Four years ago, I started a project out of, quite frankly, spite and disappointment.

I now feel a responsibility to maintain this thing I started.

Because the Padres Twittersphere is an ever-evolving entity. Players and people leave, sometimes even of their own accord. Some who have stayed have changed their Twitter usage to not be all that interesting of a follow anymore. Still others just seem to have given up the medium altogether.

Some do a bit of all of that, sailing off into the distance in silence, like a sailboat in the night.

So, here we are. The fourth iteration of my “Padres Must-Follow” Twitter list.

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padrestwitterIt’s that time of year again. Two years ago, I published what I considered to be the most comprehensive list of Padres-related Twitter accounts that I thought every Padres fan should be following. I updated it as needed as players were traded or people changed jobs, but that just got time-consuming and monotonous.

I redid the entire thing exactly one year later, with new accounts added and others removed, mostly due to repetitiveness or just no longer existing.

I revisited it this month, and what follows are the results.

Some are informative follows. Some are humorous. Some are both. But all of them, I guarantee*, will improve your Padres Twitter experience.

*Guarantee void in Tennessee. And everywhere else, for that matter. I guarantee nothing except eventual death.
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Sometimes things get a little fuzzy after spending a Sunday afternoon at the pub. Here’s a friendly reminder of what you may have missed while you were drinking.

The Padres (74-88) scored fewer runs than the Los Angeles Dodgers (92-70), 6-3, at Dodger Stadium in the final game of the season.

Frank Garces (0-1, 5.21) started “Bullpen Day” with two innings and giving up a two-run home run in the second inning to Joc Pederson. Marc Rzepczynski pitched an inning, followed by Bud Norris for two innings, and Jon Edwards, Kevin Quackenbush, & Nick Vincent for one inning each. Edwards surrendered two home runs in the sixth inning, a leadoff shot from Corey Seager and a two-out, two-run home run by pinch-hitter Chris Heisey. Ronald Torreyes singled in Pederson for the Dodgers’ sixth run in the eighth inning.

Clayton Kershaw (16-7, 2.13) pitched three and two-thirds innings in what amounted to a tune-up for the postseason. Kershaw struck out seven, getting his 301st strikeout for 2015, while giving up two hits and no walks. The Padres’ only runs came via a three-run home run by Travis Jankowski in the seventh inning off Luis Avilan.

The Padres’ next regular season game is April 4, 2016 against the Dodgers at Petco Park.

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Sometimes things get a little fuzzy after spending the evening at the movies, watching an advanced screening of Everest, then hanging out at Islands during their late night Happy Hour. Here’s a friendly reminder of what you may have missed while you were drinking.

The Padres (68-78) scored fewer runs than the Arizona Diamondbacks (69-76), 6-4, last night at Chase Field.

Tyson Ross (10-10, 3.18) pitched six innings, throwing 106 pitches and allowing a run on four hits and three walks with nine strikeouts. The only run charged to Ross came in the sixth inning. After walking Paul Goldschmidt and giving up a single to David Peralta, Welington Castillo hit an RBI single to score Goldschmidt. The Padres’ bullpen literally lost this game, giving up five runs in the seventh inning. With Bud Norris starting the inning, Chris Owings led off with a walk and scored on Nick Ahmed‘s triple. Aaron Hill then walked and was pinch-ran for by Socrates Brito. Norris was relieved by Kevin Quackenbush and A.J. Pollock then hit a three-run home run. Ender Inciarte singled then stole second base and Goldschmidt walked. Marc Rzepczynski came in to pitch and Peralta struck out for the first out of the inning. Nick Vincent came into the game and got Castillo to fly out for the second out, then Brandon Drury singled to score Inciarte.

Jhoulys Chacin (0-1, 2.95) pitched five innings, giving up two runs on four hits and two walks with three strikeouts. Justin Upton hit his 26th home run to lead off the second inning. Yangervis Solarte ground into a double-play with the bases loaded and no outs in the third inning, allowing Ross to score from third base. In the seventh inning, an RBI single from Travis Jankowski scored Austin Hedges from second base. And in the eighth inning, a wild pitch to pinch-hitter Brett Wallace let Upton come home from third base.

Tonight at 6:40pm PDT, Andrew Cashner (5-15, 4.27) will start against the Diamondbacks’ Robbie Ray (4-11, 3.54) in the final game of the season at Chase Field.

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Sometimes, things get a little fuzzy after a day at the pub.  Here’s a friendly reminder of what you may have missed while you were drinking.

San Diego (65-72) put the finishing touches on a dismal series, losing 5-1 to Los Angeles (78-58) and dropping 3 of the four games.  Realistically they needed to sweep the Dodgers to have any hope for the playoffs over the next 3 weeks.  Instead they find themselves tied for fourth in the NL West, 13.5 games off the pace.  Brett Anderson (9-8) worked 5 2/3 for the win.  Andrew Cashner (5-14) took the loss.  Much like Friday night, the Padres were done in by one disastrous inning; this time, it was the seventh.

The Dodgers struck first, without benefit of a hit.  Two walks and a hit batter loaded the bases, and Andre Ethier drove in the first run with a sac fly to left.  Jedd Gyorko‘s 401’ blast to left-center in the third tied the game at one, and it stayed that way until the sixth.  Justin Turner doubled with one out, didn’t move to third on Ethier’s weak single, went to third anyway on Corey Seager‘s deep fly to center, and scored on AJ Ellis‘ sinking line drive single to left that Justin Upton juuuust missed snaring.

The Padres threatened in the bottom half.  Derek Norris walked, and Wil Myers singled with two out.  JP Howell relieved Anderson, and Melvin Upton JR was summoned to pinch-hit for Cory Spangenberg.  Upton’s hard ground ball caromed off Seager, but right to Jimmy Rollins, who threw him out to end the threat.

Then came the seventh.  With two out and Rollins on first, consecutive singles by Adrian Gonzalez and Turner loaded the bases.  Nick Vincent came on to relieve Marcos Mateo.  He enticed Ethier to ground weakly up the first base line, picked it up …

… then shot-putted it down the right-field line.  All 3 runs scored.  And that was pretty much that.

Monday the Padres host Colorado.  Ian Kennedy (8-12, 3.88) will face Kyle Kendrick (4-12, 6.29).

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Sunday afternoon at Petco Park, with two outs and nobody on in the top of the 6th inning and the Padres trailing 4-3, Odrisamer Despaigne hit Yasmany Tomas with a pitch to bring up the D-Backs’ young left-handed hitting third baseman Jake Lamb. Although Despaigne had pitched well despite the four earned runs allowed, allowing just 3 hits and no walks to go along with 6 strikeouts and just 84 pitches, Padres interim manager Pat Murphy made the decision that this was an important situation, and he called to the bullpen for young lefty specialist Frank Garces.

It’s not your fault, Frank Garces.

Garces has just barely hung onto a bullpen spot by a thread since the start of the season. He made the opening day roster, was optioned to AAA El Paso on April 25th, and then was recalled from AAA on May 5th. He’s never been better than the 6th or 7th best option in the bullpen (it’s also not Cory Mazzoni’s fault), and at many points in the season better relievers have been sent down to AAA while he’s stuck on the roster because he’s left-handed and he’s the only left-handed reliever they’ve got.

It’s not your fault, Frank Garces.

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It’s been tough to watch the Padres this week.  They blew a 2-0 lead against the Dodgers Sunday and lost 4-2 in extras.  Oakland pretty much ran roughshod over them.  Buddy Black was fired, Dave Roberts lost his only game as manager, Pat Murphy started 0-2.

Why is a combination of factors; not enough timely hitting (or hitting in general).  Sloppy defense.  Inconsistent starting pitching.  And an incendiary bullpen.  It seems the only reliable arm we have down there is Brandon Maurer.  At least we now know Alexi Amarista can pitch; gotta maximize roster flexibility.

The bullpen has been awful, and the most painful visual is seeing Cory Mazzoni get obliterated.  I attended the 9-1 drubbing on Monday and it was uncomfortable watching him struggle.  He couldn’t get the third out.  Wednesday he didn’t have anything, but with San Diego already down 9-2 he absorbed another beating. I’m sure this week is one he’d rather forget.

Before we give up on him entirely, it’s worth remembering he was a second round draft pick of the Mets in 2011.  The Padres got him in the Alex Torres trade.  He jumped four levels in the Mets minor league system last year.  I’m no expert by any stretch on player development, but I can’t believe there have been many players who start the season in Rookie ball and end it at Triple-A.  This year he’s been good at El Paso, posting a 1.99 ERA, allowing less than a runner an inning, and striking out 11.9 hitters per 9.

He can have a successful career at the Major League level.  It’s obvious, however, he isn’t ready for the Majors yet.

Because the bullpen has struggled, the team is swinging wild trying to find another effective reliever.  Nick Vincent, Kevin Quackenbush, Mazzoni, and others have ridden the iron bird between El Paso and San Diego as the club tries to figure this out.  Rather than keep sending Mazzoni out there to get torched, let’s leave him in El Paso the rest of this year.  I’d rather watch Quackenbush or Vincent – guys who’ve at least proven in the past they can consistently get hitters out at this level – fight their way through an outing than witness Cory trying to figure it out at the ML level with little success.

End the madness.  Let the kid develop.  Send Mazzoni down.

Sorry – not writing auf Deutsch today.

 

Sometimes things get a little fuzzy after an evening at the first Fiesta Padres of the season and watching lucha libre in the Park at the Park. Here’s a friendly reminder of what you might have missed while you were drinking.

The Padres (12-12) scored a plethora of runs against the Colorado Rockies (11-11) last night, 14-3, to take the first game of their three-game series at Petco Park. The Gold Glove-winning defense of Nolan Arenado and Troy Tulowitzki of the Rockies was unusually bad as each had one error among Colorado’s four on the night.

Ian Kennedy (1-1, 7.11) pitched six innings while only giving up two runs on four hits and two walks with six strikeouts. Both runs came off of solo home runs from Drew Stubbs in the fifth inning and Arenado in the sixth inning. Kevin Quackenbush and Dale Thayer each pitched a shutout inning of relief. The Rockies scored their third and last run of the night off of the newly called up Nick Vincent, who pitched the ninth inning.

Eddie Butler (2-2, 3.81) lasted just four innings, giving up five runs (three earned) on four hits and two walks with three strikeouts for the Rockies. Every Padres position player in the starting lineup managed to get on base. Justin Upton was 3-for-4 with three runs scored and three RBI. Derek Norris was 3-for-5 with two runs scored and three RBI. Yangervis Solarte went 2-for-5 with one run scored and four RBI.

This evening, in the second game of the series, the Padres will have Brandon Morrow (1-0, 2.67) take the mound against the Rockies and Jorge De La Rosa (0-1, 11.57) at 5:40pm PDT. There will be a Led Zeppelin-themed fireworks show after the game and all fans will receive both a remastered Led Zeppelin CD and an MLB Network reusuable bag.

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Crowdsourcing is the latest fad in seemingly every endeavor.  From Kickstarter to Storify, it seems gathering money or ideas from others and using it for your own benefit has become commonplace.

I’m not immune.  Occasionally I use it to figure out topics to write about that you people would like to read.  This is one of those occasions.  That I chose something to write about, not necessarily that you would like to read.

In Episode 13 of the Padres And Pints podcast, Rick revealed he was drinking not the standard beer, but rather Cran-Grape juice.  This caused a certain degree of ridicule from me some.  So, of course, when I decided to take suggestions for topics, Rick decided to get back at me us a little bit.

Here’s the thing:  I have little to no shame.  And I’m a little desperate to write about something Padres-related.  Challenge accepted.

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Vinnie Vincent Invasion was an ’80s hair band led by a former KISS guitarist named, as fate would have it, Vinnie Vincent. I’ve mentioned this before, but I once saw them open for Iron Maiden at Long Beach Arena. Pink amplifiers everywhere.

I’m still traumatized, thanks for asking.

Nick Vincent, on the other hand, is a reliever for the Padres. He traumatizes right-handed batters.

We’ll save the how and why for some other day. For now, let’s all revel in the glory that is Vincent. Here are pitchers with the lowest opponent OPS by right-handed hitters over 2013-2014, minimum 200 plate appearances (thanks, as always, to Baseball-Reference’s Play Index):

Player PA BA OBP SLG BB K
Craig Kimbrel 237 .125 .226 .188 24 87
Nick Vincent 231 .162 .199 .227 8 78
Greg Holland 217 .164 .218 .224 14 95
Jeurys Familia 203 .155 .251 .207 22 60
José Fernández 419 .163 .212 .258 22 135

First off, Fernández is a freak, or at least was before his injury. For baseball’s sake, here’s hoping he gets well soon.

Second, Vincent is sandwiched between two elite closers. It sort of makes you wonder if he might also be closer material. I mean, really, what’s the difference between Kimbrel, Vincent, and Holland?

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