Joe Wieland gave the Padres what they expected and more, pitching 6 innings, giving up one run while giving up 5 hits, striking out 6 batters and allowing 1 free pass, a leadoff walk to start the game. Unfortunately, that one walk and early hits were enough to qualify him for the loss as the anemic offense couldn’t muster a single run in the game against the Phillies.
The Padres led off once again looking like the team of the futile, leading for calls to start bringing up the Padres of the future, as the Philles led off with a walk, a single and an error on Will Venable allowing a sac fly to score the Phillies first run. The Phillies loaded the bases, before Wieland settled down and got 2 more outs to end the inning after 30 pitches. The Padres answered in grand fashion by allowing Vance Worley (yes THAT Vance Worley..what you’ve never heard of VANCE FREAKING WORLEY?!?!) to strike out the side. These were just the first 3 of a long night of strikeouts for the Padres. The Phillies got one more hit in the second, but did not score and Joe Wieland started to look more like a major league pitcher. He settled down, retiring 8 straight Phillies at one point before allowing a 1 out Triple in the fifth inning. He was able to escape that jam, and had no troubles in the 6th and 7th innings before being pullef for the night. I was really impressed how he settled down from the 30 Pitch first inning and got out of the early trouble. He really did pitch well enough for the win, and the offense was not without opportunities. Blown chances in the second and sixth inning were what bother me the most.
The bottom of the second showed some promise to tie after Jeremy Hermida led off the inning with a triple. When you get a runner on third base with no outs, you absolutely positively MUST bring him home. No excuses, especially when you have the middle of your lineup batting. Unfortunately, Alonso lined out, Baker (who may have had the worst day of any Padre) struck out and Bartlett grounded out weakly to end the inning. Absolutely Pathetic. There are a myriad of ways to score from third without the benefit of a hit. To not score in that situation is simply unacceptable. Period.
The other scoring opportunity is the 6th inning. Will Venable singled up the middle and then Cameron Maybin bunted him over. Why is Maybin bunting in the 6th inning? Are they that passive that they are playing for just one run at home when trailing by one? Do the Padres have that little faith in Maybin? I mean, I guess I can understand given how often he has gone down on strikes this year, and how often the Friars have hit into double plays. But with that speed, they should find a way to stay out of the DP. After Headley then singled, the Padres had runners on first and third, with Jeremy Hermida batting and one out. Hermida struck out and in the process of a delayed double steal, Will Venable was caught stealing home. Wait, What? And then we can’t even do an aggressive play like stealing home, aggressively? By all accounts, Venable came in to home like he wanted to give a dolphin a hug. Seriously it was that passive. I had wondered on Twitter if this team knows what it’s trying to do. They aren’t playing smart baseball. This play has so many rabbit trails to go on, from a #wruters perspective.
1) The strikeout- It was the epitome of the game and the still young, but getting into potty training status. Looks like the team still needs diapers. Their crapping all over the place. That strikeout was one of 12 strikeouts on the night and gives them somewhere like eleventy billion on the year. Or 109. Either way, way too many. Cameron Maybin is leading the way with 17. I thought the team was seeing some progress earlier in the week. After looking utterly ridiculous with 9 straight strikeouts against Aaron Harang Saturday night , enroute to 18 on the evening, they played 3 straight games where they COMBINED for just 11 Strikeouts. Guess they left their bats on the road, as they didn’t use them tonight.
2) Will Venable. I’m not sure what to add to the discussion. I’m sure avengingjackmurphy.com will have plenty on him, as he certainly had a lot to tweet about tonight. Will did do one good thing, in getting a hit, but he had an error in the first inning that may have contributed to the Phillies run. The run is considered earned, as if the inning had played out afterwards like it did, without the error, the run would have still scored. As a follower opined, a pitcher may go after the batter differently with a runner on 1st and 2nd instead of 1st and 3rd. A fair point. Venable has been hitting the ball well this year so far, but his defense has been lacking (3 errors already) and he has been caught stealing three times this season. There are others guilty of failing on the basepaths, so I don’t mean to pick on him, and tonight’s caught stealing was a different breed. It is still alarming to me though. Hey Will, could you please go a little harder at the catcher? He is not your friend.
There was also chatter about him playing in left field tonight. Honestly, I don’t have a problem with it, as I have seen him play LF frequently before. I haven’t followed his defense in left enough to opine on his ability, but to argue he is being put out of position bothers me. He has been played all three positions at some point this week, this season, and in his career. I don’t think it’s that he’s not adjusting to the position. He’s probably just not that good.
3) In response to my tweet about smart play, one of my followers brought up Adrian Gonzalez, saying the Padres are struggling to find themselves since trading him. Okay, I would consider this LAST year since we just traded him. But He’s been gone for a while. Stop using his absence as a crutch if you are. But I don’t think the Padres are. They played bad baseball with him (2008-09, anyone?) and they are playing stupid baseball without him.
I also saw, again, the old line about the Padres trading away people that are good so they don’t have to pay them. Frankly its bothering me because it’s not based in reality. I put the challenge out there on Twitter for people to give me someone who the Padres let go, other than Adrian, that still performed at an level equal or greater than the when the Padres let them go. I got a few interesting responses:
Kevin Kouzmanoff- Really? With apologies to Kaity B., this one really isn’t worth discussing. As a hitter, he has always been a substitute level player, and as a fan, can you really tell me Chase Headley is NOT an upgrade?
Khalil Greene- The dude had mental issues, and performed poorly with the Cardinals. Besides, we got Luke Gregerson out of him, who pitched a perfect 7th inning tonight.
Jason Bay- This one is brought up a bit. But we traded him for Brian Giles, and at the time was considered a trade to make us better, not a salary dump or a trade to prevent the Padres from having to pay sameone good. Ditto Oliver Perez. Also, ask a Mets Fan about Oliver Perez.
Phil Nevin- Nevin had moderate success in Texas and Chicago, at least better than He performed in his final season in San Diego. This wasn’t a move of trading someone because they became too good, but because they became too OLD. And whined like a little baby.
Mike Cameron- I won’t lie. I missed him when we let him go. He was injured in 2007 when Milton Bradley ran over his hand, literally. Cameron was a free agent, and I’m not sure the argument that “we let him go because of money” flies. We took a chance on Jim Edmonds, at $8 million while Cameron went to Milwaukee for $6.25 mil in 2008 (Can anyone tell me if this was a multi-year deal? He made $10 mil in 2009) If it was a multi-year deal, I think many would be leary of giving multiple years to a 35 year old CF coming off an injury, with 160 strikeouts in 2007, with declining numbers across the board.
The Hairstons- Jerry was valuable to the 2010 team, arguably the MVP. But the Padres went in the direction of Hudson and Bartlett, and JerHair was going to be too expensive for a backup. No we didn’t let him go because he was good and expensive. We let him go because he was decent for a backup, expensive, AND WE WERE SUPPOSED TO GET VALUE FROM HUDSON AND BARTLETT!!!!!! Meanwhile, Scott was the king of popups, and I don’t really miss him. I’m too lazy and tired at this juncture to look up his numbers.
David Wells- Really? I can’t even imagine how this came up. Dude was in his 40s, inconsistent, and the Padres had an on again- off again relationship with him it seems with him spending parts of 3 seasons with us and another team. I wouldn’t call this a move made to trade someone because they became good and cost money either.
Trevor Hoffman- A lot can be said about him. He was declining in performance, and was jerked around by Alderson. Losing him wasn’t because he became too expensive either, but because he wasn’t viewed as staying effective much longer.
Jake Peavy- Yes. It is true. He was traded for cash concerns. Should we complain about this? In the seasons since we have traded Peavy, he has had injury problems that have kept him off the field quite a bit. He is seemingly always an injury away from happening. His contract is quite a bit of money to spend on someone who might not even be on the field. How has his performance been in the time on the field? Well when he’s healthy, pretty decent actually. When He’s healthy. In the 2 full seasons with the White Sox he only made 35 combined starts. I wish Peavy the best.
The fact is, the myth that the Padres trade away people once they become good because they are expensive, Is largely just a myth. Geoff Young discussed it last year in this post on his former blog They haven’t exactly produced many good players that have stayed healthy and could make a Padres fan legitimately criticize the front office for trading or letting go. They have extended the contracts of 3 players who have shown they could likely be good stars. 2 of those 3 have been off to a shaky (at best) start. The one young player that is performing well that might be traded isn’t because he will become expensive so we have to get rid of him. Its Chase Headley and there are several options below him that are expected to produce at a level comparable to him for much cheaper. This allows the Padres to put money in other places as well.
That was quite a rabbit trail wasn’t it? Back to the game; the Padres had one more opportunity to get on the board in the 7th inning. With 2 outs, Jason Worthless Bartlett walked and Orlando Please sink him in Hudson bay got a base hit. Mark Kotsay came on to pinch hit and put in a good at-bat, fouling off several pitches before striking out on what should have been ball four. From all accounts of the game, and the pitch track on game day, it was ball four by a wide margin. Unfortunately, with a team prone to strike outs and bad bounces (Dale Scott, Umpire, anyone?) that’s the way this season is going. Ernesto Frieri walked a runner in the 9th that came around to score to give Philadelphia the ginormous lead of 2 Runs. After Yonder Alonso walked to lead off the bottom of the ninth, John “Rob Johnson” Baker grounded into a double play capping a brilliant game on his part (0-4, 2 K, GIDP, 4 LOB, and a passed ball allowing Philly to get their second run) while Jason Bartlett did what everyone could predict; struck out looking to end the game.
I really hope we see changes, and soon, from our middle infield. I say it often, but I’ll say it again; they have been a huge disappointment, to say the least, and Hudson who came to town billed as a clubhouse leader, has been leading in getting out of the clubhouse to go home first, fighting with fans on twitter and at the park, and setting an example of baseball the way it should not be played.
Padres baseball this year is looking more dismal every day. I'm trying to keep the faith, but I'm soon arriving to the point that I may give up on 70 wins. The Padres need one of those long winning streaks. Heck, they need A Win, then a streak. Losing sucks. But let it be clear. There is a difference between supporting the team, and accepting losing. I don't accept losing. I support the team, and follow them because it gives me something to rally around. I want better baseball. I want Hudson and Bartlett and Maybin to get it going, or in the case of the former, get going. They should be booed when they aren't performing well. They should know we aren't happy. But I still support the team. I still enjoy having other fans to share in the experience with, through twitter, Gaslampball.com, Friarhood, and several other Padres blogs out there. I don't always agree with the perceptions or viewpoints with others, but that's part of the fun (so long as its not turning personal with the debaters) It's a chance to remain open minded, become more grounded in the facts of why we believe what we believe, and challenge ourselves as well as others. I enjoy the fan blogs that several of you are #wruting. Avenging Jack Murphy, RJsFro, Padres and Pints, Unfinished Business, Green Grass Love Affair, Chicken Friars, just to name a few. Maybe I spend TOO much time around it all, but it is what it is. Frankly I would love to read more, so if your reading mine, and you have one, let me know! Lets stay in this together, and one day, hopefully, rally around a win, a streak, and eventually, a Championship!