Five Good Things: Sweeping the Snakes
Wow, What a weekend! Our Padres keep getting better and better. We just swept two first place teams, got over .500 and sit just two games out of first. Amazing. And finding just five good things this weekend was difficult because there were just so many. But here is what I came up with.
5. Celebrating the 1998 N.L. Champs.
The Padres had their second retro night of the year Friday night; this one celebrated the 1998 squad that took the National League pennant. They wore the navy alternates that they wore that season with the white piping and large orange numbers on the back. I liked this uniform as it was the first one to prominently feature the Swinging Friar patch on the left sleeve. They also had several players on hand from that team in the pregame ceremony, from Mr. Padre Tony Gwynn down to September call-up Ben Davis. But my favorite, and on the field mind you, was the King Jim Leyritz. He hit so many big homers that year I named my cat after him. My cat disappeared two years later however. Our guess was, ironically, that he was run over.
4. Yasmani Grandal
Yasmani has not been hitting well since his return. He’s been under .200 and has been relegated to hitting eighth this season after spending most of last year in the four of five whole. All this has led to whispers about him not being the player we thought last year and that his numbers were all the byproduct of performance enhancing drugs.
Well with two outs in the fourth with two on, Yasmani hit an absolute mammoth home run into the second deck under the scoreboard in left field to cap the Padres five-run fourth, en route to a 6-4 victory. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come and Yasmani can again return as a feared hitter from both sides of the plate.
3. Kyle Blanks
Big Kyle is injury free for the first time in his career and it is showing. After a 0-4 Friday night, he followed with a 2-4, two runs and a solo homer on Saturday. The next day with two outs in the bottom of the eighth tied 1-1, he launched another one to left field to put the Padres up 4-1. The clutch hit won the game for not only the Padres, but also the next person on my list.
2. Clayton Richard
Handsome Clay had easily his best outing of the season as he earned his first win as a starter this year dominating the Arizona hitters for eight full innings. Yes that was not a typo. Eight innings. His only hiccup was a one out double by Cliff Pennington who then scored on pitcher Ian Kennedy’s single, giving the Diamondbacks a 1-0 lead in the top of the third. But Padres tied it up the next half inning and Clayton kept it that way allowing only even hits and walking zero until he was lifted in the bottom of the eighth for pinch-hitter Chris Denorfia. Blanks home-run and Huston Street’s 13th save gave him his second win of the year.
1. Eric Stults
Our number one spot is going to make us rewind a back to Friday’s retro night, but there was little that could have happened this weekend to top Stultsy’s performance in game one. The Padres lefthander gave up a leadoff double to Gerardo Parra to leadoff the game and then recorded 25 outs without giving up a hit until Willie Bloomquist singled with one down in the ninth. Since Parra scored in the first on a sac fly, Stults’s performance was a must as the Padres did not score until Logan Forsythe’s two-out, two-run, bases loaded single in the sixth.
Eric’s final line was one run on two hits over nine innings, striking out three while issuing just one walk in a 2-1 victory.
So now the Friars will stay in the division and head up north to face the Giants for three games starting Monday night. A win tonight will move us into third place in the division ahead of San Francisco. Two wins in the series means we will remain ahead of the World Champs when we head home to start a four game series against the Dodgers on Thursday.
Can the Padre keep the win streak going? Tune in tonight to cheer on our boys.