June 2011

Stauffer’s Gem

We won! It was a simple, but amazing game.

Tim Stauffer pitches in Tuesday's game against the Colorado Rockies. (San Diego Union-Tribune)

Tim Stauffer was probably the story. He threw eight innings of shut-out ball without even breaking a sweat (97 pitches). He only allowed four hits and one walk, but had eight strikeouts. That was a quality performance for sure, congrats on a great game Stauff.

Let me tell you, I have been so impressed with Tim over the past few years. He’s struggled a lot in his career, but he’s really stepped up his game and contributed in a big way to this team. He’s been on the Padres for a long time (a REALLY long time), but I really appreciate how he’s stuck around and been a big part of this team.

It took us a while, but we finally backed him offensively in the fifth. With two outs, Kyle Phillips singled. He went to second on a wild pitch from Ubaldo Jimenez, and scored on Alberto Gonzalez’ single. Stauff really was doing everything tonight, as he then singled for the second time in the game to drive in our second and final run of the game. Tim was 2-for-2 on the night.

Heath Bell got his 17th save of the year. He naturally had to allow a hit to make things interesting, but he got out of it and we kept the shutout.

Chase Headley did not get a hit, snapping his 16-game hitting streak. Nice run, Chase.

I’m liking the way the Padres are playing right now. We did lose last night, but we rebounded and got the win tonight. Hopefully we can get out there and get the win in the rubber game tomorrow.

On a side note, Kevin Kouzmanoff was sent down to Triple-A by the A’s. *GASP.* I will be writing more about this tomorrow, but as I’m sure you know, I am not happy about it.


Bookended By Failure

There were two defining moments in tonight’s game: the beginning and the end. But the rest of the game stank too.

Alberto Gonzalez expresses his frustration after striking out in Monday's game against the Colorado Rockies. (San Diego Union-Tribune)

Coming off of three straight wins against the Nationals over the weekend, the Rockies came to town and dispelled any hope that Padres fans might have mustered.

After Carlos Gonzalez struck out to start the game, Chris Nelson tripled and Troy Stinking Tulowitzki singled him in for the Rockies’ first run of the game. That was the bad beginning.

The score stayed one-nothing Rockies for the rest of the game, at least until the top of the ninth. Of course, if the Padres hadn’t overcome that daunting lead all game long, they probably wouldn’t be able to overcome it in the bottom of the ninth, but it’s nice to hope. So it still wasn’t cool that the Padres gave up two more runs to obliterate any chance of coming back.

And in the middle, there were plenty of bad things made this game stink. Including but not limited to:

  • The fact that we had the same amount of hits as the Rockies did (9), but somehow the Rockies scored three runs and we scored none.
  • The fact that we left 11 runners on base and were 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position.
  • The fact that Clayton Richard threw an amazing game, but got his seventh loss of the year.
  • The fact that we are a last-place team never helps things either. Sigh.

It was just a sad game. I don’t appreciate it when we lose like that. Oh well.

Tim Stauffer will try to get us some shred of dignity tomorrow night against Ubaldo Jimenez.

First round of the draft was today. The draft has never really excited me because we always get the worst players, but who knows. Congrats to infielder Cory Spangenberg on being the Padres’ first-round draft pick this year. I hope you have better fortune than other recent Padre first-round draft picks.


Not Petco’s Problem

See, it wasn’t Petco Park’s problem after all.

Alberto Gonzalez and Jason Bartlett celebrate the Padres' June 5 win against the Houston Astros. (San Diego Union-Tribune)

The San Diego Padres just won three straight games against the Houston Astros…at Petco Park. Shocking, I know, but it just proves what we knew all along: Petco really wasn’t the problem. These guys just need to get it into their heads that they have to hit wherever they are, especially Petco.

It was a seriously great series. I don’t know what happened, and I’m not going to try to explain it, but we just played three solid games. Minus the first game loss, we had 24 hits and scored 16 runs in the three games. Each starting pitcher in those three games got the win: Dustin Moseley (2-6), Aaron Harang (6-2), and Mat Latos (4-6).

Chris Denorfia, Chase Headley and Jason Bartlett were all on fire. Bartlett had five total hits in those games, Headley had four, and Denorfia had three. Chase now has a 15-game hitting streak.

Latos didn’t stay in the game too long today (only five innings), but he left with two runs given up and the game ended with two runs given up, thanks to his bullpen.

I’d say that Alberto Gonzalez was the hero of today’s game, though. The Padres scored three runs in the bottom of the first, which set the tone for the whole game. But the Astros were able to gain two runs on us, bringing the score to 4-2 in the seventh inning.

With one out, Headley doubled and Ryan Ludwick and Brad Hawpe walked to load the bases. So that’s bases loaded with one out, and usually that’s a bad situation for the Padres. Sure enough, Aaron Cunnignham struck out, and it looked like the Padres would leave the bases loaded. But lo and behold, thank goodness for Alberto Gonzalez. After a swinging strike, he singled in two runs to make our lead 6-2. That was so great.

We ended up winning 7-2 to get the third game. I’m so excited! That was definitely huge for us.

Rockies are coming in next, and then the Nationals. And I’m going to Friday’s game!! I’m super excited because it will only be my second game of the year, plus it’s Fellowship Night, where Padres players give their testimonies after the game. It’s going to be so much fun!!


Tossing Out a Win

Bud Black gets ejected from Friday's game against the Houston Astros. (Union-Tribune/Denis Poroy)

Leave it to Buddy Black to get us a win.

Sometimes a manager just has to fire up his team. One way for him to do that is to get tossed out of a game. Whether Bud was trying to or not (I’m assuming not), the Padres definitely benefitted from his energy when he was tossed out of the game in the fourth inning.

Dustin Moseley threw a great game. He went seven innings, only allowing one run on six hits. He finally got his second win of the year. It’s ridiculous how long that took. This guy has been very solid all year long, and he just got his second win two months into the season. Sigh.

There are a lot of guys who have been really stepping up like Ryan Ludwick and Chris Denorfia. Chris hit his fifth home run in the bottom of the fifth to extend our lead to 3-1. Ludwick and Aaron Cunningham drove in our other two runs. 

It was such a good game. We got a few big hits and some really solid pitching. We won at Petco Park!  

Tonight is the Padres Gnome giveaway. Those little guys are a little creepy, but for some reason I really want one. Hmm.

Aaron Harang is going tonight.


Who are these guys??

Mat Latos throws in Tuesday's game against the Atlanta Braves. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Have won four games in a row.

Won each of those games by one run.

Had 10+ hits in each of those games.

Yes, that does describe the San Diego Padres. I know, I know, it’s hard to believe, but really, we have been that good in the past four games. I think all Padres fans are in a bit of shock right now, but man, it’s a good feeling.

We won Saturday and Sunday’s games against the Nationals, 2-1 and 5-4. Then we went to Atlanta and won the first two games, 3-2 and 5-4. It’s been so great.

Last night Mat Latos started the game and did very well. He threw six innings, allowing two runs on five hits with seven strikeouts. He got the win, which raised his record up to 3-6. It’s taken him a while, but I think he’s getting back to his dominating form.

And talk about an offensive outburst. Two guys in particular had an amazing night at the plate. Chris Denorfia, leading off, went 3-for-5. Ryan Ludwick went 4-for-5 with an RBI. Chase Headley had two hits as well.

In the top of the seventh, we had out biggest inning. The game was tied at 2-2 when Eric Patterson led off the inning with a walk.  Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez  instantly made a pitching change, which was probably his biggest mistake of the game. Patterson stole second and scored on Denorfia’s single.

An out later, Chase Headley singled, Ryan Ludwick singled, and Jorge Cantu singled, which drove in two more runs. We led 5-2, and thanks goodness that we got those extra runs.

Luke Gregerson allowed a run in the bottom of the inning. In the bottom of the ninth, of course Heath Bell had to make things interesting so he walked the second batter he faced and allowed him to score. Thanks, Heath. We all needed that heart attack.

But in the end it all worked out and we got our fourth straight win. I really have no idea what happened to this team (I suspect that it’s just because we’re on the road), but I’m definitley loving it. I forgot how good it felt to have a winning team. We may not have completely turned the corner yet, but I think we’re headed in the right direction.

Clayton Richard is starting tonight against Tommy Hanson. Let’s get the sweep boys!!!