Jason Marquis continued to pitch for well Padres going 7 2/3 inning, striking out 4, giving up 5 walks and 2 earned runs for the victory. Jason Marquis leads the Padres with a respectable record of 8-2. With Marquis, the hitters know what’s coming – sinkers, sinkers and more sinkers. Marquis threw a mix of 55.6% sinkers, 30.6% sliders, and 13.9% change ups. To date, Marquis has a 1.34 G/F ball ratio, which is 4th best in all of MLB, and thus it is clear that the secret of his success is the hit me sinker. Against elite fastball hitting teams, like the Cardinals, Marquis has been the rare effective pitcher in keeping opponents off balance. Reading other bloggers and other writers, the only black mark against Marquis this season has been his 1.16 K/BB ratio, which leaves area for improvement. Nonetheless, Jason Marquis and Eric Stults have proved to be wily veterans for our team this season, and I am glad that they have been here. They know how to pitch and how to maximize results with the weapons at hand.
For the game, the Padres hitters did well, clubbing the long ball twice, with a notable shot from Logan Forsythe, in his very first game coming back from injury with a towering HR to left center. Forsythe returns as Jedd Gyorko goes on the 15 day disabled list for a groin injury. For the majority of the game, the Padres appeared to be in control of this game with Marquis mowing down Braves hitters. However, the Padres bullpen faltered late. The Padres started the 9 inning in a non-save situation, but after Tim Stauffer gives up a 3 run HR to pinch hitter Evan Gattis - Dale Thayer is given the nod and closes out the game for a save. Braves rookie Evan Gattis is extremely impressive, and can be considered on the short list of MLB Rookie of the Year candidates, along with our Jedd Gyorko.
I was very glad to see Logan come back and perform well as he was a very solid player last year. However, with the solid play of Jedd Gyorko and the growth of Everth Cabrera, it was hard to see where he could fit. The Padres haven’t been able to even find a spot for Kyles Blanks, and it was only the unfortunate injury to Yonder Alonso that kept Blanks in the lineup. Speaking of Blanks, I decided to look more closely at the stats and he’s been doing quite well for a sufficient number of data points. Compare just for contrast, the slash line of Blanks to Alonso, or .299/.382/.513 to .284/.335/.416. According to ESPN, and their Runs Created metric, Kyle Blanks is the most productive Padres hitter capable of producing 7.27 RC per 27 outs. Blanks is followed by Carlos Quentin, Everth Cabrera, Jedd Gyorko, and then Yonder Alonso for the Padres.
Am I suggesting that Kyle Blanks replace Yonder Alonso? Not at all. I am suggesting that Kyle Blanks filling in at 1B during Yonder’s injury is the smart and intelligent thing to do. I don’t think spot starting Jesus Guzman or Mark Kotsay at first is a smart thing to do. Baseball is funny in the way that players and teams can go on streaks. Early on, Chase Headley appeared to be our best hitter while Carlos Quentin appeared to be wasting at bats. Now it is completely reversed. I’m sure as the season progress we will see more changes from veteran players that have a history of hitting and knowing what it takes. Kyle Blanks is a young player and hasn’t hit a full season. However, I am saying that with a solid sample size of over 100 ABs, that maybe we ought to look more at Kyle Blanks. Especially more than Jesus Guzman, Mark Kotsay, and Alexi Amarista and even Will Venable.