Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Two the Hard Way
Series win in the Bay
Even the cats have Padres fever!!!
Assuming the National League All-Star coaching staff isn't blind, some notable Padres will be right back in the bay in less than a month (Jake Peavy, Chris Young, Trevor Hoffman and Adrian Gonzalez should be locks, more on this in the days to come) The Padres returned to division play this week, beginning a 6-game road trip in San Francisco where Bruce Bochy and company were waiting after an emotional series against the Yankees. The quick recap is this, the Padres dropped Game 1 after taking a late lead thanks to some Mike Cameron heroics, only to have the lead loss by Scott Linebrink (a reoccurring sight this weekend...more on that.)
Game 2 went the way of the Friar, winning in the most unlikely of ways...BY THROWING OUT A RUNNER! Not just any runner either. After Kouzmanoff hit a tie breaking solo homerun in the 10th, Hoffman came on to get the save. After recording two outs, Dave Roberts singles and than attempts to steal. It's Dave Roberts, everybody in AT&T Park knew he was going...including Michael Barrett who gunned him out. A Padres catcher throwing out a would-be base stealer, an unusual sight indeed.
Game 3 went the way of the Padres thanks in large part to a masterful pitching performance by Maddox (for those of you scoring at home, thats 340 career wins). Padres win the series, snapping a two series losing streak and returning the Padres (as of this writing) to a tie for first (Arizona playing L.A. as we speak, although probably not as you read).
Some notes from the past couple days. Is it time to be concerned in Friarland? Scott Linebrink has now given up at least one earned run in his last 3 appearances. On the surface this doesn't seem that alarming. Take into account that Linebrink is the link between the lead and Hoffman and the amount of pressure on the Padres bullpen, it becomes much more concerning. Which naturally leads to this question? Is the lack of Padres offense have an adverse affect on the Padres pitching? The theory being that the Padres pitchers have such a tremendous amount of pressure on them because giving up one run is disastrous. If a starter doesn't have shut-out stuff (say, Peavy on Sunday, giving up 3 runs) then the cause looks nearly hopeless. My thought is Linebrink, as well as the rest of the bullpen staff is beginning to feel that pressure and is cracking somewhat under it. That's understandable. The solution...
...is to make a trade. Lots of rumors circling and lots of wish list players on the fans minds, this one included. Most recently is the rumor of Jermaine Dye, the one-time World Series MVP from the Chicago White Sox. The White Sox are a disaster right now and they have made it clear that Mark Buerhle and Jermaine Dye are on the block. Clearly, the White Sox will want prospects back and presumably some pitching. As always, I throw out the Clay Hensley prospect, although with Wells likely retiring at the end of this year and Maddox only signed to one year, Hensley may be more valuable to San Diego.
Other Padres trade bait options are: Royce Ring (Padres are limited on left-handed relievers and this kid has ridiculous stuff), Chase Headley (the number one rated prospect in the Padres system, which is somewhat thin. He does play 3rd which hopefully is occupied for some time with Kouzmanoff), Scott Linebrink (the guy always mentioned, is it worth blowing up the best bullpen in baseball to bring in a slumping bat?). Dye is currently batting .230 with 11 HR's in the middle of a $7 million year.
Other notable trade rumors: Alex Rios of Toronto (a true leadoff hitter, which Marcus Giles is not), Adam Dunn (plays leftfield like a 9-year old, hits like Casey at the bat), Ken Griffey Jr. (my personal wish list player...)
The fact is the Padres need offense. Barrett is a nice pick up but that won't do it. Gonzalez has been slumping and some of that can be chalked up to him swinging at bad pitches because all he is thrown is bad pitches. The Padres in the last two years have gone 1 and done in the playoffs. This year's team pitches better than them. Let's not waste that talent on the inability to score runs. The offenses are better in October and the Padres can't rely on 2 hit wins then. KT MAKE A MOVE!!!
Which leads to our question of the day?
- Is a power hitting left fielder worth sacrificing any of the bullpen pitchers? If so, what left fielder would it have to be and who is expendable?
Huge series this weekend in Chavez Ravine. The Padres travel north to take on L.A. (Beat L.A., Beat L.A.). San Diego, Arizona, and L.A. are basically tied atop the West and that doesn't look to change anytime soon. Last year's division crown was won thanks to head-to-head record. Huge boost to San Diego to take 2 of 3 from L.A. this weekend and the pitching lines up perfectly, with Young, Peavy and Germano.
P.S. A little thing that made me smile...No Barry Bonds HR's this past three games, and no record breaking hit to happen against San Diego.