The Strat-O-Matic San Diego Padres All-Stars (http://bit.ly/huGVf6) had a tough early week, ending up 8-13 over 21 games in 7 days, for a cumulative record of 13-17 and last place, five games out of first in the faux fantasy West. But after some strategic tweaking, things look more promising than that. I think.
Bad week came courtesy primarily to a pair of back-to-back three game series sweeps, one at home in Petco, full of brutal 1-run losses and bullpen meltdowns. In Petco, facing an opponent’s rotation of Cy Young, Christy Matheson, Carl Hubble, we lost all three games by a total of four runs. Sucks. In two of those games, lone runs came on solo shots by Willie McCovey, who leads the team in HR and RBI with 8/28, on pace for 40+/130+.
We were stranding tons of guys and not stealing bases as I expected, so I changed the managerial settings for the team on the basepaths, making both the team and specific players more aggressive, and since then the Padres All-Stars have at least temporarily turned things around, winning three straight series and running the opposition ragged when their catcher’s got a glass arm (13 stolen bases in three games with Johnny Blanchard as backstop, for example). Manufactured several runs, instigated couple catcher’s throwing errors, won the close games this time instead.
Maddux and Gaylord Perry continue to dominate on the mound, while the back half of the rotation – Randy Jones, Valenzuela, Dave Dravecky – are mostly getting rocked. Bullpen likewise a mixed bag, even Hoffman, who’s blown two of five saves.
Beyond McCovey, Gwynn is – as expected – the dominant player: .411/.448/.605. He’s also topping Rickey for SB, 12 to 10 (though that’s probably partly due to more opportunities from getting on base more). Bronze medal for offense goes to Roberto Alomar (.296/.384/.470).
We lead the league in stolen bases and are third in defense. Don’t mind being 9th in runs scored, but we’re in the middle of the pack for pitching and if that doesn’t change, our season will be a long one.
Made one roster move, dropped Gary Templeton for Tim Teufel, making the bench deeper vs. RH pitching. But that’s a minor alteration if the back half of the rotation can’t get it together.