The Padres took on the second and third best teams in the NL Central this week and it started out promising as they beat the Pirates two out of three. After beating Adam Wainwright to open the Cardinals series, they lost the final two games of the weekend, blowing a lead Sunday to stop them from winning the series and the week. More Padres players were put on the DL, including Alexi Amarista and Robbie Erlin while Tyson Ross continues his rehabilitation. Despite all that, some positives emerged from the week.
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For one, Wil Myers continues to lead this team as he batted from the No. 2 spot in the batting order this week with Melvin Upton Jr.batting cleanup. Matt Kemp continues to be sandwiched in the middle. Myers had 6 of the Padres 19 RBI on the week with two home runs. He also stole a base as the Padres continue to use speed when possible. Upton Jr leads the team with 5 stolen bases, with 6 other Padres in the act as well.
Matt Kemp leads the team in Home Runs (5) and RBI (13) but has yet to steal a base as he was second on the team last year in stolen bases behind Justin Upton.
The Padres will be tested with both Cory Spangenberg and Alexi Amarista headed to the disabled list joining Yangervis Solarte. They are hoping that call-ups like Jemile Weeks and Jose Pirela will help fortify the infield offensively and defensively.
On the pitching front Cesar Vargas made his MLB debut Saturday and pitched well, but the Padres were unable to bail him out offensively and the bullpen allowed 10 runs in their 11-2 loss. Vargas for his part pitched 5 good innings allowing just 1 run and striking out 3. Drew Pomeranz has turned into one of the Padres best starters in the early going, who after 3 starts stands at 2-1 with a 2.04 ERA and 25 strikeouts. Andrew Cashner has quietly turned in two consecutive starts where he only allowed 1 run in 6 innings of work.
A highlight of the week was Tuesdays opener against the Pirates as Andy Green was tossed for the first time in his managerial career and the Padres were able to take that emotion and turn it into a 5-4 victory. Mark McGwire took over as acting manager upon Green’s ejection following a strange move by the umpires. After calling a balk by Colin Rea, they reversed course. That brought out veteran manager Clint Hurdle from the Pirates, who argued his case twice and got the umpires to reverse yet again and call the balk. At that point Green wasn’t just arguing for his team, but for his own respect. It was a pivotal moment that Green recognized letting that charade go unchallenged could set himself for being upstaged throughout the season. Though his outburst was fierce and including a hat throwing, he showed that he would be ready to get heated at the right moment to protect himself and his team.
The Padres now leave Petco Park and travel to San Francisco with a chance to overtake the struggling Giants. They are 3-7 in their last 10 and are only a game and a half ahead of the Padres in the NL West. They get Thursday off before facing the Dodgers, who as of today are the mirror image record-wise of the Padres at 12-7. Yasiel Puig had one of the plays of the year this weekend with his throw, though I have to point out that if he had played the ball better to begin with that throw wouldn’t have been necessary.