling me, I’m fine. But believe me, the rest of the season was not easy. I struggled every day to put God before everything else. One of my greatest assurances is knowing that God is in control of everything, even baseball games. I don’t know why we had such a bad season, but I know that God has a plan for it. Maybe He used it for the very purpose of relieving me of them. I really don’t know. It hurt to lose the last game of the season, this year and last. But He’s in control. And as hard as it is to have a season end, I am so glad to have a break. I need it. Next year will be different. I won’t be ruled but the Padres. Baseball is a game, for goodness sakes. People are meant to enjoy it. And that’s what I am going to do.       

 

The Last Two Days

On Saturday, there was hope. In the first, Adrian doubled in Giles, who walked. Kouz promptly hit his 23rd homer. Chris Young was very good. Heath Bell allowed a run, but Trevor got his 30th save to win 3-2. But on Sunday, we lost 6-1 against the Pirates. It was pathetic, but it figures that we would lose the last game. We had 6 hits, with an RBI double for Brian Giles. Pitching was bad, just like all year. We couldn’t hit, just like all year. So, now the season is over. I really hope the Padres start making moves soon. I guess there is the hope that there will be moves. The Padres will be busy this offseason. I will definitely continue blogging. The offseason is when fans really need each other. Plus, the postseason will be very fun. GO RED SOX!!

ARGH!!

  • 6-3 Pirates

How on earth did we lose this game? I know: our pitching, defense, and offense. Well, mostly defense and offense. In the 9th, with 2 outs and 2 on, a Pirate hit a fly ball to right. VERY routine. But for some bizarre reason, Brian Giles dropped it. As a result, two runs scored. You will not see that again in Gilly’s career. The video is very painful to watch. It just isn’t something that Brian does. Well, it’s 2008. So we lost to the Pittsburgh Pirates. We didn’t hit very much. Nick Hundley ran into one for his 5th homer, and Luis Rodriguez singled a dude in. We got the other run on a double play ball. Man, games like this make me see how pathetic we really are. I mean, it’s the Pirates. We’re supposed to beat them. But we won’t get 100 losses. And that’s a relief. That’s hope. This off-season is going to be very busy, unlike last year. We will be making moves, trying to get better. Let’s just hope it helps.

Tonight, in game 161, Chris Young will throw. Last Saturday he got his first major league homer. GO PADRES!!    

Spoiling the Party

  • 7-5 Padres

Last night was a game of cat and mouse. The Dodgers are the cat: bigger, stronger, and dominant. But the Padres are the mouse: small, pathetic, but faster and smarter than the cat. And, as the game usually goes, the cat is chasing the mouse. I know that the Dodgers dominated us all season, let alone this series, so my little analogy is only applicable to this particular game. In the first, Brian Giles hit a 2-run homer to give us the early lead. We added to that in the 5th. Nick Hundley doubled, and Will Venable singled him in. Luis Rodriguez gave us one more with a single. In the bottom of the 5th, Jake struggled. He had thrown 53 pitches going into the inning, and he came out with 53 more. He allowed a double, followed by a walk. Two outs later, a run came in. After a walk, Jake threw a wild pitch to bring in another run. Jake walked two more guys, the second with the bases loaded. But he was able to finish the inning with a fly-out. In the top of the 6th, Adrian hit his 36th homer of the season. The Dodgers answered with one of their own in the bottom half. When we scored in the eighth, so did they. With ths score 6-5 Padres, Matt Antonelli doubled in the top of the 9th. Drew Macias sac-bunted him over, and Will Venable sac-flied him in. Trevor gave a leadoff walk in the bottom 9, but a double play took care of that. A groundout to short ended the game. Trev got his 29th save of the season, Jake got his 10th win. Earlier in the day, Arizona lost, which gave the Dodgers the West. As a result, Greg Maddux’s start was moved to Saturday. So in this game, the Dodgers kept coming back. Whenever we scored a run, they were chasing us. But the mouse escaped. The cat couldn’t keep up this time, but it is the stronger creature. The cat is going to the playoffs. The mouse will sit at home and try to build up strength. It was a great game for the Padres. 

Tonight we are home for our last series of the year. We will be playing the Pirates. It will be Ian Snell vs. Josh Geer. In order to lose 100 games, we would have to be swept. Uhhhh, not going to happen. Hopefully the Padres can have a good weekend to finish up. I can’t believe the season is almost over!! GO PADRES!!! 

Not On My Watch

  • 12-4 Dodgers

We can’t beat the Dodgers. Not now. They are locked right now, and no one but Jake Peavy will be able to stop them. But for a summary of this game, I will point to an entry I wrote on September the third, Ping-Pong with the Padres. It was a game extremely similar to this one, same team, same Dodgers pitcher. Today we have to win. Today the dive-bombing Diamondbacks have to win. The Dodgers are going to get at least a tie for the NL West. But they can clinch it this weekend, against the Giants. As Jake said, “Not on my watch.” You know, I really don’t like the Dodgers. They make me sick, especially that long-haired guy. We aren’t going to the postseason, but today’s game sure feels like a playoff game. We’re desperate to just keep the Dodgers out, and they are, well, they’re pounding their way through. Jake Peavy vs. Greg Maddux. It’s going to be a battle. Let’s hope the Padres can come out on top. GO PADRES!!

The Beginning of the End

  • 10-1 Dodgers

The sad, sad story of this game is Wade LeBlanc. Everyone could see it. The fans, the broadcasters, the coaches and managers, but no one saw it better than the Dodgers hitters. Wade LeBlanc had nothing. Absolutely nothing. He doesn’t have a fast fastball in the first place, and when it wasn’t working with the change-up, disaster struck. LA was able to score about 6 runs in the first before they made an out. When Charlie Haegar finally replaced him in the third, things didn’t get much better. Haegar was able to bog through 2 innings, but not without giving up three runs. It was 10-1 by now, and we were done. We did have 12 hits, but we left 10 on. Chase Headley had three hits. Edgar Gonzalez had two hits and drove in our run. Edgar has been really hot, so he’s been getting playing time. This last weekend, we faced the Nationals, a failing team with not much energy. But going into LA, the atmosphere was so different that I think we got shell-shocked. The LA fans are going crazy up there. The energy is just bizarre. It scared me just listening to it on the radio. But I also heard a lot of Padres fans, chanting, “Let’s go Padres, let’s go!” It is great that we have some supporters up there. Now, the Padres need to get down to business. They don’t have a hitting coach, but they need to find a way to get this done. We need to be spoilers and win the next two games. I would love to spoil the Dodgers chances, but more than that, this team NEEDS to end on a good note. So, Shawn Estes, it’s up to you. Tomorrow we’ve got Jake, the father of Jacob, Wyatt, and Judson Lee. We can do this. GO PADRES!!    

A Sweet Sweep

  • 6-2 Padres

One week ago, Cha Sueng Baek left the game after only two innings with a strained arm. But one week later, he was back on the mound, and he was amazing. He went 7 innings, 5 hits, 1 run, 5 strikeouts. Heath Bell, who has been struggling lately, gave up a run in his inning. But Cla Meredith threw a good inning to close the game. Man, I don’t know what happened, but we really found our bats this weekend. Maybe it’s the sucess we’ve had against Washington. Or maybe the guys are fighting to stay away from 100 losses. Whatever happened, it was great. In the top of the first, Edgar Gonzalez singled and Adrian Gonzalez doubled. Then Kouz doubled them both in. In the sixth, Adrian hit his 35th homer of the year. We tacked on 3 more in the 8th. Edgar got on by an error. Adrian walked. Kouz doubled in Edgar. Chase Headley drove Adrian in, and Nick Hundley sac-flied to score Kouz. So, we won 6-2. We swept the Nationals. It is the first time we have swept a team on the road since 2006. What a great series!

Jake Peavy was scheduled to pitch tomorrow night in Dodger Stadium, but Bud Black has changed his mind. Wade LeBlanc will face the Dodgers for the third time in his 4-start career, and Jake will go on Thursday vs. Greg Maddux. Shawn Estes will go on Wednesday. The Dodgers are only 2 and 1/2 games ahead, so we could be MAJOR spoilers. GO PADRES!!  

CY DOES IT ALL

cy.jpg

  • 6-1 Padres

This is the kind of game that makes me laugh. It gives me a great feeling. Why? Well, first of all, the Padres won. They played a great, clean, game, and it was so enjoyable. Chris Young threw 7 two-hit shut-out innings. He did walk four, but he was really good. On the offensive side, we were pretty good. In the 5th, Nick Hundley walked. CY sacrificed him over. Will Venable hit a ball to second. The 2nd baseman was not able to make a play, and Hundley hustled all the way home. The first pitch to the next batter, Edgar Gonzalez, was hit to left for a homer. We now had a 3-0 lead. In the 7th, something bizarrely funny happened. With two outs, Chris came to the plate. On the first pitch, he hit a homer to the Padres bullpen, his first career. I was laughing so hard!! He put a really good swing on it, and he gave us a 4-0 lead. It was so funny to see him run around the bases. It was also funny to see Mike Adams warming up in the bullpen, and his reaction. It was a great moment, and it made me feel like we were going to win the game. We added two more runs in the 8th with singles by Adrian and Chase Headley. Adams did give up a run, but Clay Hensley finished out the game strong. And so, we have won the series! CY got the win. The three pitchers gave up 6 walks, which is half of last night’s total, but still pretty bad. Venable and Giles had triples. It was a feel-good game, and hopefully we can get the sweep tomorrow. Cha Sueng Baek…GO PADRES!!

EXTRA LONG, BUT A WIN

KOUZ HOMER.jpg

  • 11-6 Padres

Yesterday was amazing. A little crazy, but amazing. It all started at 12:30 a.m. Friday morning, when Jake Peavy got the call that his wife, Katie, was going into labor. Consequently, Jake decided not to make the his scheduled start and instead flew back to San Diego to be with his wife and 2 young sons. That meant that Dirk Hayhurst would be forced to make the start. If you can recall, Dirk has not been very good in his starts, and last night was no different. He gave up 4 runs in 3 and 1/3 innings, while walking 3. Will Venable hit a solo homer in the 3rd to cut the National’s lead to 2-1. We pulled ahead in the 4th, though, with double Giles, single Gonzalez, and home run Kouzmanoff. So begins the tug-of-war. We had a lot of leads. The Nationals came back time after time. They were helped very greatly by walks. 12 to be precise. The game became tied at 6 in the 8th, actually, without a hit! And, so, the game went into extra innings. We had chances, that’s for sure. With some more walks, Washington had some great chances as well. In the 12th, Edgar Gonzalez ran out a double to start the inning. Jody Gerut came to the plate. (yeah, Buddy was running out of players!) He was trying to bunt. He popped it up, and the pitcher ran off the mound and dove to catch the ball. Then he threw to second, where Edgar was way off the bag. OUCH. But in the 14th, we finally broke through. Kouz started off by getting hit for the 15th time this season. Chase Headley got his 4th hit of the night, a triple, to drive Kouz in. Nick Hundley and Edgar Gonzalez followed with singles. Cha Sueng Baek, Sunday’s starting pitcher, sac-bunted them over. Will Venable was intentionally walked for Matt Antonelli, who grounded into a force-out at the plate. With two outs and the bases loaded, Giles took a walk to drive in another run. Adrian Gonzalez singled in two more for our 11-6 lead. Kouz started the inning with a HBP, but he ended it with a strikeout. Trevor had been warming, so he pitched a 1-2-3 14th. It’s hard to believe, but Trevor pitched in his 900th game as a Padre. Dude, he’s amazing. So, we had 20 hits. But all of our pitchers except Hensley, Hampson, and Hoffman walked at least 1. Two guys in the Washington lineup got walked three times!! That is just bizarre. It was very bad, but thankfully, after 5 hours, we were able to win. It was a great game, let’s keep it going tonight!! Hopefully Chris Young can give us a good effort. Oh, and congrats to the Peavy family for the birth of their baby boy. This is a very special time for them. GO PADRES!!  

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