Friday, April 27, 2012

Random Thoughts on Game 20

 In my fourth Padres game of the year, I again watched the team win 2-1 with 2 runs in the eighth inning.  Some random thoughts on the evening:

1.  The franchise honored members of the original SEAL team, who graduated from BUDS in 1962.  Which is, of course, extremely cool and whose members could probably beat the hell out of any number of us even today.  One comment on the public announcer remarks regarding the term 'Plankowner'.  He made it sound like that term is unique to the SEALs.  Not true.  Any member of the first crew which places a new ship, sub, squadron, or team into commission is called a 'Plankowner' for that particular ship, sub, squadron, or team.  I believe its usage dates to the days of wooden ships (and probably the British Navy) when planks were used to build the ship and decking.  Likely the individuals in question helped finish the final fit out of the ship, including laying the decking.  So there's that; file this paragraph in the 'font of useless knowledge' section of your brain.

2.  With Edinson Volquez squaring off against Edwin Jackson, my expectation was a lot of strikeouts and walks by both teams, and a game that plodded along and was tough to watch.  In reality both pitchers pitched very well.  Volquez in particular was sharp over his seven innings, walking only 1 while striking out seven.  Figures the only real mistake he made - the 0-1 pitch to Jason Werth - ended up in the left-center bleachers and gave Washington a 1-0 lead.  The air was thick last night - it even started raining as the eighth inning started - so you know Werth crushed that ball.  It still only ended up about 5 rows back in the lower bowl.  More ammunition for Tom Garfinkel to move the fences in after this season.

3.  Jackson was almost as good, going 6 2/3 innings, scattering six hits, striking out six.  But by rights Volquez should have lead by at least 2-0 when Werth's HR left the building.  If you need a microcosm of this Padres season it could be found in the bottom of the fourth.  Three pitches into the inning and San Diego had runners on second and third with nobody out.  Orlando Hudson then swung at 3 pitches and sat down.  After an intentional walk to Cameron Maybin, Jason Bartlett swung at 3 pitches and sat down.  Some booing could be heard after Hudson struck out and a lot more could be heard after Bartlett followed suit.  Volquez then grounded out to short to end the inning.

You got to get a run home with second and third and nobody out.  Just got to.  Putting a ball into play would likely have netted at least one run unless it was a pop-up.  The fact that two veteran guys couldn't do it in a key situation was very disappointing, and sadly not unusual.  San Diego ended up 1-11 with RISP, bailed out only by Mark Kotsay's 2-run double in the eighth.

4.  Other than Werth's HR the Nationals really didn't threaten in this game.  The only other runners to reach scoring position were Wilson Ramos, who was sacrificed to second in the secon after singling, and Adam LaRoche, who doubled with two out an inning later.  On the other hand, San Diego left 10 runners on base, and the bases loaded twice (fourth and seventh innings).  San Diego was supposed to win this game.  Nice to see they found a way.

5.  Jesus Guzman has now not started for four consecutive games.  I have not heard if he's nursing an injury.  He is only hitting .216 so Bud Black might just be giving him some time off to clear his head.  Then again, it's not as if the rest of the Padres roster is tearing the cover off the ball right now (outside of Chase Headley anyway).

6.  Werth was extremely shallow for Kotsay, but his double up the gap in RC was so well struck I don't think it would have made any difference if he'd been playing normal depth.

Some interesting additional tidbits:

- Yonder Alonso, Jesus Guzman, and Andy Parrino all made their first Opening Day rosters this year.  Additionally, John Baker, Jeremy Hermida, and Joe Thatcher made an Opening Day roster for the first time since 2010, 2010, and 2008 respectively.  That's a lot of turnover in the clubhouse.

- Did you know Ernesto Frieri is the longest tenured Padre in terms of time in the organization (signed in 2003)?  I didn't.  Now you do too.

- Going into last night's game, Andrew Cashner and Huston Street have allowed all the runners they've inherited to score (3 and 2 respectively).  That's almost double the number of inherited runners the rest of the bullpen have allowed to come around (Frieri none of 2, Luke Gregerson none of 4, Josh Spence one of 7, Thatcher two of 11).

Finally I'm now 3-1 in games attended.  Padres are 4-9 at home.  So when I'm not at the game San Diego is 1-8.  Quick - somebody call the ticket office.

Sorry for the lack of posting recently.  A business trip on which I caught a cold, followed by a couple of days at Disneyland kept me from my computer.

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