What a week! A ton to get to from the past three days so let's break it down, game-by-game:
Classic Petco game here. Chris Young was dealing, lowering his ERA at home to 0.52 and an opponents batting average of .164. Not bad Young, not bad. As for the offense, it was more of the same unfortunately, unable to scratch across a run for most of the game and only compiling 2 hits in the game. One of those hits though...Marcus Giles RBI single to bring in Branyon in the 8th. Russell Branyon (who had quite the series!) pinch hit in the 8th for Linebrink, got hit, STOLE A BASE, and scored the winning run. Padres 1 Dodgers 0
A bit more comfortable than on Tuesday and frankly, not much to talk about here...oh yeah, except for a little thing such as the 500th save by Trevor Hoffman!!! It may be superfluous to say that Hoffman is the first closer to reach 500, seeing as he is the all-time saves leader. However, 500 must be put into perspective. As 40 saves are considered a tremendous accomplishment for a season (think .300 for a hitter) a pitcher would have to average 40 saves for 15 years...to be 10 shy of 500. Unbelievable consistency by Hoffman. Now, there is consistently a lot of talk over the saves stat. Is it overrated? Ask teams who have attempted the "bullpen by committee" (looking at you pre-Papelbon Red Sox) how important a closer is. More, as the mid to late 90's Yankees how many of those World Series would have happened without Rivera. Hoffman may not have the post-season resume (thank a poor team throughout much of his career in San Diego) but when he is called upon, he delivers. Big time night at Petco and a huge congratulations to Trevor Hoffman. It may be sometime before any closer catches Hoffman.
As for the game, the Padres won 5-2 thanks to a 4 RBI game from Geoff Blum. Bats came alive a bit, giving Greg Maddox the win. Padres 5 Dodgers 2
Coming into this game, Padres fans were excited for the chance at a sweep and who better to send out there to sweep the Dodgers than Jake Peavy. Peavy pitched well, if not outstanding, and would have left the game only giving up 1 run had it not been for a bit of bad luck in the 7th. On a fly ball to left field, Jose Cruz Jr. had the Dodger runner picked off of first to double up and end the inning. Cruz's throw however knocks his foot, saving the inning. A borderline strike called a ball and two doubles later, Peavy was knocked out. The Padres offensively looked lost for much of the night. Then the 9th...As mentioned above regarding the importance of closers, ask the Dodgers Thursday night how important Saito is. With Saito out, and in a non-save situation, Johnathon Braxton came in. It started innocently enough...Blum infield single, then a misplayed ball by Garciparra to put two men on. Then a base hit to left to load the bases. Paul McAnulty, with a hit he will remember forever, hits a chopper off the plate and wins the race to the bag by MAYBE half a step. Gonzalez then steps up, slams a double to the gap, Cameron with a single up the middle. And then with the bases loaded, Russell Branyon, in only his third at-bat of the series, draws a 1 out, bases loaded walk off walk. Padres win, Padres Sweep, and with the Arizona loss, Padres take over first...by themselves. Padres 6 Dodgers
East Coast Love!!!!
The boys in Bristol have finally recognized the scorching Padres, placing them first in the latest Power Rankings. Red Sox Nation must be up in arms!!!
Khalil Greene is expected to make his start tonight, returning from his sore arm...The MLB draft was held yesterday and Vanderbilt left hander David Price was selected number 1 overall by the Devil Rays. The Padres selected Nick Schmidt, a left hander out of Arkansas with about an 88-92 fastball, good changeup and curveball. He sounds like a left handed Justin Germano.
Padres welcome in their American League "rivals" the Seattle Mariners into Petco with Germano taking the mound. The Mariners have hit a hot streak, moving into second in the AL West.