After giving the Mets the lead early in last night's game, our Padres fought their way back to tie it and go into extras. Once again, the long ball plagued us as Aaron Harang gave up two home runs in the 2nd inning. After retiring the Mets in order in the first inning, he just didn't look comfortable on the mound, giving up a total of four runs on eight hits. Our bullpen came in in the 6th and was able to shut down the Mets' offense and we were able to even up the score with some late-inning runs. It was looking good until the 10th inning when Josh Spence walked two batters and Chad Qualls gave up a hit to give the Mets the lead. With our offense unable to score in the bottom of the inning, Spence walked away with the loss and the Mets walked away with a win in the series opener.
Tonight we will send Cory Luebke to the mound to try to even up the series. Luebke is 4-6 this season with a 3.09 ERA. In his last two starts he has given up a total of just three runs on eight hits in 12 innings of work, while walking four and racking up 17 strikeouts. He will once again face Jon Niese, who will try to repeat his recent performance against San Diego. Last Thursday, he pitched 7 2/3 innings against us and allowed only two earned runs while striking out seven, but ended up with the loss.
Even though we lost last night, there were some positive signs. Our offense didn't just give up after letting the Mets take the lead early. We were able to battle back and tie it. Also, our bullpen for the most part was back to its normal self, unlike it was on the latest road trip when it gave up the lead in the 8th inning three times. Our young bats continued to impress and show that there is some fire in our team. Hopefully that fire can translate to some much-needed wins this homestand and, at the very least, give us Friar Faithful some exciting baseball to watch.
GO FRIARS!! KEEP THE FAITH!!