The San Diego Padres are coming off a very decent series against the New York Mets. I had mentioned in the series preview that the best scenario possible for the Friars would be a 2-2 series. The Padres did just that and I am content with the results.
The Mets are no joke and to go 2-2 in a four game series against them is really something to build on. We did see some disastrous moments in this series for the Padres, which I will go over later. We also experienced quality baseball overall in this series from the Padres. Still nothing has changed in the N.L. West standings as the Pads are still just three and a half games out of first bringing up the rear.
This series was overall a really good series for Padres fans. To go toe to toe against a team like the Mets is really something to admire. We saw some great pitching (for the most part), some good hitting, and good defense from the Padres this weekend. We saw positives from all components of the team.
The Padres next step in the season will be another tough one. Tomorrow, the Padres start a three game set against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. Just after facing one of the best teams in the National League, the Friars will go on to face another one of the best teams in the League.
Game 1: Hur-Rea!
Game one of the series was all about one man, Colin Rea. The big right handed pitcher had an okay start to the season. While he had some good moments, there were also times where he just did not shine. Well on Thursday night, he certainly shined. Rea looked absolutely masterful on the mound for the Friars. The Padres defense also did its job on the night and looked great as well. Jon Jay had a magnificent catch in the third inning of the game. Everything seemed like it was aligned perfectly. Could this be the unprecedented no-hitter Padres fans had been looking for?
Unfortunately it was not. The shift had worked all night long, but in the sixth inning Yoenis Cespedes hit an opposite field hit through a vacated second base position. With that a precious no-hitter had yet again eluded the San Diego Padres franchise. The Padres and Rea did not lose their cool and still ended up getting the win against Jacob deGrom and the Mets though. Rea went on to pitch eight innings only allowing three hits and a run. The Padres offense did its job as well in the game getting five runs. Now in a stadium like Petco Park that’s more than enough runs to win a ballgame.
Some of the standout performers were Wil Myers who blasted a solo shot, and even Colin Rea helped himself out with an RBI single. The most impressive offensive performance of the night though had to go to Derek Norris. Norris had a great game going 3-3 with a solo home run and a walk. In the ninth inning those runs the offense scored proved to be vital. Brad Hand came into the game and made Padres fans sweat a little allowing two runs to cross the plate. Now the score was 5-3 and Fernando Rodney would come and look flawless yet again. Rodney would get his seventh save of the season and maintain his perfect ERA of 0.00 and the Padres would take game one of the four game series.
Game 2: Another Shutout… We Threw It This Time
The Padres did not get shutout in this series. That is pretty amazing considering the Padres have already been shutout eight times this season. Especially if you factor in the Padres faced some of the best pitchers in baseball in this series. On Friday night instead of getting shutout, the Padres would throw a shutout.
A nice turn around from what we had seen this season. This would be another very nice game for the Padres. A lot of components worked out for the Padres from Drew Pomeranz to Fernando Rodney and everything in between. The starting pitcher of the game would be the best pitcher this season for the Padres, Drew Pomeranz. The Lefty would not disappoint as he would throw five scoreless frames and only allow a single hit.
The bullpen would be strong for the Padres in this game as well as they would go on to pitch four scoreless frames. Kevin Quackenbush, Ryan Buchter, Brandon Maurer, and Fernando Rodney would be the men to step on the mound after Pomeranz left the game. Matt Kemp would have a nice game on Friday night as he would bag himself an RBI single and have a very nice catch in the sixth inning as well. The other RBI on the day would come from Jon Jay. The center fielder would have a nice day going 3-4. The pitcher for the Mets would be Noah Syndergaard who would go six innings and only allow two runs. Two runs would be more than enough for the Padres to get the win on Friday as the Game would end 2-0. This would be a huge win for the Padres as it proves that on their day, the Padres can take on anyone, even a semi-god like “Thor”.
Game Three: The Great “Bartbino”
Something in this game would make headlines across the baseball world. This game would all be about one moment, about one man, about Bartolo Colon. All of the Mets runs this game would come from home runs which is already worrying in its own right. Yoenis Cespedes would start it off against James Shields in the first with a two run blast. Then came the moment which people will probably talk about all year in the second inning.
Kevin Plawecki would get on base via a double with two outs. That then brought up Bartolo Colon. Bartolo has been adored by fans because of how he goes up to bat. Like a kid in his first little league game. Bartolo just goes out there and produces these wild swings which make him look silly up at the plate. Who would have ever thought one of those swings would result in a home run. Well on Saturday night that happened. Bartolo Colon would get his first ever home run off of James Shields at the age of 42. This will be one of James Shields most embarrassing moment as a baseball player. I mean how does that even happen. The worst part is that home run is what ultimately cost us the game. The next day Shields was even making jokes about the incident. This is no laughing matter. While I am a huge fan of Colon, this is just something that should not happen. This wasn’t Carlos Zambrano or Micah Owings at the plate, this was Bartolo Colon. People are now even using the clip of the home run and saying “anything is possible”. I mean come on. As a baseball fan I am happy but as a Padres fan I am just cringing all over.
Jon Jay went on to blast himself a nice three run home run in the third inning, but that would be all the Padres offense would produce on the day. If Shields had not allowed the home run by Colon, the three runs would have more than likely been enough to win the ball game. Fernando Rodney would have shut down the door in the ninth, instead of Carlos Villanueva giving up two solo to Michael Conforto and David Wright. These are all hypothetical situations and the game is now over. The Padres would lose 6-3.
Game 4: Another One of Those Games
Game four of the series would be just another frustrating game, that the Padres could have easily won. Matt Harvey would be the starting pitcher for the Mets. “The Dark Knight” would have a nice day on the mound going six innings and striking out 10. Harvey would not be perfect out there as he would allow a two run shot off of Christian Bethancourt who had a nice day at the plate. Bethancourt would also score in the seventh off a balk by Jim Henderson.
Andrew Cashner would be the man on the mound for the Friars. Cashner looked decent through five, only allowing three runs to cross the plate. Unfortunately Cashner would suffer a leg injury sliding into home plate and would be pulled out of the game in the bottom of the inning. Thankfully the Padres would report the hamstring is not an issue after the game as it appeared to be cramps. Brad Hand would come into the sixth and allow a run. Brad Hand has not been pitching all that great and maybe after Matt Thornton is healthy, he is the one that should go. The score would now be 4-3 and that’s how the game would end.
The Padres had the bases loaded with no outs in the 8th but could not capitalize. It almost seemed impossible for them not to score. Anotonio Bastardo would get out of the bases loaded jam for the Mets. Then in the ninth came Jeurys Familia to shut the door on the Pads and end the game. The series would end up being a split. The Friars yet again could not benefit from a late bases loaded situation. Which is something we have seen before this season. The series was completely different in the first two games thank in the last two games. In the first two we might have just saw two of the better played games the Padres have had this season. In the last two though we might have just seen two of the worst games played this season. Hey that’s just the game of baseball for you.
Who will stick on the rotation?
It seemed like Colin Rea could have been out of the rotation after the tremendous performances we had seen from Cesar Vargas. Now after that performance on Thursday night, it almost seems impossible to leave him out of the rotation. When Tyson Ross is back from injury, Andy Green will have a very difficult decision to make regarding who remains on the rotation. What I can see happening is Cesar Vargas perhaps joining the bullpen. Vargas had been a reliever exclusively before joining the Padres so it is a possibility. The thing is, with the way Vargas has been pitching it really seems like a waste of talent to have him in the bullpen. The important thing is this team has enormous depth if an injury is to occur. Having too many options is never a bad thing to have. Who knows what will happen when Ross returns, until then best of luck to everyone.
The catchers stepped it up
Derek Norris had a very nice series starting in three of the four games. Norris went 5-10 with a home run. Which is great to see. Norris has always been great at the plate and it’s good to see him slowly but surely regaining his form. If Norris can have another solid series in Chicago, that’ll really have me believing that he is the best man to have behind the dish. Christian Bethancourt also had a very nice game Sunday as he went 2-4 with a two-run home run and a double. Bethancourt proved that he deserves a shot at getting a bit more playing time, if Norris is unable to perform at the plate. The good thing here is that the catchers did have a nice series after an abysmal one against the Rockies. This also is good for Andy Green and the Padres as it also opens up more possibilities.