Five Good Things: Downing the D-Backs
Our beloved Friars wrapped up their weekend series on Sunday looking like a team on the rise. Minus one very obvious problem (Clayton Richard), the rest of the weekend was full of positives to look forward to. Here are five that caught my eye.
5. Yonder Alonso’s Game of Games.
Yonder Alonso was all over Friday night’s game. He hit 3-4 with a run scored. He also hit a deep blast to right center-field off Wade Miley in the fifth with a man on to retake the lead, 4-3.
After getting thrown out running just 10 yards short of a football field when he was thrown out at home trying to score from first on Jedd Gyorko’s double, Alonso made several fine plays in the field, including a humorous one to end the top of the eighth inning.
With two outs Cody Ross hit a popup heading towards the stands just past the Padres dugout on the first base side. Yonder, not knowing how close he was to the wall extended his arm to full length to make the catch just in the field of play. However the Padres young slugger then took about three slow steps before somehow hitting the thigh-high wall and slowly tumbling over until both legs were straight up in the air.
During the inning break, John Baker could be seen reenacting the play on a dugout rail, much to the delight of his teammates and a red-faced Alonso. During the broadcast the next night, it was reported that most teammates were also reenacting the play in the clubhouse as well, coining the phrase “Yondering”.
4. Chase Headley Heating Up.
Amid a lot of distracting off the field conversation about his contract (exactly the opposite of what he wants), Chase Headley had a pretty successful series, going 3-9 with two RBIs, a run scored and a walk. He also made a few excellent plays at third in Friday’s game, bare handing a slow dribbler and firing a strike to first on two separate occasions. Headley raised his average to .286 and has three homeruns and nine RBIs in just 17 games since coming off the disabled list.
3. Jedd Gyorko
Jedd Gyorko’s much talked about bat appears to have arrived, over the series he hit 6-12 to raise his average to .268. He went three for four on Friday night with a run scored. After a one hit effort on Saturday, he got two more on Sunday including a two-run bomb deep into the left-field stands. He also has been playing very well in the field, most noticeably on turning double plays with the runner coming in hard.
2. Volquez’s In Control.
Edinson Volquez has turned in three straight quality starts after struggling mightily his first three, evening his record to three wins and three losses. Volquez went two outs into the seventh surrendering only one run on four hits, a solo homer to Didi Gregorious in the third. He struck out three but more importantly walked only as much, giving the Padres a chance to win, which is exactly what they did.
1. Padre Win Another Series.
The Padres won their third series of the year on with Sunday’s win. More importantly they haven’t lost one since April 24th to Milwaukee. Since then they’ve swept San Francisco at home before splitting last week’s four-game contest to the Cubs in Chicago. With The Marlins in town for the next three, they have a legitimate chance of taking this one as well. The Padres have won eight of their last eleven games and are only 4.5 games out of the wild card despite starting the year with only five wins in their first twenty games.
So be sure to catch all three games for the Friars as they take on the Fish this week in their final home series before flying to face the Rays on Friday. Remember to be social and chime in on twitter with the hashtag “#friarsidechat”.