Losing Control

(Photo courtesy/lobshots.com)

In the first few games of this season, pitcher Andrew Cashner has been getting notice because of his pitching speed. Though hitting 100+ is impressive, it’s not when you don’t have any control. Like walking three straight batters in a tie-game situation.The Padres lost 9-8 to the Dodgers tonight in a very bizarre game where the Padres were able to come back from a deficit only to hand the win back.

For the first three innings, the Padres went 1-2-3 except for the first inning, when Cameron Maybin led off the game with a single. Other than that, Aaron Harang put down nine in a row. Just lovely.

Finally, Will Venable broke that with a leadoff home run in the top of the fourth. The Dodgers had a 4-0 lead at the point, so that was huge. We ended up getting three runs in that inning, closing the Dodgers’ lead to one run.

But then the Dodgers got four more runs in the bottom of the fourth. We didn’t score until the top of the seventh, where we got three MORE runs. So run production was not really our problem in this game. We had nine hits, while the Dodgers only had six.

What was the problem was the ninth inning. Going into the inning, we were losing 8-6. Chris Denorfia walked to start the inning, and then there were two swinging strikeouts. Got that, two outs. The Padres do not do well with two outs ever.

Except for today.

Chase Headley hit a two-run game-tying home run WITH TWO OUTS in the top of the ninth inning. Bam. 8-8 all.

So we’re feeling good, right?

Cashner comes in to pitch the bottom of the ninth. We get two quick outs. And then the trouble starts. Andrew walks three batters in a row to load the bases. Joe Thatcher replaces Andrew and throws four straight balls to walk in the winning run. What. On. Earth.

Absolutely pathetic. The bullpen LET US DOWN. That should not have happened. I mean, Joe could have had the decency to at least throw a strike, right? PATHETIC.

Not much is giving me hope for these Padres right now. Sure, it’s insanely early in the season and I’m not giving up on them yet. But this is not fun.

Thankfully, we have the Major League Debut of Joe Wieland to look forward to tomorrow. No pressure, dude. The team is just 2-6 and in desperate need of a win, no biggie.

GO PADRES!

Check out my Storify story on this game.

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Joe Wieland to make Major League Debut

The story is all here in my Storify story and all over Twitter.

http://storify.com/kaitybergquist/welcome-to-the-show-pitcher-joe-wieland-to-join-pa

I always love it when guys get called up for their Major League debuts like this. Makes me think of my all-time favorite baseball movie, “The Rookie.” Gets me every time.

Of course, the reason that he’s coming up is because after only one start, Dustin Moseley is most likely out for the year. Prayers for recovery to him of course. It’s not the ideal situation that you’re coming up to replace someone who’s so badly injured, but it’s still a huge moment for Joe.

Congrats and welcome to the Padres, Joe. We’re looking forward to having you.

GO PADRES!

Crisis Averted: PADRES WIN!

We finally did it! We got our first win of the season!

And not just by some wimpy walks with the bases loaded. No, today we were strong. We brought out our bats for real and sent those Dodgers out of town with a loss on their record. Just one, but it was enough.

Starting pitcher Clayton Richard was phenomenal. He was dealing. He threw seven innings, allowing only two hits and no earned runs (two unearned though) with no walks and three strikeouts. He deserved the win.

On the offensive side, we had 12 hits. 12! We needed that breakout after the miserable three games before it.

In the bottom of the first, we got our first lead of the season by Jesus Guzman’s single. Then Yonder Alonzo hit a sacrifice fly. It was remarkable. Your San Diego Padres had a 2-0 lead.

Things stayed pretty chill until the bottom of the third, when John Baker hit a single that score Guzman. We now had THREE runs to our name.

Then in the bottom of the fourth, Andy Parrino hit a bomb to left-center. It was massive. That gave us a 4-0 lead, and we were pretty happy. Unfortunately, we left the bases loaded in that inning.

In the top of the sixth, Matt Kemp hit a two-run homer. Boooooooo.

The bottom of the eighth was the best though. We led off the inning with three straight singles, and then Chase Headley came up to the plate. He took a swinging strike, and then sent that thing out of the ballpark. Grand slam, 100 percent. He knew it and everyone in the stadium knew it. It was gone.

So that gave us an 8-4 lead. It was truly amazing. That was Chase’s first hit of the season and he couldn’t have picked a better time to do it.

In the top of the ninth, Andre Either did hit a two-run home run, so if we hadn’t gotten that grand slam, we would have been in trouble. But thankfully, we did get it and we got the win.

It’s obviously not ideal, only winning one out of four games. But let me tell you, it’s a huge relief. We needed that win so badly and I’m so thankful that we finally got it.

GO PADRES!

Check out my Storify story on this game.

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Hoping for a breakthrough…

Field view from Opening Day.

What are we going to do with this team??

Tonight we lost our third game in a row. Meaning that we’ve opened the season with three losses. This is miserable. We absolutely can’t hit, and our pitching is not strong enough to keep us in the game long enough to score some runs. We’ve only scored eight runs in the whole season, and five of them were tonight.

Oh, that’s good, you might be thinking. Five runs in a game is not bad. BUT what you do not realize is that we only had four hits and three of the runs came in by walk. Nothing to say for our hitting prowess, just the weakness of the opposing pitcher.

Don’t get me wrong, the comeback we had was huge. We were down 5-0 going into the bottom of the fifth, and we were able to get five runs to tie the game in that inning. Chase Headley, Jesus Guzman, and Nick Hundley got the walk-in RBIs. So that was a crazy inning.

The game stayed tied all the way until the 11th inning, when that kid Dee Gordan hit an RBI double to break the tie and put the Dodgers up 6-5. Then the bottom of the 11th was really frustrating. We got the lead runner on by walk, sacrificed him over, and then got two quick outs. Naturally, we’re able to get the potential tying run on base and then decide not to do anything about it.

On the bright side, we had no errors.

The starting pitching so far has not been very good at all. Dustin Moseley went five innings today, allowing five hits and five runs. Then a bazillion guys came in from the bullpen and did very well until the 11th.

So we’re 0-3. Against the Dodgers. In Opening Week. This is not fun.

Hopefully we will be able to at least pull of the win tomorrow. PLEASE.

GO PADRES!

Check out my Storify story on this game.

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No Fireworks

Tonight, the Padres presented Star Wars-themed fireworks after the game. But during the game, there were no fireworks. The Padres were more bland than tofu tonight.

We had a whooping total of three hits in the entire game.

But the defense was not bland. Instead, it was a little more spicy than any of us could handle.

OK, the bland vs. spicy comparison doesn’t really work when describing the defense. It was more like, the defense was so terrible that I was ready to jump off the Toyota Terrace.

Cory Luebke started off the game with a three-pitch strikeout, but things didn’t go so peachy for the rest of the game. Not even for the rest of the inning, for that matter. He ended up allowing a two-run double to get the team into a hole early, not that we would have been able to come back from anything.

Chad Billingsley, starting for the Dodgers, was brilliant. He made it all the way to the 9th inning, hit 100 pitches and got taken out of the game to very loud booing from the Padres fans. We did not appreciate what he did to us.

It was the top of the third that was the worst half inning ever. With one out, Mark Ellis doubled, Matt Kemp hit a grounder to third that should have been routine for Chase Headley, but instead he decided to throw it funny and Alonzo had issues with it at first. He went to try to get the out at home and threw that away too. Nice. Then while the next batter was at the plate, Cory threw the ball into center field. I think he was trying to catch the runner on second. Juan Rivera then hit a pop fly to right field, where three guys decided to go for the ball. All three of them missed it, of course.

It was the most miserable inning. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. It was one thing after another. I thought I was watching a Little League game. Believe me, I remember my little brother’s games where the ball would not stop being throwed in the wrong direction. I mean, over the past few years, our defense has been the one thing that’s been more than okay. If we don’t have our pitching, offense and now defense, what do we have?

We only were given two errors, but we deserved at least six. That’s five errors in the first two games of the season. Ugh.

Luebke left after 4.2 innings with six runs and nine hits tagged onto him. But not all of them were his fault. His defense was not behind him today.

Micah Owings came in in relief and had an impressive outing. He went 3.1 innings and only allowed one hit and one walk. Andrew Cashner also threw a scoreless inning.

It was a really bad 6-0 loss. I was not happy with our boys. At all.

At least the fireworks were cool.

GO PADRES!

Check out my Storify story about this game – http://storify.com/kaitybergquist/padres-lose-again

Follow me on Twitter – @kaitybergquist

Follow my friend Colleen’s Padres blog – http://colleen.mlblogs.com/

 

Storify Stories

Thanks to my journalistic connections, I recently discovered this awesome website called Storify where you can pull content from all sorts of websites and make a story. It’s especially effective with Twitter. I made one for Opening Day today, and then made one for tonight’s game. Since Padres fans are such entertaining tweeters and Storify is so much fun, I might make a habit of it. Here are the two that I’ve done so far:

Enjoy!

GO PADRES!

My Opening Day Adventure

Padres pitcher Edison Volquez, who started Thursday's game against the Dodgers. (Photo credit Kaity Bergquist)

Opening Day is magical. When you’re in the ballpark. But when you spend over an hour looking for parking and dealing with horrible traffic before the game, it was hard to settle down and enjoy. But thankfully, we did.

Word to the wise: if there’s a 4:05 Opening Day start, you should probably leave for the ballpark around 8 a.m.

So that was miserable. We missed all of the pre-game festivities. We were sort of able to see the flyover, and we did see Jerry Coleman throw out the first pitch. But that was it.

We were also in the nosebleeds of the nosebleeds, and there were some very unpleasant Dodgers fans up there. Right behind us was a group that was extrememly loud and obnoxious for the entire game. It was miserable having to endure them the whole time. I do not appreciate the fans who come in here and think that this is their stadium, and that they can say whatever they want and insult people as much as they want. There was one guy who was literally insulting Padres fans for the entire last half hour of the game.

Thankfully, Colleen and I are going to be sitting in a classier section for tonight’s game.

The game itself was not good. I was really impressed with Edinson Volquez for the first three innings. He was spot on. But then he suddenly lost it in the fourth inning and walked in two runs. I was not happy.

Though this is a new season, I felt like I was watching last year’s team. Weak offense, somewhat strong pitching with a lot of weak moments, and pathetic defense. We had three errors. None of those helped the cause at all.

We only had five hits in the game. Cameron Maybin had two, one of which was a two-run homer. Jesus Guzman had one, and then the pitcher and a pinch-hitter each had one. That was it. None of our “big” players had any hits at all. Not that we really have any big players, but guys like Chase Headley, Nick Hundley, Orlando Hudson and Chris Denorfia did not contribute.

Hundley did have two exceptional defensive plays, though. In that fourth inning where Volquez was busy having a meltdown, Nick was able to get an out at the plate with the bases loaded. That was HUGE. He also caught a critcal runner stealing.

Pitcher Anthony Bass did well in relief, but Brad Brach did not. He allowed two runs in the eighth. Ernesto Frieri was also okay, but he’s soooo slow.

So overall, a very disappointing game with the 5-3 loss. Not what we were hoping for, that’s for sure. Hopefully we will be able to turn things around tonight.

GO PADRES!

The Eve of Opening Day

Tickets for Opening Day!

There are a million cliches about Opening Day that I  could probably use in this post. Things like the playing field is level (in terms of standings), everyone is in first place, anything can happen, it’s a clean slate. All of them look forward to the future, to the long season, but ultimately, to the playoffs. The playoffs and then the World Series is the ultimate goal, and the journey starts tomorrow.

From my perspective, it is really a new slate for the boys. We have a new team. We lost so many solid guys over the offseason, and now we have a patchwork of players who aren’t proven. Yet. Tomorrow it begins.

I’m excited. It’s against the Dodgers, which adds a whole new level of intensity to any game. But put Opening Day on top of that…man, it’s going to be intense.

I’m excited beyond belief. Getting to wear my new Padres jersey, to hang out at Petco Park, to be apart of all of the festivities and to watch a game of Padres baseball. It doesn’t get much better than this.

GO PADRES!

P.S. I will be tweeting quite a lot tomorrow: @kaitybergquist 

One week until Opening Day!

(mistycabal/Flickr.com)

We are officially one week away from Opening Day. Padres vs. Dodgers. Petco Park. 4:05 first pitch. Be there.

Well, hopefully a lot of you will be there – the game is sold out. Thankfully, I have tickets for the game, and I am so excited because it’ll be my first time at Opening Day.

It’ll also mark the beginning of my sixth season as a Padres fan. Sixth! It doesn’t even feel like it’s been that long.

I feel like the team is in a lot of tumult right now. Our ownership is up in the air. We lost some good players over the offseason. Nobody really knows where any team will stand when we’re here at the beginning, but I feel like we REALLY won’t know how the Padres are going to do. We never do.

We’ve actually done very well this spring training, though. We’re 18-12 right now, which isn’t a bad record for games that don’t matter. I feel like our offense has been pretty strong. I’m SO excited to see how we do next week though. SO excited.

It’s been too long since we’ve had regular season baseball. I can’t wait.

On a small side note (okay not that small), I was at the Journalism Association of Community Colleges State conference last weekend and won first place in the sports competition. It was pretty sweet. We had to cover a women’s lacrosse game between Occidental College and Allegeheny College. I had never watched a lacrosse game in my life, and pretty much didn’t know any of the rules. There were about 60 writers in the competition.

We watched the game, had a press conference, got on a bus and drove back to the hotel, and then had an hour to write the story. I didn’t feel like I had done particularly well or terribly, and I ended up winning first place. So I’m pretty much the best community college sports writer in the STATE. So exciting!

GO PADRES!

Padres FanFest 2012: Inspiration

The Padres' clubhouse. (Photo credit/Kaity Bergquist)

This year’s FanFest was amazing. It just gets better and better every year, and this year was definitely tops in my opinion.

When I got there (after successfully driving myself downtown for the first time, by the way), there was a long line it get in. It was about 10 a.m. But thankfully, I had pre-registered so I got in through a much shorter line.

My first stop was the Padres Foundation Garage Sale, which had a line almost all the way to home plate. It was crazy. Once I finally got in, I found a couple of things. I got the 2007 yearbook, which meant a lot to me because that was my first season as a fan. Then I bought a commemorative coin from the games in China at the beginning of 2008. I remember how insanely excited I was when I heard that we had won one and tied one of those games. It was a fantastic.

I was in the looooong line to pay when Matt Slagle (@matthewslagle), The Telescope’s editor in chief, texted me and said that he was going to get Trevor Hoffman’s autograph. Now, you must stop reading this blog, open this article in a new tab and read it right now. Then you can come back here. It’s an AMAZING article. http://www.friarhood.com/voice-of-the-fan/visitors-pass/1683-a-great-fan-fest-experience-thanks-to-trevor-hoffman.html

Wasn’t that great? Now back to my FanFest experience.

I headed over to the XX 1090 booth, which was on the Beach this year. When I got there, I think Josh Bynes was being interviewed. Soon, Bud Black showed up to be interviewed next, but because there was still time before it was his turn, he started signing autographs for the fans around him. So cool. Luke Gregerson did the same thing when he showed up during Buddy’s interview.

After a while, Colleen @colleen_teresa , the sports and copy editor on the paper, arrived at Petco. I had my official autograph session almost right away, with Jerry Coleman and Joe Thatcher. It was really cool.

Colleen and I then took the clubhouse tour. As we walked into the hallway that leads to the clubhouse, we saw Huston Street about a foot away from us. Unfortunately, he was talking to someone else and then hoofed it down the hallway, away from us. We didn’t even get to see his face. But that would be remedied later.

Being in the clubhouse is always magical, even thought this was the fourth time I’ve seen it. I love it. This year, it had even more meaning for Colleen and I – we’re both sports writers and want to pursue it as a career, and being in the clubhouse was all the motivation we’ll need for a long time. That and being in the dugout and looking up at the press box. Someday…

Huston Street. (Photo credit/Kaity Bergquist)

We then went back to the Garage Sale to see if there was anything new or reduced. Just as we got in, the Pitcher’s Forum started. it was MC-ed by Mark Grant talking to Tim Stauffer, Cory Luebke and HUSTON STREET! I dragged Colleen over and got as close as we could. I then took many, many photos of all three of the guys, but mostly Street. I’m so excited to have him on the team. He’s going to be an excellent closer for us.

After a great forum, we wandered around the stadium, managing to snag three more autographs: Will Venable, Brad Brach and Jeff Moorad. My total for the day: seven autographs.

It was an amazingly fun day. I loved just being at Petco Park with thousands of other Padres fans. It definitely gave me the itch for baseball. I’m ready. I’m so ready for the season to start and to watch some amazing baseball.

GO PADRES!

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