Best Team in Years? Final Week In Review
Rookie Reliever Quackenbush ended up with 6 saves filling in for injured closer Benoit. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
The Padres started the week with a 1-0 victory over the Rockies, a game that Eric Stults won amid articles written about he is the worst starting pitcher in all of baseball this year. Take that, critics. Stults pitched into the 7th inning Monday night, allowing hits but doing enough dancing to escape any damage on the evening. The Padres bullpen came in after that and did what it has done all year long. Closing in the 9th was rookie Kevin Quackenbush, who picked up his 6th save while filling in for injured Joaquin Benoit and ended up with a K/IP ratio over 1 in nearly 60 innings pitched at the MLB level this season. Given his minor league rate is over 1.3, I expect this to go up next season in most likely a full time setup role. Catcher Rene Rivera provided the lone offense of the evening for the Padres with a double and his 42nd RBI.
On Tuesday the Padres fell short – literally and figuratively – as they lost 3-2 thanks in large part to a home run saving catch made in left field by Rockies outfielder Brandon Barnes. Robbie Erlin only pitched four innings and disappointing needed 84 pitches to get to that point. He only allowed 2 runs and it was an uncharacteristic home run allowed by Dale Thayer in the 8th to Drew Stubbs that proved to be the difference maker in this one.
Wednesday the Padres closed out a successful season at Petco Park with a very special victory. Joe Wieland, who underwent Tommy John Surgery in 2012 pitched up his first major league victory. He battled into the 6th innings and then waited for the bullpen to do their thing and the Padres ended up with a 4-3 victory. He was aided offensively by a 3 run Tommy Medica home run in the bottom half of the first, who didn’t exactly light 2014 on fire but got great experience and it will be interesting to see how he figures into the Padres future in 2015. Also if he will continue to not wear undershirts with the road blue jerseys. The home wins was the most since 1998 for the Padres, and the attendance on the season was the most since 2008.