Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Lopez is not the answer for Padres, Good Defense Is

Wednesday April 29, 2009

The Padres brought up left handed reliever Arturo Lopez in the hopes that he could stop the bleeding in the bullpen when it comes to left handed batters.

Going into today's game the Padres Bullpen is allowing a BAA of .292 to left handed batters.

No such luck. Lopez walked the first two batters he faced, gave up a hard hit 2 run single and then hit a batter before being lifted for Luis Perdomo without getting an out.

Now do not get me wrong. The loss cannot be pinned on Lopez today.

That dishonor goes to Edgar Gonzalez.

Edgar Gonzalez blew a routine play that would have been the 1st out in the 6th and the inning would have ended on a fly ball that was instead a sac fly that scored the 2nd run of the inning.

If Edgar does his job on that ground ball for the 1st out of the inning, Tulowitzki is at 2nd for Ianneta's single up the middle and has to be held at 3rd, Cook either swings away or sacrifices the runners to 2nd and 3rd with 2 out and Fowler's fly ball is the 3rd out of the inning. Lopez does not come into the game in the 6th and the Padres go into the 9th ahead 5-3.

The difference in the game was Defense, not pitching.

Now I know there are going to be alot of people who are whining about the Padres pitching after tonight's game, but their distress and venom is misplaced.

Some will be complaining about the Padres lack of offense against Rockies Starter Aaron Cook despite the fact that the Padres scored 3 runs off Cook and 5 runs in the game. Their misgivings are also misplaced.

They should be complaining about a Padres defense that is average at best and well below average when Edgar Gonzalez is on the field. What galls me the most about this game is the thought that the middle infielder they let get away, Travis Denker, is a very good to great defensive player.

Ladies and Gentlemen, pitching and defense wins championships. ESPECIALLY when you play 81 games in the leagues best pitchers park.

It is time the Padres started to think about how many runs the players they put on the field can prevent, and less about how many runs players with poor defensive skills like Edgar Gonzalez are going to add with their mediocre bats.

So, Arturo Lopez is not the answer to what ails the Padres bullpen, Good Defense Is.

I have had my say, now what do you think?

Padres Shawn Hill may return from DL in as little as 3 weeks

Wednesday April 29, 2009

Starting pitcher Shawn Hill may return to San Diego Padres rotation in as little as 3 weeks after encouraging test results on Monday according to Owen Perkins of

Hill left Sunday's game after the 2nd inning with tightness in his elbow and bicep and went through an MRI and stress testing in San Diego on Monday.

Doctors found fluid on Hill's right elbow and tendinitis in his forearm, but no structural damage according to Padres Manager Bud Black.

This is very encouraging news for a Padres pitching staff that has been beset with injuries that have forced 4 other pitchers onto the DL already this season. Padres starters Cha Seung Baek and Walter Silva are both currently on the DL.

The oft injured Hill is in his 6th major league season and has never started more than 16 games in any of those seasons. His career has been punctuated by missing the entire 2005 season after Tommy John surgery in September 2004, missing substantial time in 2006 and 2007 to injuries and after starting the 2008 season on the DL Hill ended the season with elbow surgery last September.

This is not a new situation for Hill to be in, but it looks like it will be a short lived trip to the DL for a change.

With Baek and Silva both expected to begin rehab assignments this week and Hill returning in a few weeks, the Padres will be in an enviable position of having depth at the 3-5 slots in the starting pitching rotation.

Hopefully this bodes well for a Padres team that has won just two of their last 8 games and has had to maintain 8 men in their bullpen due to starting pitching that has averaged just over 5 innings per start.

Padres Win, Padres Win, Padres Win

Wednesday April 29, 2009

The San Diego Padres won 4-3 over the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field in Denver last night.

Chad Gaudin made his first start as a Padre and gave up just 3 hits while walking 4 over 5 shutout innings in his debut.

The Padres staked Gaudin to a 2 run lead in the third inning on a Scott Hairston 2 run blast to LF, but the bullpen was unable to hold the lead with Edward Mujica giving up one run in the 6th on a 2 out home run to Rockies LF Sean Smith and Luke Gregerson giving up two runs in the 7th on 4 straight singles.

The Padres came back in the top of the 9th with a leadoff triple by catcher Nick Hundley and a single by Luis Rodriguez.

Heath Bell came in for the bottom of the 9th inning and shut the Rockies down for his major league leading 8th save.

This win highlighted what has become the hallmark of the Padres team so far this season, a never say die attitude. In my opinion, having so many people write them off prior to the season has put a chip on the Padres players collective shoulders and they have fought back in just about every game.

Last night's win was the Padres 5th coming from behind late in the game and their 6th win in 8 one run games. The Padres lead the NL in wins in one run games so far this season.

With this win the Padres are 11-9 on the season and two games back of the NL West division leading Los Angeles Dodgers.

To be in the hunt after 20 games with 3 starters, 2 relievers and 2 bench players on the DL already is a hopeful sign in the hearts and minds of Padres fans everywhere.

In a side note, Adrian Gonzalez got his first major league stolen base in the top of the 6th inning.

I have had my say. Now what do you think?