Category Archives: San Diego Padres

It had been too long since a Bryce Harper home run


It’s been a rough past 45 days for Bryce Harper. But, whatever. We’re only trying to live in the present. In the Nationals 8-5 win over the Padres on Thursday night, Harper started the weekend off a little early with his 14th bomb of the season off off-brand Erik Johnson.

For a pitcher’s park, Harper doesn’t mind going yard at Petco which isn’t far from his birthplace. He likes hitting out west! It was his fourth career home run at Petco.

Harper now has 111 career home runs. Let’s hope this is the start of something big. Baseball is better when he’s hot.

It’s hard to believe the Nationals tallied three home runs and 13 total runs were scored in this game. That’s not very Petco at all.

Vincent Velasquez with the premiere pitching performance of 2016 thus far


Vincent Velasquez – the former Astros starter who was traded for Ken Giles in the offseason – made one of the best starts in Phillies history today. Velasquez had a game score of 97 today, and only four Phillies pitchers ever have had a better score than that in a game they started.

In a 3-0 Phillies win in Philadelphia over the San Diego Padres, Velasquez logged 16 strikeouts while allowing three hits on his way to a complete game shutout.

This reminds me of Michael Pineda’s May 10th start from last season in the Bronx when he had 16 strikeouts and zero walks.

Velasquez hasn’t allowed a run this season yet, if you’re one of those people who believes it was just because of the Padres futility.

Jay Bruce hits milestone home run #200


Amid the trade rumors, and the slumps, and the hot streaks; Jay Bruce is carved in Cincinnati baseball history books now with an elite number next to his name. He’s ninth all-time on the Reds career home runs list, and last night off of Adam Kennedy he lined a line drive out of Petco Park to reach the feat. It was not a majestic tape measure blast; although he did hit the piss out of it.

The home run of course snapped one of those typical 1 for 21 Jay Bruce disappearance act slumps. If he could just eliminate those he would be a star. He would probably have the contract Joey Votto has and go on to continue to climb the all-time list. He’ll soon pass Eric Davis (203) and Ken Griffey Jr. (210) if he can get hot. There’s a good chance Bruce is dealt this offseason for no good reason other than the Reds want to trim payroll and ‘want more consistent production’ out of their right fielder.

It was the only game that the Reds scored in a 2-1 loss. Against Adam Friggin’ Kennedy. This has really been a tough year, I can’t say it enough. There has been little to no magic after that abbreviated hot start that saw them jump out to 4-0.

Last night I gave pause and thanks that Jay Bruce somewhat etched his name in stone as one of the best Reds ever; in the same way I feel that Adam Dunn was one of the best Reds ever. Of all the players who have crossed the white lines and worn the Reds uniform, the guy has hit more home runs than most of them. That’s to be commended.

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Padres as Sellers this Deadline


As the MLB season nears its all-star break, teams are beginning to make projections on where they will end up when the 162nd game is over. In addition to making projections, teams will also start to really focus on the upcoming trade deadline of July 31st. By this date teams must decide if they are buyers or sellers. Buyers usually think they have a chance at the playoffs, while sellers are rebuilding for next year.

The San Diego padres could fit either description, but are more likely sellers this season.

Important Aspects of the Deadline

While the basics of the trade deadline have remained relatively unchanged throughout the years, the teams that participate in deadline deals has. With the addition of the extra wild card team, more teams feel like buyers at the deadline.

Another important aspect is the existence of two deadlines. The non-waiver trade deadline is July 31 and the commissioner’s office must have all trade information by that day in order for the trade to go through. During this time teams may trade whoever they please, for anything they can get in return. Many sellers use this time to move players who will command large contracts the next year. That way they can get prospects and other players in return, if that player were to leave in free agency, the team would only receive a draft pick in return for them leaving.

A common misconception is that there are no trades made after the deadline, this is not true. However, players traded after the July 31 deadline must pass through waivers before joining the new team. When a players is placed on waivers he must be offered to every team, in reverse order of the standings. The catch is that any team who claims that player must pay his entire contract; any team can pick up the player, but they must be committed to using him and paying his contract. Less trades are made during this period, but they are possible.

The Padres as Sellers

The San Diego Padres are an interesting case this year, because of the moves they have already made. The Padres were active this off season bringing in Matt Kemp, Wil Meyers, Derek Norris, and Justin Upton. Additionally, they traded for closer Craig Kimbrel and outfielder Melvin Upton Jr. early this season to try and bolster a lineup that has been sub-par for the last few years.

Even after bringing in bigger name players though, the Padres find themselves struggling to get above 4th place in their division. Complicating the situation further is the Dodgers and Giants, who seem to have a stranglehold at the top of the division. Competing with those two perennial powers in the NL West will require more than just big names, they’ll need players that play to their expectations.

Fortunately, the league is set up for San Diego to make some potentially great moves. With a large number of teams in contention for their division and the wild card, more teams are looking to buy than sell; which puts San Diego in a great position. One thing that is going to be a hot commodity this trade deadline is bats, of which San Diego has a few that could make a difference for a team in a pennant race.

One player that it could make sense to move, is Justin Upton. While Upton has slumped a bit recently, he does bring power and past production for any team needing a bat to stay relevant in the playoff race. Additionally, Upton’s contract is up after this season and the Padres would much rather receive prospects and draft picks, as opposed to the one pick they would get if Upton leaves during free agency.

The padres could also stand to move Will Venable and Yonder Alonso. Alonso leads the team in average and is arbitration eligible two more years before hitting the free agent market. They could take advantage of his hot hitting and net a good return for him. Venable hasn’t produced this year as he has in the past, but either of these players could be good pick-ups for teams that are starving for offense.

Unfortunately, the padres don’t have much in the way of pitching to deal. Ian Kennedy is another player whose contract is up after the season, but due to his production the padres wouldn’t get a lot in return for him. If they are true sellers however, Kennedy could be attractive to a team that needs pitching, and doesn’t mind a bit of a project. While the Padres could make a late run at the postseason, they are more likely sellers this deadline.

The last great Jay Bruce in a Reds Uniform Memory?


[Reds 4, Padres 0]

The Reds season is a mess, and they’re going to blow this thing up. But on this Sunday, Johnny Cueto and Jay Bruce turned back the clock.

Cueto threw seven shutout innings and struck out nine for his fourth victory of the year. It kind of stinks because days like today are just auditions for a contender.

And we can’t begin to figure out Jay Bruce, we’re absolutely done trying. We cut him from one of our most important fantasy teams late last night. It figures that he would have a day like he did today. There’s probably no salvaging things for Bruce long-term in a Reds uniform at this point. He either plays poorly and he’s a goner, or he plays well and the Reds move him shortly after the All-Star game. You look at the calender, and it’s June 7th. It’s possible that Jay Bruce could just have over a month left in a Reds uniform, and it’s kind of a sad realization to accept that he’s never going to become a franchise cornerstone.

That said, the guy is still making memories. He drove in all four Reds runs today with a towering solo homer to get them on the board, and a three run blast later in the game to cement the win. He’s up to nine home runs on the year.

There will come a day that we’ll have to eulogize Bruce as a Red on this blog. But today is not that day.

We just wish the Reds were playing meaningful baseball games at this point. But they’re stuck in the mud as we suspected. Today was just a three hour lapse in what is sure to be a season of pain.

Bryce Harper homers out the backdoor in San Diego, does everything else too


[Box Score]

If you watched Bryce Harper this weekend, you saw just about everything there was to see done by a player on a baseball field. He put up a pretty insane weekend in baseball’s finest pitcher’s landscape, Petco Park.

On Saturday, he didn’t homer; so you didn’t get a post. But he did bunt for a hit (finally), and get on base three times. He also stole a bag Friday night.

On Sunday, Harper tripled, infield singled, and finished off the Padres with a three-run line shot to the direct opposite field off Dale Thayer.

It was his 14th home run of the season and Stephen Strasburg was the winning pitcher in a 10-5 ballgame. Right now, at age 22, on this date; it’s hard to argue that Harper is not the best player on the planet. He has a Barry Bonds slash-line right now.

Bryce Harper makes Petco Park Play Small


[Box Score]

On the night that the Washington Nationals caught the New York Mets in the win column, Bryce Harper wrestled away the National League lead in home runs from Todd Frazier. He homered off a guy who isn’t famous enough to have a post tag on this blog named Shawn Kelley. Kelley was just trying to mop-up for Odrisamer Despaigne and Harper caught an off-speed pitch for his 13th home run of the 2015 season.

Harper also singled twice and walked. His current slash line sits at .317/.460/.690, which is Barry Bondsian. If he manages to stay healthy, he’s going to put together a special season for everyone that has been so patiently or impatiently waiting on it.

Jorge Soler was masked up today Wrigley

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This was a lot funnier until I saw the game-time temperature at Wrigley was 43 degrees. Still, by looking at Soler today you would have thought the Cubs were playing in 12 degree weather with some windchill.

This kid is from Havana, Cuba; where those tobacco fields he grew up playing on hit 88 on a cool day.

This was a magical little matinee for the Cubbies, where Kris Bryant was on base five times and collected his first big league hit. He got another key infield hit in the bottom of the 11th off Craig Kimbrel to keep the line moving. Cubbies walk-off with a win 7-6 in a game they blew a 6-2 lead in the top of the ninth. The winning hit came on a Starlin Castro single to left field. Anthony Rizzo stole two bases; baseball is odd.

The cold Soler went 1 for 6. He just wasn’t comfortable today out there. Now he can head across the street and rob the nearest convenience store.

It’s Kris Bryant Day


Baseball is in for a real treat today – because today – Kris Bryant is hitting cleanup at Wrigley in his big league debut. In a way, this era begins exactly as it should: in an afternoon matinee to kick off the weekend at Wrigley.

The miserly-for-no-reason Cubs get to save that year of arbitration eligibility and now Bryant is up for the long haul.

As we do any time one of the generational talents to be debuts, we have a post in his honor. Hopefully after nine innings, ‘Go Cubs Go’ is playing on the loud speakers at Wrigley and Bryant does something to make this day even more memorable. It’s going to be a good decade plus of watching this ’80’ scale power in afternoon slates at Wrigley.

Adrian Gonzalez has a Special night in Los Angeles


When Vin Scully asks his listeners ‘can you believe it?’, something special is going down at Chavez Ravine.

It happened tonight, as I’ve just watched Adrian Gonzalez homer for the third time off that Hillbilly Andrew Cashner. Gonzalez now has 264 home runs in his career, and is proving he’s still one of the game’s elite bats.

With the way he’s going, I probably shouldn’t finish this post to make sure he doesn’t go and hit a fourth. Cashner is out of the game now so that probably lessens the odds for the big fella.

And a three homer game becomes all that much more special when you own a guy on a couple fantasy baseball teams!

Tim Lincecum No-Hitter (2.0)


It wasn’t even one year ago when we stayed up late and watched Tim Lincecum no-hit the Padres out at Petco. Today, he treated his home crowd to the start they’ve been waiting his entire career for.

He also saved the Giants from getting swept by the dreadful Pads, winning 4-0. His first no-hitter took 148 pitches, this one only took 113 as he struck out six and walked one.

I was the lucky SOB who choose to add him in a fantasy league last night off the wire – because ‘the Giants aren’t getting swept by the Padres’ and that was the lone reason.

I came home from work in time to see the final three outs, to see history. I heard Krukow’s call of the final out and saw the joy on the catcher’s face as he ran to the mound and grabbed Timmy.

To think it was his 236th career start today, and this was probably his best start ever. And this is why baseball is both equal parts magical and random. Tim Lincecum just woke up, and it was his day. No one in the world would have planned on a no-hitter for him today but it took on a life of it’s own.

Rest in Peace, Batman (Tony Gwynn)


The baseball Grim Reaper has been hard at work of late, but man; this one really stings.

I always really loved Tony Gwynn growing up as a kid. I loved the fact that in an era of steroid sluggers, a roly-poly line drive hitter could be so feared. I loved that he played his entire career in one uniform. The dude started raking the year I was born, and didn’t stop until the year I went to college.

I remember where I was in my life when I learned of a lot of the legends dying – Ted Williams, George Steinbrenner, Mickey Mantle. I’ll forever remember where I was when I learned that the greatest pure hitter of my childhood died. I came out of a meeting this morning and checked my phone, and I was shocked to see the news blip that Tony Gwynn had passed away at the age of 54 from salivary gland cancer.

Obviously, Gwynn’s ailments could have been brought on by his long-term use of smokeless tobacco. This is one of the few addictions that has afflicted me throughout my adult life since I played baseball. My connection to Gwynn runs deeper than simply saying I saw him play live once that August 15th day in 1992 in Cincinnati. It runs deeper than having a couple pages in my baseball card album as a kid dedicated to his Diamond Kings Donruss cards.

You see, Tony Gwynn should be reason enough that I never touch smokeless tobacco again. I wish I could sit here and say that him getting me to quit was his final parting gift to me; after all the wonderful memories like that 1994 season when he had so much magic. Like that 1998 the World Series when he hit .500, because Tony Gwynn is the type of hitter that gets a hit every other time up on the game’s grandest of stages. But the truth is, I don’t know if this will be enough to make me quit. It should be though, because the memories I have of Gwynn are nothing but pleasant.

When he spoke he sounded like an everyday guy, a nerd almost. Not a jock. Not like you would expect a lifetime .338 hitter to sound like. There probably isn’t a story anywhere on the large scary internet of Tony Gwynn being anything but pleasant to journalists and fans alike. He was a once in a lifetime hitter, but he was also a once in a lifetime person by all accounts.

It’s hard for me to me to grasp the concept that Gwynn really passed away today, because legendary figures like Gwynn just don’t seem to go out so quietly. Reports at this point are sparse – and while I am sure we will get a more in-depth story on this soon – there are no real details that Gwynn had taken a turn for the worse.

I will always remember that 1993 to 1997ish era where Tony Gwynn was one of the most dominating hitters in the sport I love. The Ted Williams of my generation, the closest thing I ever saw to The Splendid Splinter. His place in the game and his 3,141 hits will never be forgotten by this man. And hopefully someday when I consider of taking that next pinch of chew, I’ll think of Mr. Padre and throw my can away for the final time.

Yasiel Puig Won the Game for the Dodgers Today


The game was tied 1-1 when the Dodgers hero stepped to the plate and delivered one of those trademark streamer fly balls into the middle part of those yellow bleachers beyond the Dodgers outfield.

Vin Scully gave his customary home run call – “She is gone” and with that the Dodgers took another game in that glistening park of theirs out in LA. Puig had two hits on the day including the big one, and kept his average above .350 on his rookie campaign. This guy in unbelievable.

Dodgers win 2-1, drive home safe people.