On Wednesday, the Padres collected 17 hits en route to an 8-4 victory over the Orioles in Baltimore. Collecting 17 or more hits in a game doesn’t guarantee success, but it helps. From 2008 to 2012, big-league teams did that 545 times, winning 91 percent of the time.
The Padres have knocked 17 or more hits 123 times in their history, going 105-18 in those games. And while 85 percent isn’t as sparkly as 91 percent, it’s still solid (MLB was at 86 percent in 2012).
They’ve done it twice this year and won both times. The Padres have won at least one game in which they collected 17 or more hits every year dating back to 1989. The only times they have played an entire season without winning at least one game that meet our criteria are 1971-1977 and 1988.
Think about that for a moment. The Padres played 1,124 games between 1971 and 1977. They knocked at least 17 hits just twice… and lost both times. (Read More…)
Luke Gregerson owns one of the best sliders in baseball, and when it’s working, he is tough to beat. The pitch that brought him to San Diego in March 2009 has made him an integral part of the Padres bullpen ever since.
Kevin Towers acquired Gregerson from the Cardinals as the player to be named later in the trade that sent Khalil Greene to St. Louis. Towers did so thanks in large part to former Padres outfielder John Vander Wal:
Then Vander Wal uttered the words Towers won’t soon forget, words that right then and there essentially sold the then-Padres general manager on relief pitcher Luke Gregerson and his devastating slider.
“He said it disappears,” Towers said.
Gregerson, a former 28th-round draft pick, promptly made the unexpected jump from Double-A and enjoyed a strong rookie campaign. He was even better as a sophomore, turning opposing batters into Don Drysdale or Liván Hernández–excellent hitting pitchers, but not consistent threats. (Read More…)
Thirty years ago tomorrow, the Padres beat the Cardinals, 10-0, at Jack Murphy Stadium (box | pbp). Eric Show went the distance, scattering seven hits en route to his fourth win of the season and the 15th of his career. You already know that he went on to win 100 games as a member of the Padres, becoming the only pitcher in history to do so, but there was another hero that Wednesday evening in Mission Valley.
His name is Mario Ramírez, and you are forgiven for not remembering him. Taken from the Mets in the 1980 Rule 5 draft, the man known as “Ñato” spent parts of five seasons in San Diego, mostly doing very little. But on May 4, 1983, he had the game of his life. (Read More…)
Carlos Quentin and Yonder Alonso lead off the second with line-drive singles against Brewers right-hander Marco Estrada. After Chris Denorfia walks on four pitches to load the bases, Jedd Gyorko smokes Estrada’s first offering… right into the waiting glove of shortstop Jean Segura, who flips to second to nail Alonso for the double play.
This spawns a lively Twitter discussion that focuses on whether or not Gyorko should have swung at the first pitch after a four-pitch walk. One contingent asserts that a batter should never swing in this situation; the other contends that the decision should be dependent on additional factors, such as where the pitch is located and whether the batter believes he has a better chance to drive it than subsequent pitches that might follow.
Estrada’s pitch to Gyorko is a 90-mph fastball down in the zone, out over the plate. It’s a pitch he can and nearly did punish.
Still, the discussion raises an interesting philosophical question. Do we grab what is in front of us now, in the belief (perhaps based in fear) that it might be the best we ever get? Or do we wait, in the hope of something better? What if something better never comes? Can we live with the regret? (Read More…)
Did you notice all the baseballs flying out of Petco Park during the opening homestand? Except for the fact that most of them were hit against Padres pitchers, it was awesome.
It’s also unprecedented. Here’s how batters on both teams have fared during the first six games of each season so far at Petco Park: (Read More…)
There are many things that excite me as a Padres fan in 2013: the new Ballast Point Beer Garden at Petco Park, top prospect Jedd Gyorko, and… okay, there are two things that excite me. Let’s talk about Gyorko.
The Padres second-round pick in 2010 out of West Virginia University won the starting second base job this spring. He currently splits time between second and third while Chase Headley recovers from a thumb injury sustained just before Opening Day.
What we know about Gyorko is that a) he will hit (.319/.385/.529 in 1,500 minor-league PA) and b) he may or may not be a second baseman. But he’s there now, so we’ll roll with it. (Read More…)
On the second pitch of the 2013 season, Everth Cabrera laid down a sacrifice bunt. As I once lamented at the old blog, “if your #2 hitter lays down a sacrifice bunt in the first inning… then you probably need to find another #2 hitter.”
The culprit in that case was Luis Rodríguez, but the point remains. Why give away an out so early in the game in the hope of scoring a single run? The fact that the Padres didn’t score after Cabrera’s bunt and ended up losing, 11-2, makes it look ridiculous, but regardless of outcome, this is a poor tactic.
I’m not the only person who doesn’t like to see the second-place hitter bunt. No less an authority than Bill James called out the Padres skipper for such behavior:
I’ve got a lot of respect for Dick Williams, but I don’t understand bunting with your #2 hitter.
Granted, that was in the Alan Wiggins comment of the 1984 Baseball Abstract, but still. Oh wait, you thought I was going to complain about Bud Black? Funny thing about that. He hasn’t been as egregious in his deployment of this tactic as you might have guessed. (Read More…)
Today’s article is inspired by long-time Ducksnorts reader Robby Deming:
Robby raises a good question, which I’ll attempt to answer in a moment. But first, how weak was last year’s Padres bullpen? Acknowledging that ERA is an imperfect representation of reliever performance, here’s how Padres bullpens have fared during the Petco Park era: (Read More…)
Last year, when the Padres games weren’t shown on Time Warner Cable, I was ill-prepared. I didn’t expect the blackout to last all season, and I wasted a lot of time and energy bitching about the situation rather than doing anything constructive. I tried watching a game at a sports bar, but that didn’t work for me.
Fortunately, I learned a few things along the way that might help those of you who also cannot watch the Padres in the comfort of your own home. This could come in handy since Time Warner doesn’t appear to be interested in changing its position regardless of what local politicians may desire.
Yes, Fox Sports San Diego has expanded its reach for the 2013 season, but maybe you’re a stubborn Taurus like me. It is difficult, but not impossible, to survive having no Padres live on television in your home all year. Here are some tips: (Read More…)
All my life I have hated being asked to explain what I am doing. I hate the question because I very seldom know the answer.
–Paul Theroux, Pillars of Hercules
A thin, silver-haired man approaches me while I’m sitting on a bench near the koi ponds at Ala Moana Center in Honololu as my wife shops. He wears shorts, shirt, and shit-eating grin as he points at my head and says, “I love the hat. I know it’s a beaver, but what team is that?”
I’d bought it in Portland, in 2010, the final season minor-league baseball was played there. By then, everyone in town knew the team–a Padres affiliate–was dead and the stadium would be converted to a more lucrative soccer-only venue.
The two nights we attended in August, there were maybe 1,000 people at the ballpark, which could accommodate more than 20,000. It felt less like a ballgame and more like a funeral, which in a metaphorical sense, it was.
During a lull in the action, while Josh Geer of all people was busy spinning a shutout, my wife wandered to the team store. Most of the Beavers gear had been sold off already, but she managed to find me some flip-flops and a cap with the Portland Beavers logo at discount prices.
The man is still grinning. He speaks with misplaced urgency: “What level is that?” (Read More…)