Today we’re going to discuss Bud Black in great detahahahahahahahaha no we’re not. Let’s ramble:

  • Jedd Gyorko needs to be playing every day. I can’t believe this is even a discussion. The offense has been absolute dog shit this month, and Gyorko, who’s hitting .277/.358/.489 with a 178 OPS+ in May, can’t get regular at-bats because of trash baseball player Will Middlebrooks and good-looking but meh baseball player Cory Spangenberg. Neither of those two guys should be playing over Gyorko. I don’t care which one sits, though at this point I’d be happy to see Middlebrooks gone altogether. Gyorko’s also the best defender of the group, which should seem like more of a priority considering the albatross this team’s been in the field. I’m worried that at this point Gyorko’s best chance for regular playing time this season is with another team.
  • Look at Will Venable, playing as spry as the 25-year-old he was when we first saw him almost 39 years ago. Time flies waiting for someone to reach their ceiling, or continue being a massive dick tease. His hitting and defense have been a godsend. Holy shit that’s a disgusting sentence, but it’s the truth. All hail Will Venable, grandfather to us all.
  • OK fine, since no one wants to do it, I’ll go ahead and say it: Justin Upton’s good.
  • Speaking of Uptons, what of one Melvin Upton? Could he still be a useful player? Let’s take a look at his Baseball-Reference pag- OH GOD NOOOOOOOOOO. I’m not gonna pile on Melvin. I’m sure he’s gotten a lot of shit from a lot people since he signed that contract. I hope he comes back healthy and we see some semblance of the player he once was. But for now he’s in the Josh Johnson/Corey Luebke/Brandon Morrow group. Not gonna expect much from his this year, and possibly ever.
  • Matt Kemp’s looked like a real baseball player the last couple games, which is nice to see.
  • It’s funny how nobody talks about how much run support, or lack thereof, the starters get except when Andrew Cashner pitches. Here’s an idea, stop bringing that meaningless shit up. Nobody judges a pitcher’s performance based on his win-loss record, and if they do then you should ignore them. I had no idea what Cashner’s record was until I looked it, and then I hated myself for wasting the time it took looking up a meaningless stat when I could have been thinking about Fury Road or Huston Street. “Cashner’s snakebitten!” Why? Because he doesn’t get any wins? Fuck off. Join the rest of us in 2015.
  • Speaking of Fury Road, FURY ROAD!!!!!!!
  • I’m ready for Yonder and Myers to come back, or really anyone to displace Solarte at first base.
  • Does Tyson Ross have the sexiest pitch on the staff? At first I would think Kimbrel’s fastball, but he’s been shit for most of the year. Cashner’s slider is sexy, but not in the way you want to invite it over to hang out; more like a backup. Ian Kennedy’s stuff has been so on-and-off, you can’t really trust it to be sexy when you need it to be. Sorry, Despaigne’s not welcome in this conversation.
  • OK one very quick thing on Buddy: he’s gotta get thrown out the next time a bullshit call goes against his guys. It sounds totally stupid and unproductive, but I think it matters when the manager’s as pissed off about a bad call as his player is.

Sometimes things get a little fuzzy after an evening in the pub. Here’s a friendly reminder of what you might have missed while you were drinking.

The Padres (22-25) shutout the Los Angeles California Anaheim Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (23-23), 4-0 in 10 innings, last night at Angel Stadium.

Odrisamer Despaigne (2-3, 5.23) pitched six shutout innings to start the game, with five hits, no walks, and five strikeouts. Brandon Maurer, Joaquin Benoit, Frank Garces, Dale Thayer, and Craig Kimbrel combined to pitch the last four innings in relief, with Thayer getting credit for the win.

Matt Shoemaker (3-4, 5.44) pitched seven innings without allowing a run. Joe Smith had all four runs charged to him and got the loss after the Padres loaded the bases and Matt Kemp hit a bases-clearing double in the tenth inning. Derek Norris then followed with a single to score Kemp for the fourth and final run.

Tonight’s game at 7:05pm PDT will have Andrew Cashner (1-7, 2.89) taking the hill against the Angels’ Garrett Richards (4-2, 2.98) in the final game of the series in Anaheim.

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Note: The conclusions reached herein do not necessarily match the title; Derek Norris is neither fully to blame for home runs nor the plight of humankind. We’re just following standard internet get-readers-riled-up headline making. 

A couple of week ago I wrote about Derek Norris’ pitch framing struggles, noting that Norris’ early numbers, perhaps surprisingly, rated him as one of the worst framers in the league. Normally, just a month and a half into the season, we’d say something about small sample sizes and move on, but as mentioned in the article, the quick stabilization of framing numbers left cause for concern . So, instead of moving on, I yammered away about Norris’ framing ability — probably annoying half my audience — while also throwing in some video, attempting to show how Norris’ poor framing manifests itself in GIF-form.

Since then, not much has changed — heck, it’s only been 12 days. Norris’ framing numbers certainly haven’t improved, though. Per BP, he’s now cost the Padres 28.9 strikes, climbing ever-closer to Carlos Ruiz for worst-in-MLB honors. And just last week, Eno Sarris wrote an interesting article for FanGraphs/ESPN Insider on how a change in catchers — and as a result, a smaller strike zone — has changed Andrew Cashner.  From the article:

Ask Cashner about his pitching mix this year, and you start to understand how framing can affect a pitcher regardless of the count. What’s different this year? “I’m going for it with my four-seamers more,” said Cashner before a game against the Nationals. “Going for more punchouts.”

As Sarris later notes, the change in pitch mix has helped Cashner record a career-best strikeout rate (as a starter), but it’s also led to an increase in home runs allowed. Cashner continued:

“My backdoor sinker is one of my better pitches and I haven’t gotten that pitch called this year,” Cashner admitted. “That’s eliminated some of my game plan sometimes.”

Whether Cashner should be changing his approach based on a perceived — and, well, demonstrably — smaller zone is up for debate, but the simple fact that he’s done it raises an interesting question: how much affect can an expanding/shrinking strike zone have on a pitching staff beyond the numbers that sites like Baseball Prospectus track?

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Sometimes things get a little fuzzy after an evening in the pub. Here’s a friendly reminder of what you might have missed while you were drinking.

The Padres (21-25) scored fewer runs than the Los Angeles California Anaheim Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (23-22), 4-3, last night in the first of three games at Angel Stadium. Neither Tyson Ross (2-4, 3.84) nor Jered Weaver (3-4, 4.06) figured in the decision.

The Angels got off to an early lead against Ross, scoring three runs (two earned) on ten hits and a walk with seven strikeouts. Carlos Perez singled to drive in Matt Joyce in the first inning. In the fourth inning, Joyce drove in Kole Calhoun with a single. In the fifth inning, with the bases loaded, Ross threw a wild pitch that Derek Norris blocked, but the carom took him too far away from the plate to tag Erick Aybar at home.

In the Padres’ seventh inning, a Yangervis Solarte double off of Jose Alvarez, in relief of Weaver — who went six and two-thirds innings with one run on six hits, a walk, and seven strikeouts — scored Will Middlebrooks. A two-RBI single by Will Venable then brought Jedd Gyorko and Solarte around to score.

With two outs in the ninth inning, a walk-off Albert Pujols RBI single off of Craig Kimbrel scored Collin Cowgill to win the game for the Angels.

Tonight, at 7:05pm PDT, Odrisamer Despaigne (2-3, 6.11) takes the mound versus Matt Shoemaker (3-4, 6.29) of the Angels.

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Sometimes things get a little fuzzy after an afternoon in the pub. Here’s a friendly reminder of what you might have missed while you were drinking.

The Padres (21-24) demolished the Los Angeles Dodgers (26-17), 11-3, yesterday as they avoided the series sweep at Dodger Stadium. Justin Upton had six RBI, all against Dodgers’ starting pitcher Carlos Frias (3-2, 5.34), while going 2-for-4 with his first grand slam with the Padres. Derek Norris contributed two RBI while going 2-for-5. Will Venable went 4-for-5 and scored three runs. And Will Middlebrooks hit his fifth home run of the season with a solo shot in the third inning.

James Shields (6-0, 3.75) remained undefeated while giving up three runs in seven innings on five hits and a walk with seven strikeouts. Andre Ethier ground into a double play with the bases loaded in the seventh inning that also allowed Jimmy Rollins to score. Alex Guerrero then cleared the bases with his seventh home run. Dale Thayer and Shawn Kelley pitched the eighth and ninth innings, respectively, to close out the victory.

The Friars travel the 31.1 miles [which will likely take 2 hours] to Angel Stadium in Anaheim for the first of three games against the Angels tonight at 6:05pm PDT. Tyson Ross (2-4, 3.93) gets the start against Jeff Jered Weaver (3-4, 4.37)

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As I write this, the Padres have just been dominated by a no-name pitcher and seen their record slip to a barely believable 20-24. Fans were promised a better team, and yet there’s this:

Year W L RS RA
2013 21 23 180 190
2014 21 23 133 154
2015 20 24 182 203

On the other hand, because of that promise, there’s also this:

G 2014 Att/G 2015 Att/G Diff
23 26,674 31,758 +5,084

(Data courtesy of Baseball-Reference.)

Only the Royals and Mariners have seen a greater increase in attendance. The Royals are coming off their first World Series appearance in three decades, and the Mariners are, uh, in Seattle.

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Sometimes things get a little fuzzy after an evening in the pub. Here’s a friendly reminder of what you might have missed while you were drinking.

The Padres (20-24) were once again shutout by the Los Angeles Dodgers (26-16), 2-0, last night in the second game of the weekend series at Dodger Stadium. Will Middlebrooks made his first professional start at shortstop for the Padres, for some reason.

Mike Bolsinger (3-0, 0.71) and Kenley Jansen combined to throw a one-hitter — a first inning leadoff single by Yangervis Solarte, who was then part of a double play ground into by Cory Spangenberg — and face the minimum 27 batters. Justin Upton was ejected for arguing about a strike call in the eighth inning.

Ian Kennedy (2-4, 6.11) pitched six innings, giving up both Dodgers’ runs on six hits and no walks with six strikeouts. Kennedy was pretty good, the offense just wasn’t there for him. Joc Pederson hit his twelfth home run to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead in the first inning.

This afternoon at 1:10pm PDT has James Shields (5-0, 3.74) taking the mound against Carlos Frias (3-1, 2.55) in the final game of the series.

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Sometimes things get a little fuzzy after an evening in the pub. Here’s a friendly reminder of what you might have missed while you were drinking.

The Padres (20-23) scored fewer runs, 2-1, than the Los Angeles Dodgers (25-16) last night in the first of three games at Dodger Stadium.

Andrew Cashner (1-7, 2.89) did not figure in the decision after only allowing one unearned run in six innings on five hit and a walk with three strikeouts. Joaquin Benoit earned the loss after Joc Pederson hit a solo home run with one out in the eighth inning.

Zack Greinke (5-1, 1.48) also did not get a decision, as he was pulled with two outs in the eighth inning after allowing a run on a double by Will Venable to score Derek Norris from second base. Greinke left the game with the one run on six hits, one walk, and five strikeouts.

Tonight at 7:10pm PDT pits Ian Kennedy (2-3, 6.75) against Mike Bolsinger (2-0, 1.04) in the second game of the series.

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Here’s some stuff I read this week (actually, no, I’m a little behind) that you might enjoy:

Sometimes things get a little fuzzy after an evening in the pub. Here’s a friendly reminder of what you might have missed while you were drinking.

The Padres (20-22) were shutout by the Chicago Cubs (23-17), 3-0, last night at Petco Park, for the fifth time in their last sixteen games.

Odrisamer Despaigne (2-3, 6.11) pitched six innings while giving up two runs on six hits and two walk with four strikeouts. The two runs came in the first inning thanks to a leadoff walk of Dexter Fowler followed by a home run by Kris Bryant. The third Cubs’ run came in the seventh inning on an Addison Russell home run off Dale Thayer.

Kyle Hendricks (1-1, 4.14) threw a complete game, giving up five hits and no walks with seven strikeouts. Matt Kemp continued his hitting funk, going 1-for-4 with two strikeouts.

The Friars head up the freeway to take on the Los Angeles Dodgers for three games starting tonight at 7:10pm PDT. Andrew Cashner (1-7, 3.24) gets the start tonight for the Padres, with Zack Greinke (5-1, 1.52) taking the mound for the Dodgers.

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