The Morning Friar – 3/20/11

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The hopes of the team ride on pitching and defense, particularly at home in pitcher-friendly Petco Park.

The Padres had struggled in the areas of their perceived strengths this spring, and they don’t seem to have developed the same panache that last year’s close-knit unit rode to 90 wins

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“We have some challenges, obviously, but every team has different sets of challenges,” Black said. “We’re not going to sneak up on people like we did last year. [Mat] Latos is not going to sneak up on people, Clayton Richard, our bullpen. Because the other teams know that our guys are real, and we play well and we play a certain style. We saw a little bit of that in the second half last year, where teams were more cognizant of our running game and they made some changes.”

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Harang allowed two hits in pitching into the sixth inning for the first time this spring. He walked three and struck out four.

“I was happy with my command. I was able to hit the outside corner with lefties up there,” Harang said. “My biggest thing was staying down in the strike zone, especially with the way the wind was blowing.”

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