Thursday September 24, 2009
The San Diego Padres came back from an early 3 run deficit to defeat the Colorado Rockies 5-4 tonight at Coors Field in Denver. The victory gave the Padres their 4th series win in the last five against division foes.
Padres starter Clayton Richard was shaky in the 1st inning allowing a 3 run home run to Tulowitzki after and Everth Cabrera throwing error and a Todd Helton single put men on 1st and 2nd.
Richard settled down after that to throw 5 scoreless innings, but did not get the decision. His line on the night: 6 innings, 7 hits, 3 runs, 2 earned, 2 walks, and 2 strike outs.
Luke Gregerson rebounded from giving up his first runs in the last 2 months in his last outing to throw 1 2/3 innings and record his first ML save. Adam Russell got the win for recording a single out in the 7th.
Cabrera's error was his 19th of the season. It sure seems that Cabrera only commits errors when the play is totally routine and the play tonight was about as routine as they come.
The Padres 6-7-8 hitters went 7 for 12 with 3 rbi and 4 runs scored to pace the Padres offense. Actually, Salazar (2-4 including a triple), Hundley (2-4 with his 8th HR of the year and a stolen base in the 8th inning), and Gwynn (3-4 with the game winning rbi in the 8th) pretty much WERE the Padres offense. Eckstein was his usual pesky self going 2-4 with a sac fly and Headley hit a single in the 8th, advanced to 2nd on a Venable sac bunt and scored on a Hundley single.
The sac bunt by Will Venable was a thing of beauty and I expressed on twitter at the time that I hoped he would teach Gwynn how to follow suit.
The Padres should give an assist to Rockies center fielder Dexter Fowler for a total lack of hustle on a shallow hit to center in the 8th that allowed Chase Headley to score the tying run. Fowler jogged in on the ball hit in front of him and then made a lackluster toss to second base instead of trying to gun down Headley at the plate. Even if he hustled the play would have been close with Headley running from 2nd, but to not make any attempt was inexcusable.
Rockies starter Jason Hammel went 6 1/3 innings giving up 2 runs on 6 hits with no walks and 6 k's. Reliever Joe Beimel took the loss.
The Padres have now taken 2 series against the Rockies and one against the Dodgers and Giants in the month of September. All three are playoff contenders.
In fact the only team to take a series from the Padres this month are the last place Diamondbacks.
I really like what I have seen from the Padres in the 2nd half of this season. With 8 games to play the Padres are now 71-83 on the season. 8 games better than 2008. Playing .500 ball the rest of the way will the Padres 75 wins, an even dozen games better than 2008.
That has GOT to make you feel good about the prospects of a winning season in 2010 if the Padres go out and get a decent bat and one innings eating pitcher in FA or in trade.