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SD 4, COL 5: Pen can't hold it together

A fresh and fun season brings a fresh set of puzzles to solve. The Padres offense are pieces that fit. The once dominate bullpen? Not so much.

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight was supposed to be that series-clinching gut punch to the Rockies that we're really not used to giving. We had James Shields taking the mound, our big game guy, and a lineup that has put 21 runs on the board in the last 2 games against Colorado. Shields was coming off a bit of a rough game against the Cubs, where he gave up 4 runs in only 6 innings. Today, the Rockies in Coors Field had a bit less of a bite, but our starting pitching wasn't our downfall.

Game Preview

Starting things off, the Friars did what they usually do and scored fast and early. A Yangervis Solarte solo HR put the Pads up 1-0 right away and set a good tempo to the game, a tempo that we're getting a helluva lot used to this season. Unfortunately, the Rocks were on rhythm today and answered with two runs in the 1st, and one in the 2nd, thanks to a home run from Corey Dickerson and some doubles from Nolan Arenado and DJ LeMahieu. Solarte kinda airmailed a relay to home in there somewhere as well.

With a deficit like 3-1, it was almost guaranteed that at some point the Padres were going to come back. It took us until the 7th and the 8th to push things in our favor. A Coors HR from Wil Myers and some doubles from the beastly Derek Norris and clutch Corey Spangenberg put the Pads up 5-4. Arenado took away a lot of runs today with some really good defense, but now we only needed to make it through the next two innings and we'd be set.

My favorite part of having Derek Norris as a catcher is the part where people think they can steal on him (for whatever reason.)

But that's not how things went. Despite Joaquin Benoit being a typically solid relief piece, he gave up a game-tying solo shot to Corey Dickerson. It might have been sandwiched by two strikeouts, but that one pitch was costly. Then, in an unprecedented game suicide by Bud Black, the wobbly Shawn Kelley was invited to replace Benoit. Kelley has given up 6 runs in his 4.3 innings pitched, and today he tacked on another.

A single. A single. An intentional walk. A single. Game over.

Time to put it behind us. Here's the takeaway:

The decent

  • The Padres won't stop hitting. Especially key lineup pieces Wil Myers and Yonder Alonso. Alonso has the best AVG on the Padres (.365) and Myers is scoring, and plating Padres left and right.
  • Norris wont stop hitting RBI doubles, and Solarte is hot as hell off the bench.
  • Our starting pitching isn't as "dominate" as usually, but isn't giving up any leads that can't be triumphed.
  • For some reason a scouting report hasn't come out on how Derek Norris is going to throw you out every time you steal a base. After tonight Norris is second in the league with 7 losers caught stealing.
  • The Dodgers somehow lost their second game to the Giants today, so we're still tied for first!

The not-so-decent

  • We didn't win, and we've gotten really used to winning.
  • Justin Upton went 0-4 today with a strikeout. Has somebody told him he doesn't have to take it easy anymore?
  • Look, Shawn Kelley sucks. He sucks a good amount, and our bullpen is the only thing that's making us sweat this season so far.
  • Kevin Quackenbush currently has a 1.50 ERA, 2 saves, and 9 K's in 6 IP. What's so bad about this? He's in El Paso right now, and not in our bullpen.
  • This means Shawn Kelley is in our bullpen and Kevin Quackenbush is not.

Source: FanGraphs

Win projections suck when you're losing. Spangy and Norris had the highest WPA today, and the graph shows it. But the game ended like some crappy roller coaster where you never get to go home.

Roll Call Info
Total comments 278
Total commenters 33
Commenter list Burdock, C Callahan, Darklighter, Furtle, Hormel, Humanure, JWilhite, Jlad00, KPWest, LittleJeddyGoesToWar, Maltster, OtherLisa, PapaDong, Rocos, Senor_Lumpy, Timmah73, Winfield's Ghost, Wonko, Zach (maestro876), Zen Blade, abara, ariz2cali, axlar, daveysapien, hashtagtroll, jthunder93, mattsd1, mrbarneydangles, podpeople, roydjt, usupadres, whithd3, yuhfriard
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A bit more quiet than usual today, but jthunder93 kept things going with the most comments. He also tied Timmah73 and abara with greeny comments. Greatjob!