Out pitching two time Cy Young award winner Roy Halladay, Luebke hurled 8 shutout innings while allowing only 2 hits. The Pads actually got some help from Halladay in the 2nd inning as he walked 3 consecutive batters for the first time ever in his 15 year career, setting up a run to score on Orlando Hudson’s ground out. Then the following inning Yonder Alonso drove in Chase Headley for what would be the game winning run with a 2-out double.
- Cory Luebke was better that good, he was great. Using his 93-95 MPH fastball mostly at the knees and always on the corners, Luebke was overpowering. He also had his slider biting for the second game in a row, and only had to work out of serious trouble in the 4th. He probably could have finished the game himself, but gave way to Huston Street for the 9th. Stellar overall effort by the sophomore lefty.
- 5 runs crossed the plate tonight as the Pads took advantage of what was offered them. While they only scored 2 runs against Halladay, that was a far cry better that the 1 run total they scored over the previous two games. Nice to see the offense add on as well with 3 insurance runs in the 8th, thanks to RBI hits by Jason bartlett, Orlando Hudson, and Jesus Guzman to take a little pressure off the bullpen.
- A Padres error to start the 4th could have opened the door to disaster, but Luebke was able to pitch over it.
- Cory Luebke being sharp from the beginning, but also being able to make an important correction with the game on the line. In the above mentioned 4th inning there was an error, but Luebke also got out of his rhythm briefly walking Ty Wigginton mostly on back door breaking balls out of the zone to load the bases. Pitching coach Darren Balsley came out to talk with Luebke, and the next batter he was back to his previous self throwing 94 MPH fastballs to the corners and at the knees to put an end to the threat. He would never look back, retiring 13 of the next 14 batters convincingly and efficiently.
- The Pads not letting the few opportunities at the plate presented to them get by. We mentioned the run scored thanks to the bases loaded gift from Halladay. The Pads also scored the winning run when he opened the door a crack with two outs in the 3rd by leaving an 0-2 split finger in the zone which Chase Headley lined to center field, setting up his scoring on Alonzo’s double to left. When opportunity knocks you have to make the most of it, especially against a dominant pitcher like Halladay, and tonight the Padres did that.