Scanalysis – Pads Take First Game Of Rockies’ Series 7-1

Baseball 17 Apr 2012

EARLY AND OFTEN – that was the motto that the Padres offense adopted tonight in the opening game of their three game set against the Rockies.

 Two in the first, one in the second, two more in the fourth, and one in the seventh and ninth for good measure was the scoring summary of their 14 hit attack.  Combine that with a brilliant effort on the mound by cory Luebke, and you have the formula for winning that the Pads thought they would have from day one.

THE GOOD:

  • As was already mentioned the friar offense showed up early and frequently.  The most interesting thing for me was that out of the 14 hits not one was an HR.  I probably could have gotten some pretty nice odds at Vegas on that happening.  Instead of high fly balls taking advantage of the thin Mile High air, it was line drive after line drive (including 7 doubles – 3 by chase Headley alone) most of which would have found grass safely regardless of the coefficient of the air friction.  Nice to see lots of early count aggressiveness as well.
  • Cory Luebke going 7 strong innings.  Anytime you allow 1 run over 7 it’s a great effort, but to do it in Coors Field does add a nice exclamation mark to the outing.  He had the entire repertoire working tonight, starting with a well placed and downward angled fastball to go with what’s been his second most consistent pitch this year the change up , and the biting slider appeared.  He had not had that put away slider consistently during his first two outings, but tonight despite the dry air it was late and sharp helping him to record a combined 5 ground ball outs and a strikeout against Helton and Tulowitzki.
  • Flawless defense – no errors or misplays.
THE BAD:
  • Nick Hundley took a physical beating tonight.  When he wasn’t on the base paths after one of his three hits, he was shaking off bangs and twists literally from head to toe.  He took a full impact foul ball to the face that nocked his mask off, and twisted his ankle on the follow through of a big swing, to go with the usual blows to the body blocking breaking balls in the dirt.  Hope todd Hutchinson had enough ice bags and Advil to help that tough son of a gun to wake up tomorrow without his body throbbing.
THE DIFFERENCE:
  • The Pads came out with the same “Let’s kick some tail” attitude from the first pitch as they did in yesterday’s game.  Even though they came out on the short end yesterday, they played a great game, and played tough again tonight and this time were rewarded for their efforts.
  • With the bats they didn’t miss the mistakes in the zone that came their way
  • On the mound Luebke, Cashner and Owings didn’t make any mistakes in the zone.  Luebke was especially good at keeping the ball down, inducing 14 ground balls, which is especially meaningful at Coors Field.
  • No freebies!  No errors and only 2 walks ..enough said.
Tonight’s victory was as clean a win as you can have, and was much needed after a tough start to the road trip in L.A.  If they continue to play the pure baseball they have the past two games, more notches in the W column will be on the way.
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