1. Welcome to San Diego Chargers NFL Football Podcast and Forum!
    Bolt Talk is one of the largest online communities for the San Diego Chargers.
    We host a regular Chargers podcast during the season.

    You are currently viewing our community forums as a guest user.

    Create an Account or

    Having an account grants you additional privileges, such as creating and participating in discussions. Furthermore, we hide most of the ads once you register as a member!

Padre Regular Season Thread

Discussion in 'All Other Sports' started by wrbanwal, Apr 5, 2008.

  1. wrbanwal
    Offline

    wrbanwal Bad A S S

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2005
    Messages:
    9,704
    Ratings Received:
    +1,035 / 0 / -0
    Baek to make first Padres start vs. Cubs

    The Cubs currently have the best record in baseball

    this series should/could be embarrassing



    SAN FRANCISCO -- In case the Padres didn't get their fill of dominant right-handed pitching on Sunday, when they were shut out through seven innings against Tim Lincecum, they'll get another chance at an overwhelming righty on Monday, when they welcome Carlos Zambrano and the Cubs to PETCO Park for a three-game series.

    The pitchers the Padres are facing, however, are only half the story. Cha Seung Baek, acquired last week from the Seattle Mariners, will make his first San Diego start just two days after Josh Banks made his starting debut on Saturday.

    Baek, who "can throw upwards to 80 [pitches] plus if he's feeling comfortable," according to Padres manager Bud Black, will make the spot start, because Shawn Estes fractured the tip of his left thumb a few days ago. Baek's appearance will mark the beginning of San Diego's 10-game homestand against the Cubs, Mets and Dodgers.

    After falling a season-high 13 games out of first place in the National League West on May 19, the Padres have made up 3 1/2 games in the division race thanks in part to an ongoing stint of 20 of 23 games at home. They've won five of their last seven games and seven of their last 12.

    The Padres lost two of three games at Wrigley Field in mid-May, including a contest in which Zambrano threw seven innings of three-run ball. They were 5-3 against the Cubs in 2007, including a 14-inning game that tied for their second-longest contest of that season. San Diego won that game, 4-3, on a Geoff Blum RBI double.

    Blum, of course, is no longer on the roster. And, as Padres fans know, a 14-inning game is no longer that big of a deal. In 2008, San Diego already has been part of 22- and 18-inning games, as well as three 13-inning games.

    Pitching matchup
    SD: LHP Cha Seung Baek (1-1, 5.23 ERA)
    Baek, who was acquired last week from the Seattle Mariners, makes his starting debut for the Padres as a late fill-in for left-hander Estes, who fractured his left thumb after falling in the dugout tunnel at AT&T Park in San Francisco. As for Baek, who has started and pitched in relief in the past for the Mariners, he struck out the side in relief on Friday, needing just 12 pitches to do so.

    CHC: RHP Carlos Zambrano (7-1, 2.33 ERA)
    Zambrano may be on a short leash. He is coming off a 130-pitch outing against the Dodgers, his second-highest total in his career and highest this season. Cubs manager Lou Piniella said they'll keep an eye on his pitch count. Big Z did not get a decision in the game, giving up one run on six hits and four walks over eight innings. He had one bad inning, and blamed that on a lack of concentration. It's not Zambrano's first tough loss like this. He threw a complete game on June 16, 2007, against the Padres and lost, 1-0, on Russell Branyan's homer in the ninth.

    Tidbits
    When Michael Barrett caught Aaron Rowand stealing second base in the fourth inning of Sunday's game, he accomplished something he hadn't previously done in almost nine months. Barrett was 0-for-10 stopping basestealers in 2008 and hadn't caught a runner since nabbing Juan Pierre on Sept. 12, 2007. ... Tadahito Iguchi is one of only two everyday second basemen (along with Tampa Bay's Akinori Iwamura) who hasn't committed an error this season. His last gaffe was 119 games ago on June 12, 2007. ... Before going 0-for-5 on Sunday, Brian Giles had reached base safely in 18 consecutive games.
    • Like Like x 1
  2. HollywoodLeo
    Offline

    HollywoodLeo Trevor Phillips Enterprises

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2006
    Messages:
    13,533
    Ratings Received:
    +1,498 / 27 / -1
    Baek to make first Padres start vs. Cubs

    We have some unknown pitcher and Ledezma going the next two games against the team with the best record in baseball.

    This series won't be pretty.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. tboltzcali
    Offline

    tboltzcali Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2005
    Messages:
    2,060
    Ratings Received:
    +107 / 0 / -0
    remember its petco and the padres are not run producers there. but seems like the worst teams beat the best teams for some unknown reason.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. BFISA
    Offline

    BFISA Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2005
    Messages:
    41,645
    Ratings Received:
    +2,171 / 0 / -0
  5. Holy_Bolt
    Offline

    Holy_Bolt Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    Messages:
    2,806
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest
    Ratings Received:
    +288 / 1 / -0
    It is always good to sweep a NY team!
  6. tboltzcali
    Offline

    tboltzcali Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2005
    Messages:
    2,060
    Ratings Received:
    +107 / 0 / -0
    Oh now you come in when they win. What kinda padre fan are you? 6.5 back, bet your talking WS. ha.
  7. Greeney03
    Offline

    Greeney03 BoltTalker

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2006
    Messages:
    18
    Ratings Received:
    +3 / 0 / -0
    Who's going to the game tom vs the Dodgers? It should be fun!
  8. wrbanwal
    Offline

    wrbanwal Bad A S S

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2005
    Messages:
    9,704
    Ratings Received:
    +1,035 / 0 / -0

    I might go to the Dodgers vs. Detroit


    hope they both lose!!!
  9. wrbanwal
    Offline

    wrbanwal Bad A S S

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2005
    Messages:
    9,704
    Ratings Received:
    +1,035 / 0 / -0
    Padres' win streak ends at five


    this 2 run crap just isn't going to cut it!!!



    http://www3.signonsandiego.com/news/2008/jun/10/dodgers-snap-five-game-win-streak/


    Brian Giles was set to catch the floating baseball as it veered toward him, then it was as though a camera flashed in his face.

    "I lost it in the lights," Giles said of the ball, which skimmed off the right fielder's chest and went for a double.

    On the next play, Padres left fielder Justin Huber saw the baseball tailing toward him in the gap, then reacted as if he were blindfolded. The ball sailed over his head for a single.

    "I lost it completely in the lights," Huber said.

    Russell Martin and the Dodgers then turned out the lights on the Padres, scoring four runs in the seventh inning en route to a 7-2 victory Wednesday night, which ended San Diego's season-high win streak at five.

    Since Petco Park opened in 2004, Giles never had seen an outfielder fully lose a ball in the lights.

    Then well-placed balls in the ballpark's lighting struck twice on consecutive drives by the Dodgers, each to an outfield gap with San Diego ahead 2-1 in the seventh.

    The bizarre sequence didn't defeat the Padres, but it put pinch-hitter Delwyn Young on second base with a double and Juan Pierre on first with a single on fly balls that usually get caught.

    "You can't give a team five outs in an inning," said Padres pitcher Greg Maddux, who had stood to get the win. "Defensively, we are good. It was just one of those things. Certain parts of the outfield, you can't see the ball (at) certain heights. It's like that in every park. It's like losing the ball in the sun -- nothing you can really do about it."

    The Padres nonetheless would close to within one strike of an escape, until Martin served notice that some hitters in today's strikeout-prone game are willing to take less with two strikes.

    Martin batted with the bases loaded and the Padres still ahead 2-1 because third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff had fielded a ground ball and thrown out Young at home plate for the second out.

    Padres manager Bud Black had summoned his fourth reliever of the seventh, Heath Bell, to confront Martin in one of the season's true showdowns.

    Usually reserved to start the eighth, Bell was working in just his fourth seventh inning and inherited as many runners as he had all season. He began Martin with three fastballs, two of them at the knees. Martin took all three, two for strikes.

    Shaking off catcher Michael Barrett's signal for a 1-2 curveball, Bell threw another fastball, this one knee-high and wide of the outside corner. Martin grounded it to right field for a two-run single.

    "He got just enough wood on it and hit it through the right side -- kind of like Tony Gwynn used to do," Bell said.

    For good measure, Martin alertly took second on the throw from Giles. When Matt Kemp beat out a single on a ground ball behind second base, Martin made another shrewd move, continuing home and scoring by reaching around Barrett to slap the plate.

    "He's pretty damn important for us, no question," manager Joe Torre said of Martin, an All-Star catcher last year at age 24. "He does a lot of things to help us win."

    Maddux has a 1.70 ERA at Petco this season but only one win to show for it. Not totally unlucky, Maddux Tuesday night benefited from four lineouts off Dodgers bats, plus Adrian Gonzalez's RBI single that tied it 1-1 in the third, a good throw by Padres center fielder Scott Hairston that Barrett neatly short-hopped before nabbing James Loney in the sixth; and, later in the sixth, a wild pitch by Dodgers reliever Scott Proctor that put the Padres ahead 2-1.

    But Maddux, 42, spoke wistfully of his younger days, when he was still fresh after throwing 70 pitches, his total last night when Black lifted him for a pinch hitter in the sixth.

    "That was the right move," Maddux said. "At the same time, it'd be nice to be 10 years younger and stay in the game longer, too."
  10. BFISA
    Offline

    BFISA Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2005
    Messages:
    41,645
    Ratings Received:
    +2,171 / 0 / -0
  11. Holy_Bolt
    Offline

    Holy_Bolt Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    Messages:
    2,806
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest
    Ratings Received:
    +288 / 1 / -0
    Wow, we scored nine runs...what a waste, we only needed to score one!:lol:
  12. Greeney03
    Offline

    Greeney03 BoltTalker

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2006
    Messages:
    18
    Ratings Received:
    +3 / 0 / -0
    Total Pwnage by Jake! Jake is now 12-1 vs the Dodgers!
  13. tboltzcali
    Offline

    tboltzcali Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2005
    Messages:
    2,060
    Ratings Received:
    +107 / 0 / -0
    NOW we need to get a LF and a 3b.
  14. BFISA
    Offline

    BFISA Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2005
    Messages:
    41,645
    Ratings Received:
    +2,171 / 0 / -0
  15. tboltzcali
    Offline

    tboltzcali Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2005
    Messages:
    2,060
    Ratings Received:
    +107 / 0 / -0
    wheres todays headline BFISA? That my friend is why the padres wont win a championship.
  16. tboltzcali
    Offline

    tboltzcali Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2005
    Messages:
    2,060
    Ratings Received:
    +107 / 0 / -0
    Sweep by the yanks. Gotta love it.
  17. wrbanwal
    Offline

    wrbanwal Bad A S S

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2005
    Messages:
    9,704
    Ratings Received:
    +1,035 / 0 / -0
    this is what kills me about this team


    today's two gawd awful stats


    Strikeouts - 15
    Left on Base - 19


    just kills me


    :icon_sad::icon_sad::icon_sad:
    • Like Like x 1
  18. Greeney03
    Offline

    Greeney03 BoltTalker

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2006
    Messages:
    18
    Ratings Received:
    +3 / 0 / -0
    This series sucks...Now we have to face the red hot Tigers at home.
    • Like Like x 1
  19. tboltzcali
    Offline

    tboltzcali Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2005
    Messages:
    2,060
    Ratings Received:
    +107 / 0 / -0
    this is where things get ugly.
  20. AnteaterCharger
    Offline

    AnteaterCharger Calibrating Bolttalk, Podcast by Podcast Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2006
    Messages:
    17,907
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    Ratings Received:
    +2,346 / 19 / -3
    we don't do well a week from sunday, it might be time to give it up and start trading parts.
  21. tboltzcali
    Offline

    tboltzcali Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2005
    Messages:
    2,060
    Ratings Received:
    +107 / 0 / -0
    I dont understand why they didnt try to get another bat. They were only 6.5 out. Still in reach...now its gone.
  22. wrbanwal
    Offline

    wrbanwal Bad A S S

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2005
    Messages:
    9,704
    Ratings Received:
    +1,035 / 0 / -0
    BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  23. wrbanwal
    Offline

    wrbanwal Bad A S S

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2005
    Messages:
    9,704
    Ratings Received:
    +1,035 / 0 / -0
    Padres looking for boost in production

    :icon_rofl::icon_rofl::icon_rofl:
    :icon_rofl::icon_rofl::icon_rofl:


    SAN DIEGO -- Interleague Play continues for the Padres as the Twins make a visit to PETCO Park for a three-game series that begins Tuesday.

    It marks the third time the two teams have met in the regular season and first in San Diego since 2003, the last season at Qualcomm Stadium.

    The Twins won the American League Central Division title that season, while the Padres brought up the rear in the National League West, 36 1/2 games back of the Giants. But the Padres took two of three games from the Twins that year and stand even in the overall series after dropping two of three in Minnesota in 2005.

    Interleague Play has been tough on the Padres this season. Sunday's 5-3 loss to the Tigers ran San Diego's record against the AL to 3-9 this season and extended its winless streak to four in Interleague series in 2008.

    After scoring 11 runs in the first two games against the Tigers, the Padres fell into a familiar problem of driving in runs Sunday. They went 1-for-14 with runners in scoring position, which is no surprise given that the Padres are near the bottom of a number of offensive categories. They are 15th out of 16 teams in the NL in team batting average, runs scored, RBIs, and slugging and on-base percentage.

    The Padres had some larger than normal holes in their lineup Sunday, with Brian Giles and Kevin Kouzmanoff out. Giles has a right hamstring strain, while Kouzmanoff is nursing a sore back, but both players are expected to return for Tuesday's opener with the Twins.

    Manager Bud Black juggled his lineup Sunday and inserted Chase Headley into the cleanup role, but the rookie went 0-for-4. On two occasions, Tigers manager Jim Leyland opted to walk Adrian Gonzalez intentionally to get to Headley. That put two runners aboard each time, but Headley was unable to convert, striking out on mid-90-mph heaters from Justin Verlander.

    Black expects to see more of Gonzalez being walked as the season progresses.

    "That is a sound strategy. He has been our most productive player," Black said. "That happens to good players."

    Gonzalez, who homered Sunday to increase his NL lead in RBIs to 65, said he needs to capitalize.

    "I just have to hit the fastball when I get it," Gonzalez said.

    The Twins are coming to town with a six-game winning streak that includes a weekend sweep of the Diamondbacks. Offensively, the Twins are a bit of contrast with the third highest batting average in the AL. They are also fourth in runs scored and RBIs.

    Pitching matchup
    SD: RHP Jake Peavy (5-4, 2.88 ERA)
    Peavy got his first look at Yankee Stadium in his last start but had a rough go, as he allowed three runs on six hits and a couple of walks in four innings to take the loss. Since returning June 12 from the disabled list with a right elbow strain, Peavy is 1-1 with a 2.70 ERA. In 15 Interleague starts, Peavy is 8-7, including one outing against the Twins when he allowed three runs over 6 2/3 innings for a no-decision.

    MIN: RHP Kevin Slowey (4-6, 4.37 ERA)
    Slowey allowed a run on seven hits and two walks over six innings for the win against the Nationals in his last start. The right-hander has allowed 26 homers in 23 career outings, 21 starts, but he'll be pitching in the heavy night air of PETCO. Slowey is 3-3 with a 4.17 ERA on the road this season and will be making his first career appearance against the Padres.

    Tidbits
    Catcher Josh Bard, who is on the DL with a high ankle sprain, threw Sunday but is still at least two weeks away, Black said. ... Gonzalez hit his 21st home run Sunday. Gonzalez's home run total projects to 44 for the year, which would be second highest for the franchise but shy of Greg Vaughn's club record 50 in 1998. ... Headley had his hitting streak snapped at five games with three strikeouts and a fly ball Sunday. ... Trevor Hoffman pitched the ninth Sunday to get some work after not appearing since June 11. Hoffman has now faced every Major League team in his career except one, the Twins. ... Randy Wolf leads the Padres with 11 quality starts. ... Jody Gerut has reached base safely in 23 of his last 29 games.
  24. wrbanwal
    Offline

    wrbanwal Bad A S S

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2005
    Messages:
    9,704
    Ratings Received:
    +1,035 / 0 / -0
    At this point, Padres say they're 'neither buyers nor sellers'

    http://www3.signonsandiego.com/news/2008/jun/23/point-padres-say-theyre-neither-buyers-nor-sellers/?padres

    Monday, June 23, 2008

    The Padres are 13 games below .500 entering tonight's game, a series opener against the Minnesota Twins at Petco Park. With just more than half of the season remaining, the Padres are on pace to win 67 games and lose 95, which would be their worst record since dropping 98 games in 2003.

    Yet because their division is the worst in the major leagues to date, the Padres might be only one hot stretch away from joining the National League West race, such as it is.

    The Padres have until the evening of July 31 to trade players without running them through waivers. For now, their front office is all eyes.

    "We are neither buyers nor sellers at this point," Padres CEO Sandy Alderson said yesterday. "We are observers -- of our own team."

    Realistically, the Padres will need a borderline miracle to win an NL West title that would be their third in five years. This team has performed at below-average levels across most of the board.

    The offense is near the bottom in several categories. The bullpen's ERA is 14th of 16 in the NL. When the ballpark effects are filtered statistically, the Padres' overall ERA ranks 12th of 16, according to baseball-reference.com.

    Defensively, the Padres are 17th of 30 at converting balls in play into outs. They also have allowed the most stolen bases in the majors and have the worst throwout rate (13 percent) of base stealers. No other club is close to them in either category.

    Bullish trends include the recent return of ace Jake Peavy, who tonight will make his third start since coming off the disabled list. The team's former No. 2 starter, Chris Young, is hoping to return in late July, provided his septum surgery goes well Monday. Young, expecting that his arm will be relatively fresh come September, has said both he and Peavy can combine with the team's other starting pitchers to give the Padres a good ride down the stretch.

    The cold, hard numbers, if you believe in them, say the Padres should sell if it means boosting their chances for 2009. Their chance of winning the NL West is just 2.9 percent, based on yesterday's postseason odds report by Baseball Prospectus, which runs a Monte Carlo simulation of the rest of the season one million times.

    A powerful farm system can make a major league team's pennant chances more formidable than examinations at the major-league level would indicate. During the 2003 season, for example, the Florida Marlins summoned two minor leaguers, Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis, who became integral to the team's run to not only a playoff berth but the World Series title.

    The Padres recently promoted their top prospect from Triple-A, Chase Headley, a natural third baseman who, in response to Kevin Kouzmanoff's expected return to full health, apparently will move to left field tonight. Who among Headley's Triple-A teammates will follow him to San Diego?

    "It's not clear who will be next from the system," Alderson said. "(Matt) Antonelli is turning things around at Portland, but we are currently well served at second base. (Outfielders Chip) Ambres and (Will) Venable are both hot but so is (Padres center fielder Jody) Gerut. (Catcher Nick) Hundley may not be quite ready with the bat.

    "We are getting good pitching from our rotation in Portland from guys with very little professional experience for Triple-A" -- Alderson mentioned Wade LeBlanc, Josh Geer and Cesar Ramos -- "and we are getting great starting pitching in (Double-A) San Antonio from (Will) Inman, (Matthew) Buschmann, (Steve) Garrison and (Stephen) Faris, but it is probably too soon to consider any of the seven."



    Bottom line,

    WE SUCK!!!!

    :lol::lol::lol:
  25. wrbanwal
    Offline

    wrbanwal Bad A S S

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2005
    Messages:
    9,704
    Ratings Received:
    +1,035 / 0 / -0
    http://weblog.signonsandiego.com/sports/drooz/weblog/archives/024668.html


    Those boos Tuesday night at Petco Park may have been aimed at the obvious target, Trevor Hoffman, but there's no doubt they were slung at the entire team. Or at the situation.

    Those boos have been building since last fall, when the Padres only needed to win one game to reach the postseason, and instead lost two games at Milwaukee, then lost to the Rockies in Game 163.

    San Diego sports fans in general and Padres fans especially are among the most forgiving in the nation. Think Philly or Boston fans would sit by and watch their baseball team play .410 ball and not boo?

    That boo has been building for months, and was well-deserved. The Padres are 14 games under .500. They can't score runners with bases loaded and no outs. They often can't even advance runners. In a ballpark that favors speed over power, they have little speed.

    They've shown a penchant for coming from ahead to lose, usually in the seventh or eighth inning, once the starter is removed. There are few dependable relievers before Heath Bell and Hoffman come in.

    And let's face it, Tuesday's frustrating loss to the Twins via two ninth-inning homers off Hoffman is the latest in a disturbing pattern going back to last fall, when Hoffman blew two of those final games.

    I'm not saying Hoffy is suddenly deserving of scorn -- he's been too good for too long here -- but there's no reason for anyone to expect that's he's exempt from some on-the-spot frustration, either.

    Bringing in the future Hall of Famer no longer seems to intimidate the opposition. Ten years ago, when you heard "Hell's Bells" you knew the game was over. So did Padres opponents. Now when Trevor comes in, you suspect things are going to get interesting. Often, they do.

    And, lately, frustrating as well.

    Boo if you feel like it, Padres fans. You've earned the right. And the Padres have earned your derision.





    BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  26. wrbanwal
    Offline

    wrbanwal Bad A S S

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2005
    Messages:
    9,704
    Ratings Received:
    +1,035 / 0 / -0
    .400


    we're gonna loose 100 games


    :icon_sad::icon_sad::icon_sad:
  27. tboltzcali
    Offline

    tboltzcali Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2005
    Messages:
    2,060
    Ratings Received:
    +107 / 0 / -0
    Padres are quickly becoming a joke. Its becoming very very sad. I wonder how BFISA is taking it.
  28. wrbanwal
    Offline

    wrbanwal Bad A S S

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2005
    Messages:
    9,704
    Ratings Received:
    +1,035 / 0 / -0
    Pass out the midterm report cards


    http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news?slug=sh-midseasongrades070108&prov=yhoo&type=lgns



    Midterm grades aren’t printed on transcripts or diplomas. Yet they can be a wakeup call, a guidepost, reinforcement or a sober indication a person might be better suited anywhere but in a classroom.

    In the sweat-stained, low-brow institutions of higher achievement that comprise Major League Baseball, mid-season report cards serve the same purposes. Eighty-one games into this familiar protracted grind, taking stock is irresistible.

    Sit up straight, boys and girls. Keep your hands to yourselves. Pass these midterm report cards back to your neighbor and don’t let your eyes stray.

    Grade: A-plus
    Tampa Bay Rays: The Rays went from laggard to teacher’s pet, a student who overcame poverty and a junk-food diet to surge to the head of the class. Sure, privileged kids in Boston and New York might eventually nose out the Rays. But this is a no-name team (is there a single slam-dunk All-Star?) that has established it will be a force for years.

    Grade: A

    Boston Red Sox: Yes, one rich kid, present and accounted for. No slouch, either. The Red Sox house is in order, with only a whiff of domestic violence (Manny vs. hired help) to raise eyebrows. This is now a team that expects to win, expects good things to happen, a dramatic about-face from the pre-2004 Fenway culture.
    Chicago Cubs: Here’s the kid who bombs on the final regardless of midterm grades. Ninety-nine times in a row. Yet the Cubs are positioned nicely to end their century-long World Series title drought. Getting through the NL playoffs shouldn’t be daunting. Their corner infielders and outfielders are seasoned run producers. Pressure on the starting rotation will increase as the calendar turns.

    Grade: A-minus
    Los Angeles Angels: An AL team winning 3 of every 5 games while batting only .256 is staggering. The offense should improve because not a single everyday player has exceeded expectations. The same isn’t true of the pitching staff. Will young starters Joe Saunders and Ervin Santana match their first-half output? Will closer Francisco Rodriguez?

    Chicago White Sox
    Chicago White Sox: Ending the first half with a sweep of the crosstown Cubs was an emphatic statement that the White Sox might see this first-place thing through September. Starters Jose Contreras and Javier Vazquez are a tad creaky, but an offense built around slugging outfielders Jermaine Dye and Carlos Quentin is consistently productive. The ChiSox have outscored opponents by 85 runs, the biggest differential in the AL.

    Grade: B-plus

    St. Louis Cardinals
    St. Louis Cardinals: Everybody holding their breath waiting for Ryan Ludwick and Skip Schumacher and Kyle Lohse and Todd Wellemeyer to regress to the mean is turning blue in the face. The Cardinals have a slight advantage in what could remain a two-team NL wild-card race with the Brewers.

    Milwaukee Brewers
    Milwaukee Brewers: One of many teams tough to beat at home, and 43 of their last 81 games are at Miller Park. Several Brewers (Bill Hall, Mike Cameron, Rickie Weeks) had sub-par first halves with the bat, and improvement could offset the possible cooling off of hot pitchers (Ben Sheets, Manny Parra, Solomon Torres).

    Minnesota Twins
    Minnesota Twins: Honestly, how much do you know about Kevin Slowey, Nick Blackburn, Scott Baker and Glen Perkins? They’ve combined to make 60 starts for the Twins with an ERA hovering comfortably at 4.00. The bad news for the Twins is no more fattening up on NL teams – they were an MLB-best 14-4 in interleague games.

    Grade: B

    Philadelphia Phillies
    Philadelphia Phillies: Meet the seeming A-student who bombed the midterm and ended up with his grade lowered. It doesn’t appear the Phillies would be a strong World Series representative – they lost 9 of 12 in a late-June interleague swing. The Phillies’ defense is constantly pressured because starters Jamie Moyer, Kyle Kendrick, Adam Eaton and Brett Myers all allow significantly more than one hit per inning.

    New York Yankees
    New York Yankees: Anything short of an A isn’t acceptable to new headmaster Hank Steinbrenner, but a B certainly is an improvement over the way the Yankees began the season. Will their aging position players wilt in the summer sun? Can the holes in their rotation be patched by the likes of Sidney Ponson for long? Last summer’s second-half rally keeps hope alive.

    Oakland A's
    Oakland Athletics: One of only five teams in baseball with a winning road record, the A’s are playing just well enough to make a trading deadline fire sale by Billy Beane a crying shame. Catching the Angels for the AL West title might be an easier proposition than staying in a wild-card race with the Red Sox-Rays runner up.

    Florida Marlins
    Florida Marlins: The overachiever in a classroom of slackers, the Marlins remain in the thick of the NL East despite being surrounded by the expensive, somnolent Phillies, Mets and Braves. Marlins pitchers are coming off the disabled list and the offense is legitimate, so the smattering of fans that show up at Dolphin Stadium might watch the Marlins flummox the sleeping giants through September.

    Grade: B-minus

    Baltimore Orioles
    Baltimore Orioles: Such a shame the Orioles are in a division with those powerhouse Rays, and, oh by the way, the Red Sox and Yankees as well. This has quietly become an excellent team six days a week. Inexplicably, the Orioles have lost 12 in a row on Sundays, having won on the Sabbath only on April 6, dragging them into fourth place.

    Grade: C

    Arizona Diamondbacks
    Arizona Diamondbacks: Talk about playing down to the competition. Just treading water after their 28-15 start would have made them runaway leaders in the NL West. Instead they are struggling to stay above sea level and have allowed the punchless Dodgers and horrific Rockies to believe they are in a pennant race.

    Detroit Tigers
    Detroit Tigers: Like the whip-smart kid who thinks he can get by without doing homework, the Tigers needed to be embarrassed repeatedly before getting it together just before midterms. It’s entirely possible they could go 52-29 in the second half and win the Al Central. Or, the frightful bullpen and more injuries could keep them at .500.

    Texas Rangers
    Texas Rangers: Is there a more uneven roster in baseball? Feel-good reclamation stories Josh Hamilton, Milton Bradley and Vicente Padilla are juxtaposed against disasters Jason Jennings, Kevin Millwood and whoever might currently have a tenuous hold on the back of the rotation. The heights and depths cancel each other out and the result is an average team.

    Grade: C-minus

    New York Mets
    New York Mets: New manager Jerry Manuel, an avid student of Martin Luther King Jr. speeches, might infuse life into a team suffering from post-traumatic September fold syndrome. Yet more important than words will be the effectiveness of pitches by underachieving starters Pedro Martinez, Oliver Perez and Mike Pelfrey. Still, the recent Phillies fold has kept hope alive.

    St. Louis Cardinals
    Atlanta Braves: Not that Turner Field is comfy cozy, but get the Braves away from home and they turn utterly pathetic: 12-29. It must be dispiriting when frustration pervades every road trip. Yes, Chipper Jones is having his best year, but Jeff Francoeur is having his worst. Give up or make a push in a bumbling division? If Mark Teixeira is dealt at the deadline, we’ll know the answer.
    Toronto Blue Jays: Too many knee-jerk decisions and off-hand comments from the front office. Too little wiggle room in a division where the one consolation the Blue Jays always could count on – being better than the Rays – has deserted them. If the Blue Jays were in the NL West, they’d be 1½ games out of first place. And if a third grader was still in kindergarten, he’d probably be getting straight As.

    Grade: D-plus

    Los Angeles Dodgers: The vaunted young talent is developing as expected, but the veterans acquired for obscene sums of money to complement the kids have been huge disappointments. So Joe Torre is left with an anemic offense and an inconsistent rotation. Two years ago the Dodgers were in a similar plight, then inexplicably went on a July tear and made the playoffs. So anything is possible, especially in the forgiving NL West.
    San Francisco Giants: The inevitably painful post-Barry Bonds era has begun. But, no pain, no gain, and the Giants are already slowly moving forward. It would have helped if Barry Zito hadn’t lost his Uncle Charlie while crossing the Bay Bridge. Now, it’s Lincecum and Cain and pray the bay fog turns to rain. A smattering of young position players – Fred Lewis, John Bowker – provide hope.
    Kansas City Royals: Everyone agrees the Royals are improving. Everyone agrees they are stockpiling strong arms. Everyone agrees their farm system and front office are in order. Then why are they still seven games under .500 and nowhere near the top of the AL Central? $$$$$. And they misspent the $$$$$ they had.
    Cleveland Indians: The biggest disappointment in the AL save that rainy outpost in the Pacific Northwest has trading deadline decisions like no other. It’s got to be gut wrenching to all but quit by dealing starters C.C. Sabathia, Paul Byrd and perhaps a position player. Especially so soon after finishing one game short of the World Series. But the time is drawing near.

    Grade: D
    Pittsburgh Pirates: “But, dad, I didn’t get an F.” That could be the Pirates’ refrain, a team so accustomed to failure that a first half six games under .500 qualifies as success. Dad ain’t buying it. Yes, the outfield is productive and Matt Capps can hold most of the infrequent late-inning leads, but the infield doesn’t hit and the rotation always spits out at least one severe disappointment, as in, what’s up with Tom Gorzelanny?
    Houston Astros: When words to describe your clubhouse environment mirror those once used to explain Three-Mile Island (toxic, lethal, noxious), the only positive that can come of it is for Lance Berkman to grow a third eye and see the ball so well he bats .556 with 63 HRs and 140 RBIs. And just when it seemed Roy Oswalt had his mojo back, he leaves a game with an injury.
    Cincinnati Reds: Like slugging strikeout machine Adam Dunn and struggling strikeout machine Johnny Cueto, all or nothing is an apt description of the entire Reds’ franchise. Theyll trade Ken Griffey Jr. if he lets them and somebody wants him. They might trade Dunn. They’ll draw hope from Edinson Volquez, Jay Bruce and Joey Votto. And wait til next year.
    Grade: D-minus
    Washington Nationals: New stadium, same slapstick team. Manager Manny Acta worked miracles last year with the worst roster in baseball. A team batting average of .239 and a rotation headed by the immortal Tim Redding has made that impossible this year. They avoid an F only because of low expectations, wide concourses and a breathtaking view of the Capitol.

    Grade: F
    Colorado Rockies: Oh, how the momentarily mighty have fallen. Precocious pitchers Ubaldo Jimenez, Manuel Corpas and Franklin Morales made baseball look like child’s play last fall. Now they are pitching like children. Jeff Francis has Zito disease and it’s unclear exactly who Troy Tulowitzki is until he gets enough at-bats to let us know. Word is they won’t trade Matt Holliday for fear fans will despair. Too late.
    San Diego Padres: Coming off a 3-15 interleague showing and 18 games under .500, the Padres have the gall to suggest they are in a pennant race. Not until they bring in the fences at Petco Park to attract a couple free-agent hitters and hold retirement parties for first-ballot Hall-of-Famers Trevor Hoffman and Greg Maddux. Sign o’ the times: Setup reliever Heath Bell leads the staff with six victories.
    Seattle Mariners: New manager Jim Riggleman is beginning to make changes. Jeff Clement, not Kenji Johjima, will do most of the catching. Richie Sexson’s at-bats will diminish. But what does he do with slop throwers Carlos Silva, Miguel Batista and Jarrod Washburn? Any slight improvement in the Mariners will be like a kid raising his test scores from 35 percent to 40 percent. It’s still an F.
  29. wrbanwal
    Offline

    wrbanwal Bad A S S

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2005
    Messages:
    9,704
    Ratings Received:
    +1,035 / 0 / -0
    Padres parched for runs in desert

    http://www3.signonsandiego.com/news/2008/jul/06/division-leaders-avoid-padres-sweep/?padres


    PHOENIX -- What became of Khalil Greene?

    A last-place Padres team desperate for Greene to hit the way he did last year continues to get less than expected from his bat this season.

    Greene himself was at a loss for words yesterday after another bewildering day in the batter's box, which contributed to a 3-2 loss that denied the Padres a three-game sweep of the first-place Diamondbacks.

    "I don't know if I can really put it into words," Greene said when asked about his offensive drop-off from a 27-home run, 44-double performance in 2007. "There are times when my timing is off, which is extremely frustrating. The days where I feel well, I still don't get many hits."

    In years past, even when Greene went though down times, he answered with a hot streak. Typically he was a feared hitter on the road. Yesterday, in an arid environment where he thrived in recent years, Greene struck out three times against Randy Johnson, whose pre-2008 pitches Greene often slugged.

    A redemptive opportunity came in the ninth inning. Greene faced closer Brandon Lyon with one out. Teammate Kevin Kouzmanoff was on third base after driving an RBI double and advancing to third when second baseman Orlando Hudson missed the relay throw. Diamondbacks infielders played closer to protect a 3-2 lead.

    Greene, not helped by a plate umpire who, according to a few hitters, called a wide strikezone, took an outside fastball for a strike. Correctly anticipating another outside fastball from Lyon, he hit a hard groundball to the right side. But it went directly to Hudson, who stranded Kouzmanoff in getting the out.

    "I was trying to slap the ball to right field," Greene said. "I was going to take what he gave me, go with the pitch, slap it between first and second, but it didn't work out."

    By no means was Greene the only Padres hitter who came up short.

    The at-bat before Greene's in the ninth, rookie Chase Headley got ahead 3-1, but swung and missed at the next two pitches. "That was unacceptable," said Headley, still angry that he had chased Lyon's chest-high fastball for the second strike.

    The Padres also failed to score in the eighth after Jody Gerut and Tony Clark opened with pinch singles. Their hottest hitter of late, Scott Hairston, took a third strike for the first out, after manager Bud Black had opted against the sacrifice bunt. Edgar Gonzalez then hit into a double play, started by pitcher Tony Pena.

    None of those Padres hitters, however, is being counted on as Greene was entering this season. Last winter, the Padres thought enough of him, and also perhaps so little of their minor-league shortstops, to offer him a four-year contract for $29 million. That deal would have bought out Greene's first two years of free agency. Instead, talks produced a two-year deal for $11 million.

    Greene nonetheless tinkered with his stance early in the season, a warning sign to scouts who wondered why Greene would change his form after the best season of his career. Hitting coach Wally Joyner said in early May that Greene is unusually active mentally, sometimes to his detriment. Greene didn't disagree, saying it's in his nature to tinker in a search for better feel.

    Joyner said recently the key for Greene is to "relax, stay positive and not be so hard on himself."

    Greene's batting average is down to .226, his strikeouts up to 84. "It's pretty miserable to essentially fail, which is what it ends up being, whether it's seasonally, weekly or monthly," Greene said.

    He is still giving the Padres above-average defense at shortstop. He's also the majors' innings leader at the position, partly because Black lacked a reliable backup shortstop, which can be traced to Geoff Blum's departure and utility man Callix Crabbe, an overmatched Rule V draft pick, being thrust onto the roster.

    A streaky hitter since he arrived, he wasn't expected to get on base at a good clip entering this season. But Greene, 28, is slugging at nearly 100 points below his career rate.

    "It's certainly a lot less than enjoyable," said Greene, who hopes to reprise strong second halves from past years.


    :tdown::tdown::tdown:


    MAYBE DUDE SHOULD TRY BATTING PRACTICE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



    :icon_evil::icon_evil::icon_evil:

Share This Page