Five Good Things: Falling to the Cards
After winning the first game against the Cardinals following a split of a four game series hosting Washington, our Padres looked primed to have a winning home stand. But they fell behind by too much each of the next two games resulting in losing the series.
But all was not lost as there were many positives from Yonder Alonso’s continued improvement on defense to Kyle Blanks and Alexi Amarista’s contributions off the bench. But here are the five things that stood out for me this series.
5. Jason Marquis
The 34 year-old veteran has separated himself from the pack as the Padres most reliable starter this year with yet another quality start on Monday. He’s won five straight starts, this time allowing only two runs, one earned, on three hits in six innings. He did walk four but punched out three to bring his record to 6-2.
4. Huston Street
Yes Huston made the list by pitching a perfect ninth. Yes he retired the Cardinals batters in order on inducing a two fly outs and a grounder to get his 11th save and lower his ERA to 4.19. But he got a lot of help from our next guy.
3. Chris Denorfia
Nobody’s star shined brighter than the Norf’s on Monday night, leading the Friars to a big win. Batting seventh in the order, he had three singles in four at-bats including a clutch two-out grounder into centerfield to tie the game in the sixth. He also stole a base of Yadier Molina (no easy feat) and executed one of his patent-pending “Denorfia Dives” in left field to on a dying line drive to get the first out in the ninth and help Street stay out of trouble and earn the save.
2. Jedd Gyorko
The Padres rookie second baseman really stood out in the later two games of the series and continues to show the pop the organization has spoke so highly of for the last couple seasons. Though he didn’t get a hit in game one, he did draw a walk that enabled Denorfia to tie the game and then came around as the go-ahead run on when Jesus Guzman took one for the team with the bases loaded. He followed that with a three hit game on Tuesday and got the Padres on the board Wednesday with his fifth home run of the season (all in May). He also singled and later scored in the ninth that started a small rally which brought the tying run to the plate before they ultimately lost, 4-2.
1. Tim Stauffer
Stauffer made his third appearance of the season taking over for Burch Smith, who could not get an out in the first for the second time in just three major league starts. Stauffer did not disappoint, surrendering only one run in five and two thirds innings on a two-out single by Molina in the fifth. Tim may have allowed eight hits but struck out seven Cardinals while issuing no free passes. It’s great to see the oft-injured Stauffer succeed again after struggling to stay in the Majors after the Friars selected him fourth overall in the 2004 draft.
So those are the five things that stood out for me. It would have been nice to take the series but the Pads fell victim to ineffective starting pitching again, digging them too big of holes from which to climb. But overall the team has played extremely well in all facets of the game and has a great chance to come out victorious in Arizona this weekend before flying to Seattle Sunday night to start this season’s Vedder Cup.