I was in a pretty cranky mood tonight. Seeing the news that Jeff Suppan was replacing Cory Luebke for tomorrow's start certainly played a role in that. Reports are that Bud Black thinks it will be just one start. I wish I had faith in that. Problem is, I feel like I've heard that before. 2 weeks ago, top prospect Casey Kelly was supposed to just miss 1 start. His elbow still isn't right. Stauffer was supposed to just miss a start at the beginning of the season. He's finally making rehab starts. Seeing our best pitchers in the organization have injuries is always scary.
The bad mood was exacerbated by Jason Bartlett committing yet another error on the second batter of the game. He compounded that in the bottom of the second by grounding into a double play. I continue to say it-- He is completely useless. Why can't he have the bad elbow? The Padres put runners in scoring position in 5 of 8 innings tonight. But it was looking like the lack of offense was once again going to screw the Padres. Volquez continued to improve, as he pitched 7 shutout innings on just 3 hits with 2 early walks to go with 4 strikeouts in another great performance. He also had some defensive help, with Chris Denorfia making a couple good defensive reads on flyballs and line drives at the fence.
It's amazing what one big hit can do to change the mood. After Will Venable (ViLl WeNAblE?!) snuck a basehit through the middle, Mark Kotsay came on to pinch-hit for Chris Denorfia in the bottom of the 8th inning. A homerun that appeared no-doubter (yet barely cleared, hitting off the top of the scoreboard along the wall) giving the Padres a 2-0 lead. It was all Huston Street needed as he struck out 2 en route to his 4th save of the season. Go Padres!