Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Padres' 20 game report card: C minus

I may regret writing this so soon after a demoralizing loss...another demoralizing loss...to the dreaded Arizona Snakes.

The highlight of the week was taking my granddaughter and her parents to the Saturday night Mets game. At 14 months, she captivated 4 rows of Section 314 by smiling, laughing, waving and clapping - I missed most of the middle three innings becvause Lauren was having so much fun - and so was I! She got tired, so we left early and missed the last runs of the debacle.

In the second ten games of the season, my beloved Padres went 5 and 5. Not bad, you say, an improvement on the 3 and 7 they tallied in the first ten games. But they were 3 and 1 and 5 and 3 at two points in the 10 game stretch. Yeah, if they continue winning two more games in every ten game block, they'll win the pennant. Fat chance!

After 20 games: the Friars have Won 8 Lost 12, 3 and 8 at home (huh!), 5 and 4 on the road. The story is how badly they have been beaten at home - 3 whippings by the Rockies, 2 by the Mets and 2 by the Snakes. And the homers just keep on coming in Petco - for the other guys. Even worse - Linda and I are 1 and 3 at Petco this year.

The position-by-position report card:

Starting Pitching: C Peavy is 1-3, with two bad outings - he is throwing, not pitching, I think. Woody Williams, Chan Ho Park and Clay Hensley have been just OK, but each has had a good game. Chris Young was good until his last start when he had a thumb problem.

Relief Pitching: C Linebrink lost 2, Embree had a bad outing, Hoffman had 3 saves, Cassidy and Sweeney pitched pretty well, and Brazelton has settled down to an ERA of about 18.

Catching: C Piazza and Mirabelli are just OK, I'd like to see more of Bowen, but we won't.

Infield Defense: C Several throwing errors, good range by Greene and Barfield, good scoops by Adrian G, and Vinny is OK at 3rd. But overall, they are not impressive.

Outfield Defense: B Cameron and Johnson cover some ground. Giles is OK. Roberts is also OK in left.

Hitting: D First in our hearts, last in the National League in batting average, runs and homers. Hmmm, maybe Cameron can help some. Greene is in a slump, Piazza too, and the lineup gets dominated by right handed pitchers (Pedro Martinez, Brandon Webb, Claudio Vargas in this 10 game stretch). Too many strikeouts, not enough walks, behind in the count, etc. Roberts, Barfield and Gonzalez have been fairly consistent.

Bench: D Have we had a critical pinch hit? At least now we have Johnson to pinch run when we need a stolen base.

Coaching: D Bochy is finally messing around with the lineup, but he's using Young, Blum and Mirabelli. He needs to use Johnson and Bowen more. Hoffman at third has made some mistakes too.

So that's it. My prognosis for the next 10 games? More of the same - we will be lucky to be 5 and 5 in the next 10.

What do you think? Will my beloved Padres escape last place?

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