Padres Update: San Diego’s Pitchers Need to Find the Plate
Another week of San Diego Padres Cactus League baseball has gone by. It’s been an interesting week with the absence of some prominent players who are in the World Baseball Classic. Jake Peavy, Adrian and Edgar Gonzalez, Heath Bell, Scott Hairston, and Henry Blanco are all not in camp. Here’s how the week went for the Padres.
On February 1, the Padres faced the Chicago Cubs in Peoria. Jake Peavy started and threw three solid innings, giving up only one hit. His offense helped him out a bit with a three-run first inning. Will Venable, Travis Denker, and Chase Headley drove in the runs for the Padres. Wade LeBlanc threw two innings, one scoreless and one giving up two runs. The Padres won 4-2.
February 2 was the Padres’ first game against the Milwaukee Brewers after the Brewers signed Trevor Hoffman. Hoffman did not pitch against his former team of 16 years, though. Josh Geer started the game and pitched two innings, allowing one run. Outfielder Emil Brown hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the first to give the Padres the lead. One of the Padres biggest pitching prospects, Mat Latos, gave up a two-run home run to tie the game. Latos is facing Major League hitters for the first time this spring, and he has been struggling. But Denker had an RBI double in the fourth that ended up being the winning run. The Padres beat the Brewers, 4-3.
On February 3, the Padres played the Los Angeles Dodgers. Chris Young started, threw two innings, and gave up a solo homer to Mitch Jones. The Dodgers added another run on David Eckstein’s error in the fifth, but in the bottom of that inning, Eckstein drove in a run to get the Padres on the board. Then Gabe DeHoyos gave up a two-run homer to Blake DeWitt to extend the Dodgers’ lead. The Padres got single runs in the 6 th, 7 th, and 9 th, but fell to the Dodgers, 5-4.
The Texas Rangers hosted the Padres in Surprise, Arizona on February 5. Cha Seung Baek gave up one run in two innings. Justin Hampson threw a scoreless inning. Following him was Joe Thatcher, who gave up run. Oneli Perez and his 20.25 ERA pitched next, giving up two runs. Will Venable, Drew Macias, and Everth Cabrera drove in runs for the Padres. Cabrera also stole two bases in one inning and scored. The Padres lost 4-3.
The February 6 game featuring the Padres against the Rockies was very wild. The Rockies, with a record of 0-8, hadn’t won a Spring Training game yet. Kevin Correia, who is a candidate for the starting rotation, threw three innings and gave up a two-run homer to Yorvit Torrealba. Wade LeBlanc threw a scoreless inning, but then gave up three runs in his second inning of work. Next, Chad Reineke gave up four runs. Ivan Nova followed him, also giving up four runs. But we did have a lot of offensive power, just too little too late. Chase Headley hit a three-run homer, followed by a solo homer by Kyle Blanks. In the bottom of the 9 th with two outs, outfielder Chad Huffman hit a grand slam. Unfortunately, it left the Padres two runs short. The Padres lost to the Rockies 13-11. It was the Rockies’ first win of the pre-season, so it figures that it was a high-scoring game. It was almost like the Padres and the Rockies were playing at Coors Field!
It’s been a fairly good week for the Padres. Their record so far in the first few weeks is 2-5-2. The pitching was very solid in the beginning of the spring, but in the last few games it had not been the best. There are a lot of great arms in camp right now, but they seem to be suffering from a little “giving-up-too-many runs” virus. The pitching has really been falling apart. They gave up 28 runs in the last two games this week!
The hitters have been doing prettywell. They are certainly hitting, but sometimes not enough. In three games this week, they got a lot of runs in the later innings, but not enough to tie or win the game. Too little too late is what I call it. But we are getting a good look at some of the less prominent players in camp who have more playing time because of the WBC. It will be very interesting to see how this roster shapes up. Go Padres!
By Kaity Bergquist MLBCenter.com San Diego Padres Correspondent