Results tagged ‘ mat latos ’

No Place Like Home

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IMG_0703.JPGSaturday’s Padres FanFest was incredible. Oh my goodness. I had a BLAST!!

I got to the ballpark with my mom and three younger siblings just before 10 in the morning. We parking in one of the FREE parking lots, which was so cool. We’ve always parked in the convention center underground parking so it was a really neat experience to settle down in the VIP section ;)

We walked the short distance to the ballpark and then walked and walked and walked to try to find the end of the line. It started at Home Plate gate and went all the way around almost to the Padres store area on the left field side. Whoo.

We met up with Hyun Young and checked out the schedule and stuff and discussed what we wanted to do. We decided that we wanted to go for the Hairston Brothers autograph session which was from 12:30-1:30.

Once the line got moving, it didn’t take long at all to get inside. Once we did, I realized that it might be a little challenging to get our tickets for the autograph session. I didn’t agree with the way they distributed those at all. Basically, I think they had to run out of the first few sessions before they put up new ones. So we had no idea of knowing when the Hairston session would become available, and there’s no way we were just going to sit there and wait for it. So, we decided to jump on the clubhouse tour right away and come back to try to get the Hairstons later.

I think we were in the first round of people of the day for the clubhouse tour, which was really nice because it wasn’t too crowded at all. We walked down the long hallway that was flanked by doors on each side. Some of them were labeled, like the family room and x-ray room, but a lot of them were left to the imagination. We went into the weight room, which is so impressive. Some of that stuff is massive! It would be so cool to have access to that kind of equiptment all the time.

Then we went into the hall that led to the main attraction: the clubhouse itself, the home of our San Diego Padres!

IMG_0595.JPGI’d been in there before, but it was so cool to see it again! I was shocked and thrilled to see an empty locker on one side of the room that had a nameplate saying “Hoffman 51″ on it. That’s so cool!!! I thought that was a great tribute to our guy who needs to come back now. I heard a lady say, “They’d better never take that down.” I agree completely.

We spent a lot of time in the clubhouse, taking pictures. There was some very interesting stuff in Everth Cabrera’s locker: an “I Heart Nicaragua” sticker and a picture of Kouz. Hmmm.

Something that made me laugh was peeking into the bathroom that was across the room and seeing this:

IMG_0610.JPGAnd we thought it was women who were so worried about their appearance!

I don’t know if you can see it, but there’s actually an Adrian Gonzalez toothbrush holder in there. LOL!!

After we were done drinking in the clubhouse, we headed out to the dugout, which is so cool. I love it so much! It’s kind of hard to imagine being a baseball player with so many people around, but it was amazing just the same. We then walked the bases, which was very cool. There were a lot of people playing catch in the outfield, which was very neat. I hadn’t brought my glove but that’s something I would love to do someday. When we got to third base, I kind of was sad. I miss Kouz :(

IMG_0643.JPGWe walked down the third base line and decided to get out pictures taken at home plate. As we stood in line, Ted Leitner walked right past us! I didn’t get a chance to say hi, but that was very cool.

I’m a little mixed up on the order of how we did things at this point, but hopefully I’m mostly accurate :)

I believe that we went to check for the HairBros session again, but it wasn’t there. We decided to grab a ticket for an Everth Cabrera signing, just so that we were sure to get an autograph if the HairBros didn’t work out. After we got that, we went to the Padres Garage Sale.

Earlier, we had seen a lady looking at a Kevin Kouzmanoff banner thingy while we were walking on the concourse. I was like, ahhh I have to go get that! So once we got into the Garage Sale, I went straight for that front porch thingy to look for it. My sister found it for me. So epic! I’m so glad I was able to get it, but it was filthy! Not the best thing to be carrying around while wearing a white jersey.

This is a picture that I took at a game last year:

IMG_3601.JPGAnd this is the actual one that I bought. Who knows? This might have been the one hanging there!

IMG_0756.JPGI also bought a reusable “green” bag that said “Padres Foundation” on it because I never have a big enough bag for all my stuff. Especially when I go to Petco Park. But the selection of stuff this year wasn’t as good as last years, I thought.

While we were “shopping” we bumped into John from The Friar Faithful. It was really cool to meet him!

Next we decided to check out the Media Zone and met the guys from RJ’s Fro on the way over. They were super cool, and we said “I like BBQ” to them and they gave us these sweet posters signed by the RJ himself, Randy Jones! Thanks so much guys!!

IMG_0753.JPGWe all decided to go talk to Corey Brock, so we hung out around there for a long time and met the guys from Gaslamp Ball. Now that was seriously cool. It was like a mini-Padres-bloggers meetup, in the media zone, no less! Wow. Anyways, all those guys are very cool and I had a lot of fun talking with them. Man I love Padres bloggers.

Hyun Young and I decided to go try for the HairBros again, but I think we got distracted by taking pictures of players who were in other autograph sessions. Mat Latos and Sean Gallagher cracked me up. They switched nameplates and looked like they were having a lot of fun. I love Mat Latos, and I think he’s my new favorite pitcher. Can’t wait to see him pitch a whole season!

IMG_0683.JPGI think we walked down to the field again (I don’t remember why) and then we came back up and spent some time at the 4SD area. Hyun Young got her picture taken with Mark Neely and I got a Cox keychain. At least it wasn’t the sunscreen. 

It was kind of cool because Adrian and his wife Betsy walked right by and went in the middle of a crowded concourse. I mean, that’s not something you see everyday: the face of the organization walking among the fans. I thought that was pretty cool.

So then I got a lemonade and we went to the Everth line to wait for our autographs. It wasn’t that long of a wait at all. There was this mom behind us who was telling her little son about who’s autograph they were going to get. Then Everth walked by, and the little kid was like, who’s that? His mom went, he’s Everth Cabrera, we’re going to get his autograph. And the kid goes, “Him? I HATE him!!” I was cracking up. Haha it was great!

We got Carlos Hernandez and Everth Cabrera’s autographs, which was pretty cool. Everth was pretty shy, but he’s adorable.

IMG_0714.JPGWe took more pictures of players who were signing, but we just missed taking pictures of the HairBros at their session. Sigh. But then we decided to go watch their Q&A session, and I thought that I would FINALLY be able to see them!

The front office session was just ending when we got there, and we met Steve from the Friarhood and talked with him for a while. That was so cool! He loved my jersey and picture of Kouz.

We settled down for the Q&A session. And then my phone rang. My mom said that we needed to meet her at the stairs at 2, which was when the session was supposed to start. Sigh.

So, in the end, I never got to see the Hairstons in person. I was chasing after them all day, but never quite caught up. Oh well. I’m sure that there will be other opportunities to meet them later :)

As we walked out, I passed right by Mat Latos! I couldn’t really see who it was at first because I was walking into the sun, and then suddenly I saw that tattoos on his arm, and I was like, it’s Mat Latos! He was probably like five inches away. I didn’t have time to react to say anything, but it was still pretty cool.

What a great event. Petco really felt like home that day. I felt so comfortable and like I belonged there. I loved how open the place was. I mean, we could go almost anywhere in the park! I know that place so well and I’m just so comfortable there that it felt like home. I love that place like crazy.

So here’s the famous picture I wore on my sleeve the whole day as a tribute to Kouz:


IMG_0749.JPGI miss you dude.  

I’ve got a big announcement to make, but I think I’ll wait a few days :) Build up the suspense a little. Hehehe I can’t wait to tell you guys!!

My inner Padres fan was really renewed by hanging out at the ballpark and interacting with other fans. It’s like the baseball side of me has officially been awakened. I seriously can’t wait to hear some Padres baseball already!!!! WHOOO HOOOO!!!!!

FanFest was incredible. Great job, Padres.

GO PADRES!!!

Unlikely Hero

Coming into last night’s game, Wade LeBlanc had had a very bad time in the majors. In the eight major league starts he had before, he had an ERA of 8.53. He also had a 16.20 ERA in two starts at Dodger Stadium. He hadn’t been that good at all in his starts with the Padres. Descent in Triple-A, but not good in the majors.

Until last night.

LeBlanc had, by far, the very best start he’s made in the major leagues. He threw six innings, allowing two hits, three walks, and struck out two. He was being aggressive, throwing strikes, and he threw an excellent game. I’m very pleased. Well done, Wade.

wadeleblanc.jpgIn the top of the first, we got two runners on with no outs. Everth walked and Eck singled. But Adrian struck out and Everth got caught stealing. Thankfully, Kouz was able to single in Eck to give us the lead.

In the top of the second, Oscar Salazar singled. Will Venable grounded out, sending Oscar to second. Then, craziness abounded. Nick Hundley singled, the hit going off the pitcher’s glove and to the shortstop. The shortstop threw past first, and as Oscar chugged around to score, the first baseman threw over the catcher’s head and into the stands. My goodness. The Dodgers got charged for two errors on that play, and the Padres got their second run.

nick sing;e.jpgAfter LeBlanc left the game, Joe Thatcher and Luke Gregerson threw. Heath Bell relieved Luke with two outs in the bottom of the eighth, with the potential tying runs on board. Heath induced a fly-out to left field to get out of the inning.

In the bottom of the ninth, Heath came back to get the save. First batter he faced singled. But, he got an excellent double play started by Kouz. Heath ended the game with a called strike to the last batter.

heath fist.jpgAnd so, we won 2-0, beating our division rivals. Sure, we’re 20 games behind them, but this time, the mouse came out on top of the cat.

cat_amp_mouse.jpgLike I said the other day, we’re playing spoiler. We keep the Dodgers down, and we can determine who’s going to win this thing. Last night’s game was not easy. We only got two runs, five hits, the whole game. The Dodgers had some big threats going. All it would have taken was a single to tie the game. Thankfully, our pitching was able to keep them down, but it wasn’t easy.

There’s a ton of energy when the Padres and Dodgers meet. The crowd was 52,965!! I definitley heard some “LET’S GO PADRES!!” out there. These series are intense.

We have no right winning this series, I know. By the numbers, we’re the worst team in the NL West. The Dodgers have been in the lead almost all year. They’re a dominating club. But this Padres team has changed since the last time we met. They’re different, better. And I think they’re going to become a playoff-hopeful team’s worst nightmare.

Mat Latos will be making his last start of the year tonight against Randy Wolf. After tonight, the Padres will be shutting down Latos, since he’s had a very large work load this year. I hope he’ll be able to have a great start to finish off a great year. Go Latos!!

GO PADRES!!! BEAT LA!!!   

Latos’ Gem

Last night was a great game. It was exciting and frustrating, but the Padres came out on top. Took a while to get there though…

Mat Latos started, and he was spectacular. By the fifth inning, I was getting really excited. I thought, maybe this is the night. Maybe it’s really going to happen!! Mat retired the first 13 batters before giving up a couple hits in the fifth. Oh well. I thought the Padres were finally going to get a no-hitter, but not yet. Not yet. He went seven innings total, giving up two hits with no walks and four strikeouts. I’d say that this was his best outing of the year. He was soooo good!!

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Latos was helped by some incredible defense behind him. Will Venable, Everth Cabrera, and Tony Gwynn made some amazing plays.

In the third, Adrian Gonzalez hit his 34th homer of the season. That was all that either team could muster.

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In the bottom of the ninth, Heath was making things interesting again. With one out, he allowed a single and a walk. An out later, he allowed a single to tie the game. Oh bummer. That was Heath’s third blown save of the year. Thankfully, though, he was able to keep the winning run on third and got out of the inning. 

Well, the Padres bullpen did OK, but they had to work out of several jams. Heath was the only Padres pitcher who gave up a run last night. 

So, the game went on into extra innings. The Padres didn’t get anything going until the 12th inning. Nick Hundley doubled to start it off. Tony Gwynn struck out. Luis Rodriguez walked. E-Cab struck out. Finally, Eck doubled to score Nick and give the Padres the lead. Leave it to Eck to get the job done :) 

Edward Mujica threw a scoreless bottom of the 12th to get the save and close the game. We actually won!!! 

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It was a great game, since we won. BUT our batters struck out 16 times!! That is not good at all.

Latos was amazing, man. I am so excited about his future!! He’s going to get so much better. Wow. Great, great effort by Latos last night!!

I wrote two more fanmail letters yesterday: Heath Bell and Nick Hundley. I’m also going to write a letter to Jake Peavy sometime this week. Oh boy, that’s going to be a long one.

Well, the Padres and the Braves will go at it again tonight. Tim Stauffer and his 1-6 record will be pitching. Ugh. Oh boy. Well, he’d better pitch well. If he doesn’t tonight, I think he’s done. He’s had his chance up here.

GO PADRES!!!

Glimpse of the Future

Last night’s game was like deja vu, except forwards. I think we saw a glimpse of the future, an echo of what is to come.

latos mat.jpgGLIMPSE OF THE FUTURE #1

Mat Latos made his fourth start as a Padre this season, and he was amazing. This guy has been called the next Jake Peavy in the Padres’ organization, and he’s one of the most prized pitching prospects we have. I wouldn’t say he’s a Jake Peavy yet, but he’s been very good.

Last night he threw seven innings, allowing two runs on six hits and striking out three. He did struggle early, loading the bases with no outs in the first, but he only allowed one run in that inning and one in the second. He kept the Braves down the rest of the way. It was great! 

The Padres are probably going to shut down Mat in a month or so because he threw a ton of innings in the minors this year, and he’s been going seven a lot up here too. Gotta watch out for that arm of the future, you know :)

 

will venable.jpgGLIMPSE OF THE FUTURE #2

Will Venable has really been heating up in the last week or so. Last night, he had three hits and drove in a run. Plus, he had a great sliding grab in right field.

Will was first called up to the majors in September last year, and he did very well. I think he came up this year when Brian Giles went on the DL. Now that we’ve got our outfield slimmed down, I think these guys are getting the playing time they need. Last night, Chase Headley was in left, Tony Gwynn was in center, and Venable was in right. And it worked!

I’d say that the biggest part of Will’s game is his defense. I watched a game once from the Beach out in the outfield, and I watched him make two spectacular plays to rob the hitters. It was so cool!! He’s good out there.

GLIMPSE OF THE FUTURE #3

Kyle Blanks has been so hot in the last week! Last night, he hit his sixth homer of the year to tie the game at two in the second. This guy had been tearing it up in the minors, so we knew he could hit. It took a while for him to get in a groove, but now that’s he’s made it, it’s so much fun to watch this big boy blast those balls out of here.

blanksie.jpgBlanks started playing the outfield after Spring Training, so he had even less time than Chase did last year to learn the outfield. Kyle has been decent out there. He hasn’t embarrassed himself, at least. But he has been able to play his natural position, first base, to give Adrian a break.

It’s going to be interesting to see how the Padres play Kyle. I think they would like him to be in his natural position eventually, but we’re holding onto Adrian for now. Hopefully they will be able to work that out without getting rid of another fan favorite.

 

GLIMPSE OF THE FUTURE #4

everth stealing.jpgI’ve talked about Everth Cabrera before, but I just love this guy. He’s such an amazing player already, but he’s still learning. He’s still growing. He’s still improving!

This is Everth’s first season above Single-A. He was definitely ready for the Majors. Last night he had a hit in the seventh. He then stole second AND third base. Oscar Salazar drove him in with a single to give us an insurance run. What a player!! I love this guy. He’s going to be sooo great in the future!!

It was a great game. We got a run each in the first, second, and third innings. The bullpen was excellent. Mike Adams was ridiculously sharp. Wow. Did you know that his ERA is 0.86 right now? WOW!!!

mike adams.jpgHeath Bell was really great too. He went 1-2-3 with two strikeouts. The last out was a great play by Kouz, and we won the game 4-2!!

kouz dive.jpgIt’s always good to get the first game of the series, and the Padres played really well to get it. I am sooo proud of them! These young guys have been so amazing. It’s really exciting!

Tonight Tim Stauffer is pitching against Javier Vasquez. I think we can do it! These guys have confidence. I think that’s something that had been missing in the past few months. 

GO PADRES!!! 

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