Tuesday, April 05, 2005

The Day After

Well, let's see here...was it Coors Field? Or perhaps an even scarier notion the Padres bullpen is not quite as strong as it appears to be on paper?

Being the eternal optimist I am my money's on Coor's Field as the culprit of yesterday's heartbreaking come-from-behind loss to the Rockies of Colorado.

Let's analyze things just a bit...it's my therapy:

During the spring, Hoffman didn't allow a run in his first six appearances but he was hit hard in his final two. And now this catostrophic meltdown yesterday. Just as disconcerting is that both Linebrink and Otsuka didn't look nearly as sharp as last season while working in front of Hoffman. (I know, it's only game one)

Otsuka closed spring training by giving up a pair of three-run homers. Then Hoffman blew the save in the season opener. In two-thirds of an inning, he allowed four runs on four hits capped by a walk-off, two-run homer by rookie Clint Barmes.

Suffering the fourth blown save of his career against the Rockies, Hoffman said, "You put this behind you and move on".

Being the seasoned veteran and consumate professional that he is, I'm sure he's moved on by now and is focused on game two. Let's hope so.

By the way...Woody Williams seems to be the only one benefitting from yesterday's loss with Hoffman shouldering all the heat in the press today. Well, actually the media hasn't been so hard on Trevor (see Tim Sullavin's UT column) but the message boards have been relentless.

Now, I'm not over reacting here...really, I'm not...I realize this was only game one of a long season ahead however...it always hurts to lose these sorts of games. And even though we have 161 games left, as tight as things were last year every game counts in the west...especially the ones we're supposed to win. Come September I don't want these type of close-game losses against the Rockies and Nationals of the world to haunt us.

On a more positive note...nice to see the big guns break out with some dingers right out of the shoot. Maybe they'll build up some momentum in the power department early in the seaon. And XNady looks pretty darn good at the plate. Since Robert's has center field locked up it's up to Burroughs to respond. Could get interesting.

Ok. This felt pretty good. I'm back in the saddle for tomorrow. And then Peavy at home on Thursday night for the opener. I'll be there with bells on! Actually, I won't have any bells on at all...I don't even own any bells.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Padres open up in Denver

Tom Krasovic's article in today's Tribune talks about today's opener and winning the West.

"We definitely don't want to be outspoken about it, but I think we've got a
quiet sense of confidence about this season," pitcher Jake Peavy said.
"Everybody on this team – we fully expect to win the West. If we don't think
that, I'm questioning what we are thinking."

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

The Fishwrap Recap

San Diego Union Tribune:

According to Tom Krasovic , XNady may be getting the opening day nod in center field while Dave Roberts continues to rest his groin pull. Robert's underwent a precautionary MRI yesterday. "It's fine", Robert's said afterwards regarding the first groin injury of his career.

If newcomer Tim Redding steps up and captures the #5 spot, Darrell May will fall into the long-relief role.

Knuckleballer Steve Sparks will likely be traded if he doesn't make the 25-man roster cut.

Loretta, Greene, Giles, Nevin and Hernandez will all see action in tomorrow night's game against SDSU at Petco.
North County Times:

Brian Hiro reports on the Tim Redding acquisition.

"Redding is somebody we've always liked," Towers said. "He has
above-average stuff ---- above-average fastball, above-average life,
above-average breaking ball. He struggled a little bit last year with his
command. We think a change of scenery might be good for him."

Monday, March 28, 2005

Trade News - Quintero to Houston for pitcher Tim Redding

I really have no comments regarding this move...just posting a link in case anyone visiting here has yet to be informed.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Bonds' absense generating Padres hype in the west

Seems to me there's been an increase in Padres chatter in regards to winning the west since the infamous "press conference" last week where Barry Bonds clarified (or threatened) his intentions to sit out the entire season. I happen to think the Padres are going to win it with or without Bonds in the Giants lineup however, I do like our percentages just a tad better sans Barry.

John Shea's article in todays San Fransisco Chronicle is the latest in the recent insurgance of padres related talk in the west.

Here's some of the Padres notes from the article including alot of quotes from Kevin Towers:

"From a psychological standpoint, it helps to go to San Francisco and not see Barry Bonds in the lineup," Padres general manager Kevin Towers said. "I always liked facing the Giants in weekend series because they usually have him take Sundays off. When he's in there, it always seems like he's either on deck, in the hole or on the bases.

"Even with Bonds in their lineup, I thought we'd compete. I thought it was a very competitive division anyway. With Bonds out for some time, I think it's even more so."

For the record, Towers said the Giants still ought to be favorites and complimented his San Francisco counterparts, Brian Sabean and Ned Colletti, for "always finding a way to stay competitive." But the Giants could usually count on Bonds to pull the team through trying times.

The Padres, after improving last year by 23 wins, seem poised to make a run at their first division title since 1998. They had the NL West's best road record (45-36) but must solve new-fangled Petco Park, where they were a disappointing 42-39 and kept complaining about the unfriendly dimensions.

If Ryan Klesko and Phil Nevin shut their traps and realize a pitching park is beneficial -- Jake Peavy won the league's ERA crown, after all -- then the Padres will be going places. The lineup potentially is solid, with Dave Roberts and Mark Loretta batting 1-2, Klesko, Nevin and Brian Giles providing punch and Sean Burroughs, Ramon Hernandez and Khalil Greene rounding it out.

This is basically the same team that won 87 games, except that Woody Williams (45-22 in three-plus years in St. Louis) replaced David Wells in a rotation that includes the Kinda Big Three of Peavy, Brian Lawrence and Adam Eaton. Closer Trevor Hoffman regained his health to move up to No. 3 on the all-time saves list and is preceded by capable setup men Aki Otsuka and Scott Linebrink.

"I think we underachieved some," said Towers, despite the huge improvement from 2003. "Before last year, we had very few guys with experience in playoff races, and now we know what it's like. We've improved our bullpen and bench, and I think we'll be more comfortable at Petco.

"In a nutshell, I'm not taking the Giants lightly. Sometimes (a loss of a key player) can rally the troops. Some people in the industry might think they have no chance now, but this gives other players an opportunity to step up and show what they're made of. They have the individuals and attitude to rise to the occasion with Bonds out."

On the other hand, Towers said, "I don't think Barry will be out long."

Is Petco a one season wonder?

Take a look at today's Michael Kinsmin UT article for some insight into the new ballpark phenomenon in baseball over the past decade. The trends regarding fan attendance are not in Petco's favor. Only 2 of 11 new parks since '95 have managed to eclipse their inaugural season's attendance mark. Last season was a record year for Padres attendance with over 3 million people breaking in those shiny new turnstyles.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

FoxSports.com are pickin' the Pads

The good ole' "fair and balanced" bunch at Fox are picking the Padres to take the west. I may not agree with many of their political slants over there but I'll take another preseason nod for the Pads from anyone that's willing to give it up...even the Mississippi Press.

A solid and deep rotation fronted by future Cy Young winner Jake Peavy, a strong bullpen, a solid lineup top to bottom, and a capable bench corps — it all adds up to a division title for the Padres.

This is not a great team by any means, but it's one with the wherewithal to take the flag. The Dave Roberts acquisition gives the team an efficient base-stealer with reasonable on-base skills and, more importantly, a high-quality glove in center to track down flies in the spacious Petco outfield. Phil Nevin and Brian Giles provide power, and Khalil Greene, Mark Loretta and Ramon Hernandez will give the club solid production from premium positions

Ryan Klesko needs to stem his decline, and Sean Burroughs needs to take that long-anticipated step forward. They'll also miss David Wells, but Woody Williams isn't a bad proxy. All in all, they have less upside than the Dodgers, but they also have fewer questions.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Woody's aces in Padres win

The Padres beat the A's tonight in a game that Woody Williams gave up only one earned run over six innings. A solid 76 pitch-count evening for Williams without facing more than four batters in any inning.

Nevin, Loreta, Giles and Roberts all drove in runs. The Padres will take on the D'Backs tomorrow at 12:05.

Mississippi likes the Padres

Hey, if JR. Wittner over at The Mississippi Press says the Padres are going to win the West, I'd say it's pretty much a done deal. Wouldn't you? I mean come on...this is the JR. Wittner we're talking about here at the Mississippi Press.

National League West -- San Diego Padres. I took the Padres last season to
win the division and feel there chance this year are even better. With young
starting pitchers like Jake Peavy and Adam Eaton, to go along with veteran
hitters Ryan Klesko and Brian Giles, the Padres should win the division

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Back in Action...Finally!

Ok...I've been cleansed. Now I am really back. Got hit with a crazy bug and have been out of commission in the blog world. Luckily it's only spring training.

First of all I'd like to throw out some props to the boys over at PadresFansSince76 for being the skanks that they are and joining "big business" with sportsblogs.com. Way to go guys...congrats! (Kidding on the skanks comment...had I checked my email sooner I'd be that skank...DAMN!) Check them out at their brand new home at gaslamp ball .

And Geoff's Ducksnorts blog has joined the Most Valuable Network's all-baseball.com team...all the same great stuff outa Geoff but with a brand new look . Very nice indeed!

Jeez...seems I've missed alot in Padres blog world these past couple weeks. Glad to be back on the stick.