Game Thread: 7/3 Padres @ Mariners

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Last night we got our first win against Seattle this season, preventing the season and series sweep at the hands of the Mariners. If you watched the game or caught the highlights, you would know that the winning run (and the only run of the game) came after a three-pitch walk. With Cam Maybin up to bat, the count on the scoreboard at Safeco Field went from 1-2 to 3-2 with no one noticing, including home plate umpire Phil Cuzzi. As a result, Cam took first base on the third ball of the at-bat with no arguments. Later that inning, he scored on an Alberto Gonzalez single. Thankfully, our pitching staff was nails, so that one run was all we needed to secure the victory. Cory Luebke allowed just two hits and struck out seven in six shutout innings. Chad Qualls, Mike Adams, and Heath Bell were unhittable in the 7th, 8th, and 9th. Today, we will see if Mat Latos can follow that up with a winning performance of his own.

I've been in L.A. all weekend, much to my dismay, and haven't been able to watch any live Padres baseball. But I DID get to watch New Kids on the Block in concert on Friday night, and I think our team could learn a Step-By-Step lesson in winning from Danny, Donnie, Jonathan, Jordan, and Joey:

STEP 1: We can have lots of fun.
Padres, you get to PLAY BASEBALL for a living. I'm pretty sure it's a scientific fact that if you're enjoying yourself you are more likely to play well. Sure this is your job, but it's also a GAME. Have fun and be confident, and that will translate on the field.

STEP 2: There's so much we can do.
Our team is built to play small ball. We can't rely on the get-guys-on-base-then-hit-one-out-of-the-park sequence to score runs, so we have to rely on a bunch of other things. Combining singles, extra base hits, walks, bunts, sac flies, wild pitches, errors, etc. to score runs is the key to our ballclub's success. Take advantage of all the little things we are good at and capitalize on our opponent's mistakes.

STEP 3: It's just you and me.
This step is for Mat (or whoever is pitching). Focus on your batter. It's just you and him.

STEP 4: I can give you more.
This step is for our offense. Get it into your mind that you can provide our pitchers the run support they need. Be confident that you can give them more runs.

STEP 5: Don't you know that the time has arrived?
Padres, THIS IS YOUR TIME. RIGHT NOW. Including today, you have eight games left until the All Star Break. If you're gonna make a move in the NL West standings, it needs to start now. You've been playing well the last few series and you need to keep the momentum going on your side.

Don't give up on them. They won last night, now let's try it again. Our team has the right stuff, baby, to become a threat in the NL West. Where do we go from here? Well they just need to keep hangin' tough and playing their games games games games games. Call it what you want, but I'll be loving them forever.

Maybe I might sound crazy for the way I feel about you. But, Padres, you're just so amazing and I'm so in love, boys, with you. I believe in you.

GO FRIARS!! KEEP THE FAITH!!

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