Saturday, April 23, 2011

Game Reflections - #21 vs Phillies

Looks like someone didn't know where the end of their car was in the MTS lot
While waiting for the fans to disperse a little bit (paid attendance - 40038), some quick thoughts on tonight's game.

Padres were much more aggressive in the first inning than I remember them being recently.  Maybin single, Bartlett triple highlighted the frame.  With a run in, runners on the corners, and Hundley up it looked very good they'd blow Blanton off the mound immediately.  Didn't happen that way, unfortunately, as their hitting funk reared its head again (tap to the mound, fly out, strikeout).

Hoffman HAS to send Bartlett in that situation.  The team is struggling to score runs, send the guy.  Let's make THEM make a play instead of us always having to. (Update:  Ted Mendenhall pointed out during the Padres Post-Game show that some of the blame should fall on Orlando Hudson.  After all, he showed no inclination to go on that fly ball, and had the play entirely in front of him.  I find that an accurate assessment.)

Someday Ludwick will stop swinging at the low and away pitch off the plate.  I hope I'm alive to see it.

Stauffer pitched his rear end off, tying a career high with 7K's tonight.

I thought the ball Pete Orr hit in the sixth was fair live and in person.  Not sure why the umpire hesitated on that call, although he had a better vantage point than I did.  Then, tough luck on the ball Rollins hit, as it skipped through the infield for a single that tied the game.

Gregerson/Adams/Bell - lights out as usual.

Bastardo is a beast. That's two games this series he's come in and completely shut down the Padres.

After Hundley's double to break the 1-1 tie, the Padres managed 2 hits the rest of the way.  Can't do that in a close game and expect to win.

Hawpe's at bat in the eleventh was his best at bat of the night by far.  He finally started laying off the outside pitches he's been waving at.  Disturbing for me to see is that he can't catch up with the high fastball at all. He's been swinging through them all year.  No wonder he's constantly pitched up there by the opposition.

Ludwick's 2 hits in this game equal the total number of hits he had on the last homestand.  Maybe he actually is breaking out of his slump.

Finally, the big decision of the game - yes the game was decided by 1000 little things before Bud Black directed Rollins be intentionally walked in front of Ryan Howard.  Yes Howard had struck out 4 times in this game and (I believe) 9 times in the series.  Howard is too elite of a player to insult like that.  If he'd walked Rollins to face Howard with Gregerson or Adams or Bell on the mound I'd been really OK with it.  But with Cory Luebke - a second season guy who's only been in the majors for 2 months now - that's a tall order.

Still, it reinforced how this is a game of inches.  Howard missed a 3-R jack by about 4 feet.  Ludwick missed catching that ball and ending the inning by about 1 foot.  If Ludwick makes that play - which was very difficult, let me assure you - we're still playing.

Padres try to avert the sweep tomorrow.  Facing Roy Halladay that's a very tall order.

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