Five Good Things : Sweeping The Fish
The Padres continued their winning ways on Wednesday, completing the sweep of the Marlins to improve to 16-18. There were many things to rave about from a perfect ninth by proven closer Huston Street to close the series to yet another Gyorko homer in the first game. But here are five things that I enjoyed this week.
5. The Sliding Friars.
The Padres had a very exciting two out sequence in the bottom of the fourth of game one with a man on. Chris Denorfia lined a full count fastball into right field with Nick Hundley running on the pitch from second base. Marcell Ozuna fielded the ball and fired a laser beam to the catcher Rob Brantly. But Hundley, sliding to the right of the plate snuck his left hand onto the dish under the tag to put the Pads up 3-0. Everth Cabrera then hit a sharp grounder to right that was again rifled home by Ozuna only to have The Norf sneak in with a classic hook slide, extending the lead to four.
4. Headley’s hit streak.
Chase Headley extended his season high hit streak to 13 games going 2-4 in all three games against the Fish. He also hit knocked in a run each of the first two to give him 10 on the season in his first 20 games. After 75 at-bats he is hitting .320 and also has three home runs.
3. Will Venable
Will Venable started both the second and third games and did not disappoint. In Tuesday’s contest, the Padres right fielder went 2-4 and knocked in three RBIs. He repeated the performance in his start on Wednesday with another two hits and scoring the games only run. He also made two spectacular catches diving forward in right field, saving extra bases.
2. Starting pitching.
The Padres starters turned in one quality start after another, with each pitcher challenging the next to be better. Andrew Cashner pitched seven and a third shutout innings allowing only four hits. The next day Eric Stults snapped his two game losing streak surrendering only one run going six and a third. Finally Jason Marquis won his team high fourth game with eight shutout innings, allowing only five hits with just a walk. The bullpen was used sparingly and will also get an extra days rest with the Padres heading to Tampa on Thursday. It’s hard to imagine it working out better for Buddy Black and company.
1. Moving up on the standings.
As odd as it sounds, the Padres win on Monday was the first time all season they were not in last place in the NL West. The win over the Marlins coupled with the Dodgers loss to Arizona moved them a half game ahead of their Southern California rivals. In fact, by series end the Dodgers fell to two and a half behind the Friars. The Padres have now won 11 of their last 14, amazingly bringing them to only three and a half games out of first place should the Giants fall to Atlanta on Thursday night.
This, my friends is a great time to be a Friar fan as our team is coming together before our eyes as a solid, young improving team. The next few series will tell us a lot when they face the Rays and Orioles on the road in their first inter league play before coming home to host the Nationals and Cardinals.
I have to say though I’ve been thoroughly entertained each contest that our boys have played the last couple weeks. I really couldn’t ask for more because, to me, this is why we watch.
,San Diego Padres