Good morning, fellow Friar fans. Welcome to another week of Padres baseball! Our Padres are still on a roll, having won their last two, and four of their last six since starting this run of 15 straight games they’re on. Last night proved to be a pitcher’s duel, as RHP Dinelson Lamet continued to make his case for the NL Cy Young by throwing 7.2 IP and recording 11 Ks as he went HEAVY with his slider (66 of his 111 pitches last night!). The Padres offense, despite coming into the game as one of MLB’s best, was mostly stifled until the ninth inning. Greg Garcia came in to lead-off the inning as a pinch hitter, and laced a lead-off single. He was replaced on the basepaths by Jorge Mateo, and the (previously?) much-maligned Jurickson Profar then brought him home to end the game. Profar dropped a double into the right field corner, and Mateo did the rest, flying from first to home in just 9.64 seconds (which, if he scores a few more times, would make him one of the fastest players in MLB per Sprint Speed). See it for yourself, and marvel at the wheels:
270 ft in 9.64 seconds!— Fox Sports San Diego (@FOXSportsSD) September 8, 2020
YES WE TIMED IT! @jorgemateord #PADRESWIN | @Padres pic.twitter.com/oYwXwFMhln
All in all, a most satisfying win for the Good Guys! Let’s take a look at news and notes:
- 1B Eric Hosmer made a poor decision last night, and possibly derailed his best season as a Padre, by attempting a two-strike bunt attempt that resulted in an out, but more importantly, a fractured left index finger. The injury will cost Hosmer anywhere from 2-6 weeks, based on manager Jayce Tingler’s post-game comments. “We’re going to need a handful of guys to step up,” Tingler said. “We knew coming into this year, things were going to happen. This one hurts. But at the same time, we’re going to have some guys step up, and we’re going to keep this offense, defense, the whole thing … we’re going to keep it moving. We’re going to hold ground, and we’re going to get him back.” Hosmer had been batting .288 with an .886 OPS and eight home runs in 31 games so far this year, and .338/.394/.585 in his past 65 plate appearances (16 games). His 19 RBIs were fifth most in the majors in that stretch, which began Aug. 20. Hosmer’s recent success was largely the result of an overhauled swing which has helped curtail Hosmer’s ground-ball tendencies. Expect recently acquired DH/1B Mitch Moreland to receive the bulk of starts at 1B with Hosmer hitting the IL.
- National baseball writers are starting to take notice our of Padres. Sports Illustrated now ranks our Friars as the 2nd best team in the NL behind only the Dodgers, and fourth overall in MLB in their latest Power Rankings. The Ringer also agrees, ranking the Pads as the #3 team in MLB at the 2/3rd mark of the season.
- As a few folks noted in some past threads, the Padres recalled power hitting OF Jorge Oña, while demoting RHP Luis Patiño. The team characterized it as a way to get a right-handed bat on the bench (since C Luis Campusano was placed on the IL with a wrist sprain), while giving Patiño the chance to get additional reps in to solidify the lessons he learned at the MLB level. “He understands that in order for him to continue to improve and continue to make progress, that he’s got to get frequent touches on the mound and right now we haven’t been able to provide those,” Tingler said. “ … The main objective is we want to be in a position where it’s the last 12, the last 10 games, that Patiño is throwing his best ball and if he’s doing that he’s going to make a strong case that, if and when we get into the playoffs, the goal is for him to be on (the roster) and make a strong case for it.” The team expects Patiño will make his way back to the big leagues before season’s end.
- Part of the reason OF Jorge Oña wasn’t initially placed in the team’s 60-man player pool was due to the fact he was rehabbing a shin injury out in Peoria, AZ. “We had the luxury of probably not having to push him with the baseball activity,” Tingler said. “I think that gave him the chance to not be at 90 percent, but maybe closer to 100 percent physically and then the baseball activity came and then he picked up his rhythm and timing fairly quickly.” Oña had impressed much as Campusano had in his time at the Padres’ alternate site at USD.
- In other injury news, RHP Emilio Pagan is expected to face hitters Tuesday with the expectation he will be activated when he’s eligible to come off the injured list Thursday. “He feels a lot better after being back here and getting some treatment, getting some work and doing some exercises,” Tingler said. “You can see it in his face and just talking to him.”
That’s it for today. “Sunshine” Mike Clevinger (1-2, 3.14) makes his Petco Park debut tonight against Colorado RHP Chi Chi Gonzalez (0-0, 5.00 ERA). Clevinger took the loss in his Padres debut, allowing two runs in six innings last week in Anaheim. The Rockies knocked Clevinger around for five runs in four innings in his only meeting in 2017 — but that was back at Coors Field. The 28-year-old Gonzalez is making his third appearance since returning from a biceps strain. He limited the Padres to a run in four innings in relief last weekend in Colorado.
First pitch is set for 1810 Pacific time. GO PADRES!!!!