The Rockies handed the Padres three losses this weekend and now it looks like the National League Wild Card is going to come down to the wire. Six runs in a three games series isn’t going to cut it but despite the three losses, the Padres still control their own destiny with a razor thin 1/2 game lead over the Phillies for the Wild Card. More important, they’re one loss better so if they win out, the playoff spot is theirs.
The Padres do have to contend with playing on the road the rest of the way though. It’s three against the Giants then four against the Brewers. By that Brewers series, they should be out of it so I don’t know if that’ll change things or not. In the meantime, the Phillies have three against a tough Braves team and three against the Nationals while the Rockies, who are a game and a half back of the Padres (two losses), play the Dodgers and a tough Diamondbacks team.
The pitching matchup in this Giants series that really worries me is tomorrow, which has Matt Cain going up against Bret Tomko. Chris Young and Barry Zito I like and then Peavy throws Wednesday (does it really matter who’s throwing for the Giants). You wonder if Peavy gets the start on Sunday if they have to win on short rest.
Adrian Gonzalez has an outside shot of some nice milestones. If he can hit three homers this week, it’ll get him to 30 and he needs nine RBIs and eight runs. We’ll need his stick if we want to get into the playoffs so if he can manage any of those milestones, it just means good things for the Padres.
Unless Peavy gets the Sunday start, he’ll fall short of 20 wins although you’d think he’d still be the front runner for the Cy Young. In fact if he should walk away with the pitching triple crown if he can win Wednesday’s start. He already has a career high 233 strikeouts and with seven more, he’ll cross an impressive 240 line. Johan Santana is right behind him for the major league lead with 231.
Regardless, I’ll be watching these last few games very, very closely. Of course once you get into the playoffs, anything can happen and I like our chances better this year then in any other.
The Padres struggled out of the game in the second half and the Dodgers won all of their games to push the Padres into second place, a game down of the first place Dodgers. Even in the one win, the Padres didn’t put up a ton of runs as the offensive struggles. The Padres have scored more then four runs just once in the month of July.
Justin Germano came up big yesterday though. He held the Diamondbacks scoreless in 6 1/3 and the pen finished up the shutout. Germano is continuing his push to win Rookie of the Year and if he keeps pitching like he did on Sunday, he has a solid chance.
Milton Bradley looks like he could be a solid pickup. He has hits in his first four games as a Padre and I know he comes with attitude problems, but if he rakes, I think that covers a lot of the problems. There’s always the injury concerns, but I remember seeing Bradley carry the A’s in the ALCS. I know A’s were swept in that series, but Bradley was one of the only guys to keep the A’s in a lot of the games.
Adrian Gonzalez’s slide has been disconcerting. In June, his OPS was just .720 and in July, it’s even worse at .427. His last homerun came on June 17th and in the past two months, he has just four long balls. An odd stat in his splits page is how Gonzalez is so much better in the day (1.016 OPS) then he is during the night (.718 OPS).
Jake Peavy makes his first start of the second half as he continues his run towards a Cy Young. He faces Orlando Hernandez tomorrow. Tonight’s matchup has David Wells going up against Jorge Sosa.
The Padres are back in first place after winning three straight and five out of their last six games and they’ve been playing some great baseball. Their mediocre offense has put up 23 runs in their last two games and they have two more games against one of the worst team’s in baseball, the Baltimore Orioles.
Adrian Gonzalez isn’t getting enouch mention as an MVP candidate. I know he “only” has 14 homersun and he’s hitting just .296 but this guy is the cornerstone of the offense. He’s really the only guy on the team with an above average OPS (Mike Cameron has an OPS+ of 102 versus Gonzalez’s 144). If you can live with the strikeouts, and I can, Gonzalez is having one heck of a season.
And what can you say about the pitching. Jake Peavy is the Cy Young winner of the first half and the team is sporting an incredible 2.97 ERA. Chris Young is right there with Peavy and Greg Maddux is doing just about what we expected from him. Heath Bell has been the stud out of the pen and he has 45 strikeouts in 39 2/3 innings. Anyway, it’s been a long time since a team has finished with below a 3.00 ERA and the Padres have a chance to do just that.
The Padres pulled the trigger on a trade today and they picked up catcher Michael Barrett. Josh Bard has been pretty mediocre and while Barrett has had a rough year, he brings some pop. He has nine homers this year (in only 57 games) and he hit 16 the previous three seasons. Hopefully he change of scenery and the Padres winning ways will help turn his season around.
The guy the Padres gave up (other then backup catcher Rob Bowen) was Kyler Burke. He was a supplemental first round pick by the Cubs in 2006 but he had a tough time in the Arizona League in his first professional season and he hasn’t done much better this year in Low A at Fort Wayne (he’s hitting just .211). Barrett is a free agent at the end of the year so this is more of a rental but the price wasn’t all that high.
Justin Germano tries to make it 6-0 tonight. The Padres will face one of the Orioles better starters in Jeremy Guthrie so this could be an interesting one. Game time is in less then hour and I’ll be listening in.
Just four days ago, there was a three way tie for first place in the National League West. Now, after a three game sweep over the Dodgers and five wins in a row overall, the Padres have broken away from the pack, at least for the time being.
Jake Peavy looked mortal yesterday. It was the first time since opening day he was tagged for four runs in a start and his ERA almost pushed above 2.00 because of it. Still, with 95 strikeouts and a 7-1 record (the offense bailed him out yesterday), he’s definitely on his way toward his first Cy Young.
The pitching star of the series was Chris Young. He threw seven shutout innings in the opener on Tuesday to keep the Padres in the game. It was eventually only a 1-0 win and Young got us there with a 117 pitch outing. Also, congratulations to Trevor Hoffman, who had two saves in the series. He became the first pitcher ever to save 500 games in a season. What a season he’s having, holding the opposition to a 1.79 batting average.
Interleague play starts back up tonight and the Padres play three against the Mariners, this time at home. The Mariners are somewhat surprising this year and the most interesting pitching match up is the finale on Sunday, when Chris Young takes on a struggling Felix Hernandez. You have to feel for Felix because he was so good in those first two starts. Now he’s looked rather mortal since his injury.
The Angels really helped out the Padres by sweeping the Dodgers and after taking two of three in Seattle, the Padres now sit just one game back of LA. The weekend series was highlighted by two great pitching performances, one of which was a little surprising. We expect some good pitching from Chris Young now and then but when it comes from Justin Germano, it’s unexpected. Germano threw six shutout innings yesterday and he’s now won his last two starts. I’ll be taking a closer look at Germano here for you soon.
Marcus Giles had a great series and he had two hits in each of the three games. He’s now hitting .293 and while he hasn’t hit for a lot of power, his .359 OBP is pretty respectable. Adrian Gonzalez didn’t do much in the first two games, he did pick up three hits in the finale. Gonzalez’s power drought is concerning (he hasn’t hit a homerun since May 9) but the Padres keep winning so no complaints here.
In prospect news, first base prospect Kyle Blanks was highlighted for his outstanding weekend. He went eleven for eighteen and he drove in eleven runs in the weekend series. Blanks checks in at 6’6″, 280 lbs and he’s had his injury problems in the past. He’s definitely a guy to watch down at Lake Elsinore. And then this story talks about third base prospect Chase Headley.
Next up are the Cubs, who roll into town for three games beginning tomorrow. We’ll have a nice matchup in the opener with Jake Peavy taking on Rich Hill.
The last time I posted was almost three weeks ago and a big part of that was some system wide problems that I had with our network that made it extremely difficult to post. Things have been fixed though so I’m hoping to get back into a regular schedule.
And it’s just in time because the Padres are heating up. They’ve won three of their last four games and they head to Seattle for a three game series with interleague play starting up.
Of course you can’t say too much about how the Padres are doing without talking about Jake Peavy. I took some heat for taking him in the first round of my fantasy draft last year and it just looks like I was a year ahead of myself because Peavy is a Cy Young contender once again. He leads the league in strikeouts and ERA and he sits with a 5-1 record. Only two times has he given up more the two runs and in six of his nine starts, he’s given up just one run or less.
On the hitting side, Adrian Gonzalez has been the star. He already has ten homeruns and he also leads the team with 31 RBIs.
The rest of the rotation has done a nice job as well and the Padres lead all of baseball with a 3.14 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP.
So hopefully, the Padres can make up that three game deficit in a hurry. The first order of business are the Mariners though and Chris Young gets the start in the opener.
The Padres came back from a 4-1 deficit to tie it in the seventh only to be shut down the rest of the game and lose it in seventeen innings. David Wells was hit hard early and he lasted only five frames after giving up the four runs. Justin Hampson took the loss. He pitched three shutout frames but then gave up an RBI double in his fourth inning (the seventeeth) to lose it).
Marcus Giles went three for four with two runs and an RBI. Jose Cruz, Jr. went three for seven with a run and an RBI in the 5-4 loss.
So the Padres have slipped all the way back to a tie for third place with Giants. Fortunately, one of the worst teams in baseball, the Nationals, are rolling into town for three games beginning tomorrow. Jake Peavy gets the start tomorrow and he’ll square off against John Patterson.
The Padres evened their series up with the Dodgers with a 3-2 loss behind some great pitching by Greg Maddux. He picked up the win and improved to 2-2 and he gave up two runs on five hits and one walk with three strikeouts in seven solid innings. This time Hoffman got it done and he threw a shutout ninth to pick up save number five.
The Padres did all of their scoring in the fourth inning. Khalil Greene doubled home two runs and then Mike Cameron singled home Greene to make it a 3-2, a score that would end up standing. Cameron finished two for three.
David Wells throws against Derek Lowe in the rubber game. Wells has had a tough time so far this year but he picked up his first win earlier in the week with some solid run support. Hopefully he can get it done and the Padres can take the series.
This one was tough because normally, this game is in the bag. Up 4-2, Trevor Hoffman came in to finish it up and he gave up four runs in the ninth. He didn’t even finish the inning and Heath Bell and to come in to get the final out. What makes it worse is Clay Hensley had another solid start and it ended up being wasted.
Jose Bard went three for four with an RBI in the 6-5 loss. Jose Cruz, Jr. hit homerun number four for the season and Brian Giles finished with one hits, one walks and two runs.
Greg Maddux gets the start tonight and hopefully he’ll get the Padres back on track. Bret Tomko will provide the opposition and he’s a famliary face.
Chris Young had a tough time yesterday against the Diamondbacks in the Padres 7-4 loss. He dropped to 2-2 on the season and he gave up six runs (five earned) on six hits and three walks with three strikeouts. Rookie Justin Hampson was tagged for a run in two innings of relief.
Adrian Gonzalez continued to rake the ball and he provided most of the Padres offense with a three run homer, his third of the season. Jose Cruz, Jr. also had a nice day at the plate. He went three for four with two runs.
Next up is three with the now tied for first place Dodgers. The Giants have caught fire and they passed the Padres this week but we’re only a game out. And by taking care of the Dodgers this weekend, we know we’ll be making up ground against at least one team. It’ll be Clay Hensley tonight in the opener.
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