Thursday, April 05, 2007

Padres - Games 1 to 10

I am going to try to summarize all of the Padres games this year. At least while they are in contention and fans like me are living vicariously through their exploits. I will update this day-by-day.

Here are Games 1 to 10:

Game 1. Tuesday, 4/3 at San Francisco: Padres win 7-0. Peavy dominates for 6 innings, bullpen flawless (Meredith and Bell). Josh Bard has 4 hits to lead 12-hit attack against Barry Zito and relievers. Padres actually cash in on 5 "runners in scoring position" at-bats. Record: Won 1, Lost 0 (0-0 at home, 1-0 on road)

Game 2. Wednesday, 4/4 at San Francisco: Padres win 5-3. Young pitches so-so, gives up homer to Bonds, goes 5+ giving up 3 runs. Bullpen effective (Meredith wins, Linebrink, Hoffman saves). Kahlil Greene and Marcus Giles homer in fifth, Adrian Gonzalez homers in the 8th to win it. Matt Cain was great for 4 innings, Giants relievers OK except for Gonzalez homer. Record: Won 2, Lost 0 (0-0 at home, 2-0 on road), Runs 12-3.

Game 3, Thursday, 4/5 at San Francisco: Giants win 5-3. It wasn't that close. Hensley loaded the bases on walks, then gave up three hits for 4 runs. They key was a botched popup when Kouzmanoff and Greene collided - cost 2 runs. Morris handcuffed the Pads for 6, and the Giants pen almost gave it up in the 9th - Pads scored 2 and had leading run at the plate. Pads bullpen (Brocail and rookie Cameron) do great job for 3+ innings. Record: Won 2, Lost 1 (0-0 at home, 2-1 on road), Runs 15-8.

Game 4, Friday, 4/6, Colorado at San Diego: Rockies win 4-3. We were there (Section 305, Row 4, Seat 7). It wasn't that close. Greg Maddux gave up an early run, then wild-pitched a run home, and gave up a 2-run homer to Holliday in the 6th. Jason Hirsch pitched a great game for the Rocks. The Pads got a homer from Sledge in the 5th and a 2-run homer by Greene in the 9th. The Pads bullpen came through again - 3.1 innings of shutout by Bell and Thompson. Record: Won 2, lost 2 (0-1 at home, 2-1 on road), Runs 18-12.

Game 5, Saturday, 4/7, Colorado at SD: Padres win 3-2. We were there (310/4/8). This was a pitchers game. Boomer Wells went 6.2, gave up two runs. The bullpen (Brocail, Linebrink, Hoffman (winner) kept it close - still no runs allowed. Josh Fogg pitched well for the Rocks, Corpas took the loss. The Pads scored on a Branyan homer to the LF foul line, an Adrian Gonzalez sac fly, and Adrian's double to the base of the LF wall in the bottom of the 9th. Bowen and Branyan had their first starts of the year - Bowen threw out Taveras stealing, and Branyan started a great DP in the 9th. Record: Won 3, lost 2 (1-1 at home, 2-1 on road), Runs 21-14.

Game 6, Sunday, 4/8, Colorado at SD: Padres win 2-1 in 10 innings. There may not be a better pitched game all year. Peavy was on his game, and gave up 1 run in 7 innings. Aaron Cook shut out the Pads until the 8th on 2 hits, when Jose Cruz pulled one into the Petco Porch counts! Then the Pads won it in the 10th when Kahlil Greene tripled, and Kevin Kouzmanoff singled him home. The Pads bullpen again excelled (Meredith, Hoffman, Linebrink wins) - 3 shutout innings, no hits. Record: Won 4, lost 2 (2-1 at home, 2-1 on road), Runs 23-15 in 6 games.

Game 7, Monday, 4/9, SF at SD: Padres win 1-0. We were there. This may have been a better pitched game than Sunday's! Chris Young shut out the Giants through 7 on 4 hits, and Meredith and Hoffman (save) wrapped it up. The big story was that Matt Cain had a no-hitter through 6 - Kahlil Greene spoiled it in the 7th with a double, and came in on a sacrifice fly. Cain deserved better. The bullpen is up to 20+ innings of shutout pitching now. Record: Won 5, lost 2 (3-1 at home, 2-1 on road), Runs 24-15 in 7 games.

Game 8, Tuesday, 4/10, SF at SD: Giants win 6-5. Chalk this one up as a Shoulda won. The Pads made two physical errors in the 2nd, and one mental error, and two unearned runs scored. The Giants chipped away at Hensley and led 6-0 after 5. Then the Pads chipped away at Jack Morris and, with two homers by Adrian Gonzalez, got back to within a run in the 9th. The bullpen produced 4+ innings of shutout relief. Kouz is injured - got hit on elbow on Monday, so Branyan is playing 3rd. Record: Won 5, lost 3 (home 3-2, road 2-1), Runs 29-21 in 8 games.

Game 9, Wednesday, 4/11, SF at SD: Padres win 4-0. Maddux put on a clinic - ground balls and strikeouts on the corner. Then he turned it over to the bullpen who produced 3 more shutout innings. The Pads scratched four runs off Noah Lowry and their bullpen, playing little ball all night. The longest balls hit were outs, for both sides. Roberts made a great catch at the CF wall with the bases loaded to end the 7th. Blum played 3rd tonight. Record: Won 6, lost 3 (home 4-2, road 2-1), Runs 33-21 in 9 games.

Game 10, Friday, 4/12, SD at LA: Dodgers win 9-1. It wasn't that close! What a stinker of a game. Derek Lowe pitched very well for the Dodgers and got outstanding support from his offense. David Wells started for the Padres and had trouble getting people out - he gave up 5 runs in 2+ innings. The bullpen finally gave up some runs - Mike Thompson gave up 4 in the 4+ innings he pitched. But he saved the rest of the staff.

10 Game Record: Won 6, Lost 4 (Home 4-2, Road 2-2) 0.600
Runs 34-30 in 10 games.

After the first 10 games the Padres are only one game behind Arizona and LA. They won their first three series. They have outhomered the opposition 9 to 3 (who would have thought that before the season - but it is early).

The strengths of the team are obvious - Pitching and Defense. The Offense is only fair - they leave too many in scoring position. There is little team speed, although they run the bases pretty well. Peavy and Young have been consistent, Maddux and Wells had one good and one bad outing, and Hensley had two bad outings. Up until the 10th game, the bullpen was perfect.

The first significant injury was to Josh Bard, the catcher, who is on the 15 day DL as a precaution. Pete LaForest was called up to take his place.

A 0.600 record carried through the season would mean 97 wins and 65 losses - that would be good enough for a playoff spot and probably a Division championship. It's a long way off, but hope still springs eternal from this lifelong diehard enthusiastic Padres fan.

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