I watched yesterday's Padres game on Gameday, mainly because I'm sick of hearing Dick Enberg being shocked, shocked, I say, at how poor the Padres' offense is, as if it were expected to be the Phillies? It's not that Enberg feels compelled to tell the negatives as well as the positives. It's that he's so breathless about it. It's that he thinks it necessary to count off inning by inning since the last time the Padres scored. Oh my God, will they ever score again? Then if they do the count of scoreless innings begins anew. Bad, bad Padres. No dessert for you!
Do we ever get to have the inoffensive Mark Neely again? I'll mark my calendar.
In the meantime, Dick might want to broadcast some minor league games if he finds the Padres that play in Petco Park bad for his blood pressure. How about the game San Antonio just finished today at Tulsa? The Missions won 23-10. It was a battle of 5th starters in the 5th game of the season for both clubs. The Missions scored in each of the first eight innings. Every starting position player for the Missions had at least 3 hits except for second baseman Anthony Contreras, who just had a measly 3-run home run. Joining Contreras in the 8 home runs the Missions hit were Sawyer Carroll, twice, Beamer Weems, twice, Cody Decker, Jaff Decker and starting pitcher Matt Buschmann.
So now everyone on the Missions can hold his head up, unless Buschmann feels bad about an ERA of 11.12. Both players who started the day below the Mendoza line are now solidly above that. Do you suppose Carroll can keep his batting average of .474 up for the season?
Fun was had by all of the junior Padres. Yet all this did was bring San Antonio's record to 2-3. Ah yes, there is this problem of winning games against the best pitchers one's league has to offer, not just the worst ones. And for that no manly offense is as good as shutting out the other team. It worked for Sandy Koufax. I don't know if this year's Padres can do that as well as last year's team did. I hate to imagine what scathing Dick Enberg will have for the Padres if they don't get close to 90 wins this year. Slackers. I'm afraid the odds are on his side, master of criticism that he is, just as they are against the Padres facing bad enough pitching so they too can score 23 runs in a game.
I'd like my teams to all win 900 - 0, but 3-2 is still a good day. So is 2-1 or 1-0. Any loss is so much worse, and the Missions would have lost today against good pitching, because they allowed 10 runs themselves. So what's so wrong about building a team around pitching?