The Padres broke their 8-game winning streak on Sunday, when Mike Adams gave up 2 runs in the eighth to Cincinnati. They lost that game 5-4. They then went out and got drubbed by Florida (thanks Josh Johnson) 10-1.
Ut-oh. Was that the beginning of a crash to earth for the Padres? With Garland pitching Tuesday night (who had struggled so far in 2010), and Correia on Wednesday (who is not the same pitcher on the road he is at home), one wondered if the salad days were over. Remember, they started 2009 9-3 and then struggled mightily until after the All-Star break.
Nope. Jon Garland was tremendous for the second start in a row. Correia? Well, Kevin wobbled through 5 yesterday, but the offense bailed him out, and the bullpen slammed the door getting the last 12 outs. Series win.
The Padres return tonight off a 4-2 road trip, and in sole possession of first place in the Division. Nice. They face a sterner test this weekend in the offensively-loaded Milwaukee Brewers, but Milwaukee's Achilles heel is it's starting pitching, so they have a good chance to keep the momentum going.
Adding fuel to the fire of hope starting to burn brightly around San Diego is Daniel's latest post. During the off-season, the team shifted gears slightly by emphasizing team speed and defense on the roster. So far, they rank #1 in the league in UZR/150 and third in Defensive Runs Saved. Given how hard it is to score runs in Petco, and the old saw 'speed never goes into a slump', that has all the earmarks of a sustainable approach to the season.
With the bullpen being lights out as usual (and in spite of my concerns regarding overuse), the starters just need to be good enough, and the offensive just needs to be average, for this team to compete. And contend.
There may be something to this. It could be a fun summer in San Diego.
Tonight I'm at the ballpark (7:05 start). It's Podcast night, but the 'Cast may not start promptly at 10pm, based on the game. I won't start the show until the game is over and I'm in the car headed home, which means if you've got a comment for the chat room or want to call in PLEASE BE PATIENT. I won't know you're there until I'm back in front of my computer, which might be a while (depending on traffic).