Pads Drop The series Opener To The Dodgers 9-8

Baseball 13 Apr 2012

In a game that was filled with enough ups and downs, momentum swings, and even historical oddities to fill a weeks worth of baseball the Padres ended up falling to the Dodgers for the forth time in five games between the clubs, this time 9-8.  When was the last time you saw a pitcher strike out 9 batters in a row, and then have the streak broken up by a home run?  How often have you see to runs score on a infield single?  It was certainly a game full of twists and turns, with the Padres ultimately losing control and driving off the road.

THE GOOD:

  • Will Venable hitting an opposite field HR to break Aaron Harang’s consecutive strikeout streak at 9 (a Dodger record), and give the Pads some life after allowing 4 unearned runs to cross the plate the previous inning.
  • After allowing 8 runs (only 4 earned) in the first four innings, Clayton Richard sucked it up and got through 6 innings saving at least a couple of innings from being put on the backs of the already frequently used Padres bullpen.
  • Brad Brach, showing the form that helped him convert 34 minor league saves last year, posted 2 scoreless innings preventing the Dodgers from pulling further away in the middle of the game.
  • The Padres refusing to give up after trailing 8-3, and fighting back to get into the game, thanks to a Chris Denorfia 2-run double in the 7th.
  • In the top of the 9th with the Padres down to their final out, Chase Headley coming up with a clutch 2-run blast over the right center field fence to tie the ballgame 8-8.
THE BAD:
  • Costly error in the 3rd that instead of being a double play opened the floodgates to a 4-unearned run inning.
  • 2-runs scored by the Dodgers on a 2 out infield single in that 4th inning.
  • Padres’ batters striking out 18 times during the game.
  • With 2 outs and no one on in the bottom of the 9th, 4 consecutive 2 out walks by the Padres’ bullpen force in the winning run.
THE DIFFERENCE:
  • The Padres’ inability to play solid defense for 9 innings.
  • 10 Padres walks issued, 3 of which crossed the plate, including the game winner forced across by a walk.
Along with Venable, Headley, and Denorfia, Yonder Alonso had a nice offensive night with two doubles and an RBI.
Although much has been made about the slow start by the Padres offense, to me the reason this team now sits at 2-6 is because of its lack of ability thus far to make the basic plays for a full nine innings.  In almost every loss there has been a breakdown of the fundamentals that was far more damaging than the inability to come up with a big hit.   The hitting will improve, but if the execution of the basics does not, it will be for naught.
Here’s hoping the Pads stop beating themselves, and start playing the fundamentally sound baseball they are capable of.
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