Baseball is certainly a funny game in which anything can happen. On a day when Philip Humber threw Major League Baseball's 21st Perfect Game (earlier in a season than any other Perfect Game in history) for the White Sox, the Padres were going up another hurler who had thrown a pefrecto himself in Roy Halladay. It's no debate that Halladay is one of, if not the best pitcher in the game. The Padres are one of, if not the worst offense in baseball, particularly in their home yard. Throw in the fact that the Phillies had beaten the Padres the previous 13 times at Petco Park, it seemed highly unlikely that the Padres would muster much, if any offense, and many would have assumed this another loss, especially considering our middle infield was another Hudson and Bartlett day. A funny thing happened on the way to that loss. They Won.
The Padres got on early with the help of some uncharacteristic wildness from Halladay, as he walked 3 players in a row for the first time in his career, followed by an RBI groundout from Hudson in the bottom of the 2nd inning. While some would assume this would be the last chance at striking richness, they would have assumed incorrectly, as the Padres got the bats working with a two out rally in the third with singles from Chase Headley and Nick Hundley, followed by an RBI Double from Yonder Alonso. The Padres also added 3 runs in the bottom of the ninth with surprise contributions from the middle infielders. The whole team hit, top to bottom, with the only starters not to get a hit were Kotsay, who reached on a walk, and pitcher Cory Luebke. Luebke was the star of the night, throwing 8 innings of shut out ball yielding just 2 hits and 2 walks, while striking out 5. He mixed his 2-seam and 4 seam fastballs well, with an occasional breaking pitch and a changeup that's been improving.
I cannot say enough about Luebke. He dominated tonight. He is demonstrating Ace stuff, and has been a bright spot in a season sorely missing them. THis was overall the best win of the year so far. They approached a game that 99% of baseball fans, including Padres fans, would assume the Friars would lose. I admit, I too wasn't very confident about this game. I'm not going to say this WILL be a turning point. It could be. It could be a shiny coat of wax on an otherwise junky car. I think its somewhere in the middle. The team isn't as bad as they've been playing, and they're also not as good as we would want them to be, or hoped they would be. But It's baseball. Anything really can happen at any given time. If tonight wasn't proof of that, I don't know what is. So don't despair Padres fans. There is always hope.