Thursday, April 23, 2009

Frustrating day for the Padres...

The Padres could not solve the second coming of Cy Young, Barry Zito. The game was not aired on Channel 4 San Diego but it did not have to be. The highlights could have fit inside Paris Hilton's A-cups. I saw Zito pitch at Petco Park this year and he didn't fare so well. On Wednesday, Zito was able to dominate throwing creme puffs for fastballs although he did have an effective curve ball working. Giles and Gonzalez both looked bad swinging and missing for two of the five strikeouts I watched on the worldwide leader's highlight reel. It was not the vintage 12-6 curve. It had more of a sweeping action left to right. I was surprised to see Giles swinging at that garbage because of the great eye he has at the plate but then again he is not doing so well starting out of the gate. I've heard that Giles is the prototypical "slow starter" excusing him from the horrendous April he is having. Not bad for $10 million a year right?

Chris Young once again threw a brilliant game going seven strong innings but to no avail. The only dark spot on his pitching line was the four walks he gave up. He only struck out three but gave up only two hits. That makes for a decent WHIP. Its a shame he did not get any run support. I hope that does not become a trend as the season continues. Luke Gregerson came in and spun 2 scoreless innings to keep the game a scoreless tie through nine innings striking out three.

Bud Black obviously sees something in Edwin Moreno because he keeps running him out there in critical situations. I believe mop-up duty is in Moreno's near future. You have to feel bad for Moreno while questioning the overuse of his change-up. Opposing hitters know its coming and they do not respect his fastball. The location was poor on the Raul Ibanez game-winning homerun in Philly on Sunday as he left it up in the zone. In the bottom of the tenth, Benji Molina went down and pulled it to left center winning the game for the Giants, 1-0. Moreno was the victim of the Padres' outfield playing in to attempt to cut the winning run down at home from second base. Had the outfield been at normal depth, Hairston or Headley would have camped under it for the third out. Moreno had success with the change-up early on but now opposing hitters are looking out for it. He is now a victim of the scouting report. If he wants to keep his spot on the roster, he will have to make adjustments or he soon will find himself on the Portland Beavers' roster.

Now back to Brian Giles and the outfield situation. I would rather see a Headley, Gerut, and Hairston outfield right now then see Brian Giles roll over on outside pitches. His insistence on pulling 90% of what's thrown to him angers me. He does not have the power he once possessed in Pittsburgh where he pulled every pitch over the wall to right. Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of proven veterans but I believe that Gerut and Hairston have more pop and more speed than Giles and seem to make things happen quite regularly. Giles does bring certain intangibles to the table like solid defense and a hard-nosed old school mentality that simply cannot be taught but at the age of 38, his offensive skills are certainly on the decline. Headley goes without saying. He was on fire on the recent road trip in Philly and New York and I hope that he can continue hitting the ball with authority. By the way, that Jody Gerut homerun to christen Citi Field had me jumping out of my uncomfortable couch. That was sweet.

Padres have a day off today so hopefully they can wash the grime of the current three-game losing streak off and start fresh on Friday as the Pittsburgh Pirates roll into town. Hopefully the middle and back-end of the Padres' rotation can shut down a suddenly hot Pirates team that just swept the Florida Marlins. The Pirates' rotation already has four shutouts and leads the league in staff ERA at 3.04 compared to the Padres placing fifth with a 3.93 staff ERA. This should be a decent series between two small market giants.


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