May 27, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; San Diego Padres first baseman Tommy Medica (14) hits a solo home run during the eighth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
We are certainly getting used to the types of weeks the Padres just finished, aren’t we? They lose two of three to last place Arizona, then win the first two against the Chicago White Sox. Then, right when you think they can finish off the week with a sweep – they get defeated handily in the finale. For what it is worth, it is exactly the record I predicted, just flip-flopped the team outcomes.
Yet there were some positive signs from the week past. Tommy Medica had a great week, falling a single short of the cycle, most likely, and in general, has come up from Triple-A raking. Carlos Quentin got to play in Chicago – and rest his knees – so hopefully he can play 4 or 5 games in the home stand ahead. Ian Kennedy turned in a solid outing, and Tyson Ross continues his ascension to possibly the most reliable starter for the Padres right now.
The negatives were on full display as well. Tim Stauffer was dreadful on Tuesday, failing to get out of the first inning. Eric Stults on Sunday pitched mostly okay, except for when he faced Paul Konerko. By the way announcers, that last sentence has no place when reviewing a game – because HE HAD TO FACE Paul Konerko! Everth Cabrera‘s defense continues to cause some concern, Cameron Maybin forgot how many outs there were that led to a run for the White Sox, then the next day had to leave a game because of tightness. Can we keep a team healthy?
Up ahead are two pretty distinct challenges. The Pirates won the Wild Card last year for the first playoff appearance for the franchise in over 20 years. Great job. This year they are scuffling and sit 8 games out of first place at 25-30. The pitching has not been as good as last year and some of the offensive moves that worked last year aren’t working this year.
The Nationals were many people’s pick for 2014 NL East Champions, especially after the Braves spring pitching injuries. Yet the 2012 NL East Champions with 98 wins only won 86 last year and missed the playoffs entirely. This year they are hovering again at 27-28, and have lost 7 of their last 10 games. Is this one of those teams that can’t seem to ever put it together despite all the talent in the world on paper? Matt Williams is in his rookie year as the skipper, and I expect better play from his squad before the year is out. Bryce Harper is still on the DL until July, Ryan Zimmerman is out – though could be back for the Padres series.
Player to Watch:
Cameron Maybin. As in, let’s hope he is still healthy and can get his offense back to where it was just about two weeks ago. He is showing good signs this year, and here is hoping that he stays off the DL to continue getting consistent at-bats. He also hit his first home run of the season this week before the injury, so hopefully it is not that serious.
Current Record: 26-31
Standings: 10.5 GB of the Giants
Week Prediction: 4-2. I actually think the Padres can take advantage of both these teams. The Pirates are a woeful 9-17 of the road, and the Nationals are in a rough stretch. I believe the Padres can actually win back-to-back series.
That has been your week in review, and a preview of the first week of June that is upon us.
Keep the Faith.