Manager Bud Black decided to mess around with the lineup a bit this afternoon, hoping to spark any sort of offense from the Padres. Most notable was giving Tommy Medica a start, as he is starting to earn the trust of his skipper with good performances against lefties. But as goes that one song by The Who, “Meet the new lineup, same as the old lineup” or something like that.
The new lineup had their work cut out for them by facing the young and talented Roenis Elias. Sporting a decent 3.91 ERA and 3.77 xFIP, Elias has struck out 20.9% of all batters coming into his start. He made quick work of the Friars today, striking out six in seven innings of work and only allowing three hits with no walks. The lone run came off a long shot by catcher Rene Rivera in the second, but it would be the biggest offensive outburst seen on the day.
Starting for us was Eric Stults, who somehow found a way to increase his stratospheric ERA of 5.40 to 5.76 by going five innings and allowing three earned runs, and one unearned. His FIP on the season is 5.27, and it’s starting to get to the point where you wonder why he’s still on the team. Matt Wisler could conceivably get the call, a he’s already at Triple A El Paso. There’s also the waiting game, which could be played with Casey Kelly, coming off of Tommy John surgery. There are options available, and it’s getting to the point where Stults doesn’t deserve another day in Padres uniform, no matter how un-brown it is.
The game was actually in our favor for the first part, thanks to Rivera’s homer. But then Jesus Montero actually made a positive contribution and launched a two run homer to put the Mariners on top. They never looked back after that. Free agent prize Robinson Cano added a two run shot for himself, and a two run double by Kyle Seager blew the game wide open. There was no more hope for salvaging a win in Seattle after that, and some would argue there wasn’t any after Montero’s shot.
The offense remains anemic, and there’s only so much the pitching and managerial staff can do about it. Bud Black is grasping at straws, and whether it’s his fault or not, the end is looming for him. There is talent in the offense, hidden deep beneath the depths of PETCO, and maybe too deep to ever show in more than flashes. But the front office knows that this team is becoming a league-wide joke, and without some changes in production, big moves are on the horizon.