Friday, April 16, 2010

It's Still Not Time To Panic

I talked to this a little bit on the Podcast last night, but even though the Padres are currently 3-6 this is not the time to panic.  Remember the following:
  • Padres lost 2 of 3 in Arizona.  The Padres ALWAYS lose 2 of 3 in Arizona.
  • Padres lost 2 of 3 in Colorado.  The Padres faced Ubaldo Jimenez and Jorge De La Rosa in that series, Colorado's two best pitchers.
  • Padres lost 2 of 3 to Atlanta.  They faced Tommy Henson and Tim Hudson, Atlanta's two best pitchers.
So now is not the time to pull the plug.  There are some things that should concern us as fans, though.
  • Of the twelve total runs Atlanta scored on Wednesday and Thursday, 10 of them scored with two outs.  That's a problem.
  • The Padres scored two of their three runs after two away, so that's something good.  However San Diego left 10 on base Wednesday (6 in scoring position), 9 yesterday (5 in scoring position).  That's also a problem.  The 'clutch hit-itis' extends throughout the lineup, as Blanks, Headley, J. Hairston, T Gwynn, and Eckstein have all left a guy or guys in scoring position.
  • Additionally, the Padres have loaded the bases three times in the last 2 games, twice Thursday alone.  They did not score a run in any of those situations.
I know there's not been (to date) a credible study on clutch hitting as a measurable skill - hitting with the bases loaded, statistically, and getting a hit is no different from hitting with the bases empty.  I wonder, though, if the mental stress of trying not to make an out weighs on these hitters and they start to press, expand the strike zone, etcetera.

I would consider these areas items to address by the coaching staff, as opposed to discovered weaknesses in the team.

The Padres face Arizona this weekend, and will throw Garland/Correia/ plus one against the back of the Diamondback rotation.  This weekend the team should win 2 of 3.  If they don't, well, then we can raise the concern level from 'its early' to 'anxious'.

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