Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Random Thoughts on Game 4

Congrats Kid.  (Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
36 hours late?  I must have been in a sugar-induced coma.  Some thoughts on the Padres first win of the new season.

- Sunday's attendance was announced at 19,021.  My first thought was 'Wow, for a Dodger game on a Sunday that's a really small crowd.  Guess people really are pissed off about the ownership and TV deal soap opera'.  Well that's not really the case.  I went back to 2005 and looked at the Padres schedule.

They've played on Easter Sunday five times (including this Sunday); in 2005, 2008, and 2010 Easter fell on a Sunday prior to the start of the regular season. The 2006 game was played in Atlanta, but the 2007, 2009, 2011, and this year's were played at home.  Here's the attendance figures for those 4 games:
  • 2007:  Win 2-1 (10), 27,086
  • 2009:  Win 6-1, 19,415
  • 2011:  Loss 1-3, 24,031
  • 2012:  Win 8-4, 19,021
So although Sunday's attendance was the lowest of the four, it's not an outlier.  So what's driving the attendance sine curve?  Probably the previous year's record:
  • 2006:  Padres finish 88-74, win NL West
  • 2008:  Padres finish 63-99, last in NL West
  • 2011:  Padres finish 90-72, miss playoffs by one game
  • 2012:  Padres finish 71-91, last in NL West
So although it'd be great to make the statement "Padres fans stay away in droves, protesting lack of TV deal" it's much more plausible fewer folks attended in response to the lousy year San Diego had in 2011.  Either that or they were all still at church.

- Matt Treanor crushed a ball in the third inning that died in LC (caught by Cameron Maybin on the track).  Venable hit a ball even further leading off the bottom of that same inning only to have Andre Ethier run it down at the wall near the 401 sign.  Cue the 'bring in the fences' music.  Then Andy Parrino launches a shot into the Padres bullpen to give the team a 4-0 lead.  That ball didn't look like it was hit as well as Venable's, yet it kept going and going.  Matt Kemp later snuck a ball out just beyond Maybin's reach in dead center, and Chase Headley hit his ball into the second deck in left to blow the game open.

That's 3 HR and 2 almosts in this game.  Maybe the Padres should play all their games at home under the sun.  Check this out:

Home record in day games, 2004-2012:  94-83 (.531)
Overall record at home, 2004-2012:      336-316 (.516)

Just sayin'.

- Jesus Guzman snubbed the Marine Drill Instructor waiting for him in LF.  Now, to be fair, he shook the hand of the DI waiting at shortstop for Jason Bartlett, but then he ran into LC and started warming up, ignoring the gentleman standing there.  Maybe he didn't see him - that particular SSGT was standing just beyond the infield near third base - but it's not like this is a new event on Sundays at Petco. 

If his personal politics are such that he doesn't support the American military actions in progress around the globe, that's fine; but shake the man's hand, at least.  He's just an instrument of the policy, not the formulator of it.

Speaking of military Sundays, why is it always the USMC who gets to run onto the field before the game to greet the Padres?  Last I checked, Commander Surface Forces US Pacific Fleet was headquartered at 32nd street, Commander Naval Air Forces at Naval Air Station North Island, and there's a whole squadron of Submarines moored at Point Loma.  We can't find 9 First Class or Chief Petty Officers to run onto the field?

Of course, watching some 'robust' CPO amble onto the field with a coffee cup in one hand and a cigarette in the other would be hilarious, at least to me.

- I forgot how fast Clayton Richard works.  He breezed through the first 3 innings.  10 pitches each in the first 2 innings, and 14 in the third.  In his last inning (seventh) he threw 6 pitches.  Get the ball and throw it - nice.

The game would have been a lot shorter if not for the 8 walks, 1 hit batsman, and 4 pitching changes the Dodgers did.

- My gosh the Padres defense has been awful so far.  Another 3 errors on Sunday, which included a dropped fly ball (Venable), a 'I closed my glove too fast' (Richard), and a bad throw to first (also Richard).  I don't know why pitchers try to finesse the ball to first on a bunt or roller to the mound.  I'm in the Joaquin Andujar school of baseball:  FIRE the ball to first if you have to make a throw.  Why change your mindset?  You don't need to wind up, but don't throw an eephus pitch over there either.

- One more Guzman note:  Jesus has hit in every game this season.  It continues to baffle me how the team's best returning power hitter from 2011 will become a utility player in 2012 once Carlos Quentin returns from the DL.  He has to play every day.  And those who say his glove isn't good enough:  San Diego made 8 errors in this 4-game series. How could he be any worse than what's been run out there so far?

Padres resume their homestand against Arizona tonight.

When I'm in the park the Padres are 1-0.  Clearly the 2 are connected.

1 comment:

  1. I thought Richards pitched great. I don't think he shook Baker off one time during the game. Frieri kept shaking off Baker and the results reflected it. For his first game as a Padre, John Baker proved to be a nice complement to Hundo. Would love to see O-Dog traded for a bag of peanuts and just eat his salary. Let the young bucks play!