Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Giles comes through in bottom of the 10th!

HAPPY Cinco De Mayo, 2009

Brian Giles with a Walk Off Double!

For the 2nd time at home this season Brian Giles comes through with a walk off hit in extra innings.

Tonight it was a one out double to DEEP right center that scored Edgar Gonzalez. Gonzalez was on base after walking against Matt Daley.

Padres Win, Padres Win, Padres Win.

Bell gives the Padres a shot at a walk off.

Cinco de Mayo, 2009

Heath Bell comes in and shuts the Rockies down in the 9th with 2 SO and 1 single.

Now the Padres have Adrian, Gerut and Kouzmanoff coming to the plate.

Time for a walk off.

Does Bell com in for the 9th?

Cinco De Mayo 2009

So does Black bring in Bell for the 9th inning in a tie game?

The Padres badly need a win and Bell could shut the Rockies down.

Does Black do the right thing and bring him in now?

WTF is Black Thinking?

Cinco De Mayo, 2009

Ok. I have to wonder WTF Buddy Black is thinking?

You get 7 outstanding innings from Josh Geer and then you have him bat in the bottom of the 7th in a 1-0 game?

Geer comes in for the 8th inning and immediately gives up a home run.

It may be time for the Padres to think seriously about getting a new manager.

This is the 4th time in the past 12 games that he has made extremely questionable moves or lack of moves (remember Blanco hitting away with no outs and a man on 2nd?), at least two of which directly contributed to losses.

If enough fans start saying it maybe the Padres will listen.

Fire Buddy Black!

Lack of Hitting with Men on Base.

Cinco De Mayo 2009

The Padres had the lead off runner on base in 5 of the first 6 innings tonight and yet only scored one run. And that was in the 1st inning.

The Padres are sure getting enough chances with men on base, now someone needs to step up and get a clutch hit.

Happy Cinco de Mayo Padres Fans!

Cinco De Mayo 2009!

Happy Cinco de Mayo

- For all the Padres Naysayers

On this day of hope and partying I wanted to say something to the whiners and nay sayers out there.

You know the ones I am talking about. All those people like Tim "I love a bandwagon" Sullvan of the Union Tribune and all the other people who are now jumping on the losers bandwagon and saying that the Padres were SUPPOSED to be bad this season.

Even during the winning streak early in the season, people like this were not happy and were saying, "When will the Padres fail and become what we want them to be - Losers"?

Let me say this first.

You are all full of it! Completely and totally.

San Diego Padre fans had every reason to be excited going into 2009.

After all, the Padres losing season in 2008 could rightfully be attributed to a major league record spate of injuries that could not possibly be repeated.

EVERY major projection from Bill James to Pecota to the most accurate projection system of all at CHONE had the Padres winning 74-80 games in 2009.

That is a substantial improvement in wins.

Padres fans had a full season of Jody Gerut, Chase Headley and Nick Hundley to look forward to as well.

All three were widely expected to be vast improvements over the people whose places they took in the lineup.

They also had a season of "The Pest" David Eckstein to look forward to. What a tremendous improvement he was projected to be over the 2nd basemen in the 2008 padres lineup!

The Anti-Clutch, Khalil Greene, was gone and a promising young SS had been picked up in the Rule V draft to eventually replace him.

Jake Peavy and Chris Young were coming back healthy and the long awaited move of Heath Bell into the closers role was finally going to happen. Cha Seung Baek had improved tremendously in the 2nd half and we had a good season to look forward to from him.

With the additions like Mark Worrell, Duaner Sanchez, Kevin Correia and Luke Gregerson the bullpen looked to be stronger as well.

So what happened?

In a word - Injuries.

Through yesterday the Padres led MLB with 164 Player Days on the DL through 26 games.

The Padres are currently on pace for 1063 Player days on the DL. That is 6.57 players per game on the DL.

There have only been two seasons since they started keeping track of injuries in 1969 that a team has had more than 1063 player days on the DL. 2008 and 2002.

The major league record for injuries is currently 1244 player days on the DL set by the 2008 San Diego Padres. The previous record was also set by the San Diego Padres, in 2002.

The major league average for 2008 was 440 Player days on the DL. 2.71 players on the DL per game on average.

Injuries this season have forced the Padres to throw 3 starters who have not had enough time either in spring training or in minor league starts to build up their arm strength to the point where they could throw even 90 pitches.

Gaudin was recently brought up after throwing less than 140 pitches in 8.2 IP over his 2 minor league starts. Silva had just 2 spring training starts and only 11.1 IP after recovering from a foot injury that kept him out for more than a month of spring training. Hill had 3 spring training starts and just 8 IP. Hill had not thrown 120 TOTAL pitches in spring training, let alone 100 pitches in a game before he was asked to start a game in the regular season. None of them could be expected to go more than 5 IP in a game, because they simply had not built up enough arm strength to go any longer.

Because of the lack of preparation time available for the starting pitching staff the Padres have had to carry 8 pitchers in the bullpen. The Padres are AVERAGING 4 pitchers used out of the bullpen per game.

Starting pitcher Cha Seung Baek injured his elbow and forearm in spring training was was placed on the DL on March 30th and will not be back until mid May at the earliest.

Oft injured Shawn Hill was called on to start games much to early in my opinion and succumbed to a forearm tendinitis and elbow strain. He has been on the DL since April 27th and there is no timetable for his return.

Promising reliever Mark Worrell was lost for the season to an elbow injury in spring training that required Tommy John surgery. The most successful bullpen pitcher from 2008, Mike Adams, is still recovering from off season shoulder surgery and will not be available until Mid June at the earliest.

On the batting side, the Padres have been without Cliff Floyd, the bench player they were counting on to provide pop off the bench and a veteran presence, since Spring Training.

They are also without Everth Cabrera, the speedy shortstop they were counting on to provide speed to the lineup on at least a platoon and pinch running basis.

These two critical bench players were replaced with Chris Burke. Burke is a utility player with a good glove at 2B and little else.

As I posted earlier, trainer Todd Hutcheson and strength coach Jim Malone need to get a lot of scrutiny in terms of the tremendous amount of injuries to Padres players in recent years. There is certainly some connection between the conditioning regimen these two have created for Padres players and the extraordinary number of injuries those players are experiencing. What that connection is and the extent of the blame they need to shoulder for all the injuries to Padres players is in the hands of people with much more knowledge of the situation than you or I have.

Management Mistakes

There have been mistakes made by management this season that have contributed to the losing streak the Padres are now experiencing.

Many people, including myself on this blog have spoken about mismanagement of the pitching staff and not calling for small ball in the right situations by manager Buddy Black.

There are other mistakes that I believe have had a greater impact on the results of the team than those tactical mistakes.

In my opinion the biggest is not playing Jody Gerut daily. Gerut proved in limited action in 2008 that he could hit LHP as well as RHP. This season he is hitting neither due to not playing regularly because he is in a straight platoon with Scott Hairston. Let Hairston start against LHP at all THREE outfield positions and not just CF. In my opinion the Padres should let Gerut play daily. It is the only way he is going to relax and hit like he did last season when he played every day.

The 2nd mistake is starting Henry Blanco regularly. Blanco is a career .227 hitter and it shows. He is a veteran backup who was expected to mentor promising backstop Nick Hundley, NOT start 40+% of the games this season.

The third mistake has been bringing up Silva, Hill and now Gaudin too soon. Let Geer and LeBlanc get a few games in until the ones you want to fill those slots permanently are ready to go 100+ pitches and 6 innings.

The fourth mistake was worrying too much about having power pitchers over having good pitchers. This mistake started in the Rule V draft where the Padres passed on pitchers like Donnie Veal and David Patton to take the hard throwing Ivan Nova. It continued with the pick up of Eulogio De La Cruz who could not find the plate with a seeing eye dog. Nova has been returned to the Yankees and De La Cruz was recently DFA'd and passed through waivers and has been assigned to the AAA Beavers.

Now what can be done to right the ship?

1st off, BELIEVE!

The great secret of life is that you get what you think about. You can make all the comments that you want about that subject and still not change that universal truth.

Keep the Faith. The Padres WILL turn this around and they will win close to 80 games this season.

Cha Seung baek will be back in a week or so. Shawn Hill will be back within a month and Mike Adams is only a month away.

Minor league pitchers Greg Burke and Gabe DeHoyos are tearing it up in AAA and could be called upon to rest or replace some of the struggling bullpen members.

Brian Giles, Kevin Kouzmanoff, Jody Gerut and Luis Rodriguez WILL hit better than they have so far this season.

The biggest reason the Padres will get better than they have been in the past 14 games is called "Regression toward the Mean". Players tend to regress either upwardly or down towards their career averages over a full season.

Regression toward the mean would indicate the hitters I mentioned above will pick up an average of 50+ points over the season.

The Padres are going to get better and win more games before the season is over.

Now all you have to do is realize that the odds for improvement are in their favor and believe.

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