Diamonds in the Desert: A Baseball Blog from Tucson

Padres Down Another Three Games
April 18, 2012, 16:28
Filed under: Uncategorized

The Salt Lake Bees closed out our four-game series there with a win, taking the series, on Monday night.  The good news is that no one has (yet) swept our Padres in a series;  the bad news is that the trend of winning only one game per series seems to be continuing.

Tucson traveled to Colorado Springs to face the Rockies’ AAA affiliate Sky Sox for a four-game series on Tuesday.  They’ve played – and lost – two there already (day games – for school field trips – today and tomorrow).  Both the final game at Salt Lake and the first game at Colorado Springs featured one particularly bad inning which totally sunk the T-Pads; but our corps of relievers has shown tremendous improvement lately.  Much closer game today…would love to see the Padres split the series at COS!

Monday, April 16:  Padres 2; Bees 6.  RHP Greg Gonzalez took a spot-start in place of Casey Kelly (who’s gone on the DL with elbow soreness) in this final game in Salt Lake.  Greg was at short-season Eugene all of last season and was called up from Extended Spring training for the start.  His first inning was very impressive as he shut the Bees down, one-two-three, and he allowed only a leadoff homer to former Padre Jorge Cantu in the second.  But everything fell apart in the third inning, as the Bees put up five runs on seven hits and two errors.  Gonzalez was pulled with one out in the inning and Eddie Kunz came in to get an immediate pickoff out and a fly ball out to end the inning.  He then shut down the Bees for two more complete innings…sending them down in order!  Ryan Kelly and Alex Hinshaw held the Bees scoreless to close out the game.  On offense, Tucson scored both of their runs in the fifth inning, against starter Matt Shoemaker.  After getting two outs, Shoemaker allowed a single to Everth Cabrera, a double to Blake Tekotte (Everth scored on a Bee error), and then an RBI single to Matt Clark before getting James Darnell to fly out and end the inning.  The Bees held Tucson to six hits and three total walks. 

Tuesday, April 17:  Padres 1; Sky Sox 8.  Tucson Padres’ broadcaster, Tim Hagerty, likes to mention that Security Service Field in Colorado Springs is the highest (elevation) ballpark in all of American professional baseball.  Partnering with its Parent Unit in Denver, the Sky Sox have recently installed a humidor to help even the playing field for pitchers in their park.  Still…the air is thin and the ball can really fly.  I am actually more surprised that there weren’t more homers in the run-total from Tuesday’s game!   RHP Josh Geer took the start for the Padres and he took the loss, too.  It wasn’t all his fault:  in the first inning, Tucson committed both of their errors which directly led to the three-run homer that Tommy Field was able to bash out of the park for COS.  It was Tommy’s first homer of the season, and accounts for three of his four RBIs.  Sky Sox up five runs at the end of one.  Tucson scored a run in the third inning (Cabrera scoring on a Darnell groundout) and then things calmed down until the fifth, when COS scored another two runs against Josh.  His line in the loss shows seven runs (six earned) on eight hits, two walks, a five Ks (this is actually a change from the original scoring last night when Tucson was charged three errors in the first, making only ONE run in that frame earned.  Obviously one of the errors was recast as a hit…sure changed Geer’s ERA!).  Josh was followed by Cory Burns – who held the Sky Sox scoreless through two – and another new Padre, James Needy.  Needy was also in Eugene during the 2011 campaign and had been at Extended Spring training when called up.  In his AAA debut, James allowed COS another earned run on two hits.  No strikeouts, but not a bad outing.  Although he didn’t score in the game, our CF Blake Tekotte hit safely keeping his hitting streak intact at eleven games.  Tucson had only ONE less hit in the game than the Sky Sox (Padres = 9 hits; Sky Sox = 10 hits)…but left eight runners on base.  Good pitching and defensive teamwork by the Sky Sox crew (doggone it)! 

Wednesday, April 18;  Padres 0, Sky Sox 2.  Tucson committed another two errors in this game…Blake had a hit to extend his streak…and starter Jorge Reyes got his third loss of the year after pitching 5 2/3 innings and allowing both Sky Sox runs.  Both runs came in the fifth…otherwise there’s a long string of zeros in the box score for both teams.  Tucson’s staff allowed 11 Sky Sox hits (so the good guys did better at keeping those runners from crossing the plate);  the T-Pads had six hits against COS.  Only LF Daniel Robertson had more than one hit for the Padres (he was two for three) – he also had a double and took a walk.  Of today’s players, Daniel leads the team in batting average with .320.  The Padres’ pitching staff had one (yes, just one) strikeout in today’s contest…that was tossed by Dale Thayer.  Dale is the only guy on our staff right now who has a 0.00 ERA!

Transactions.  We’re getting banged up!  Casey Kelly went on the 7-DL with right elbow soreness on Tuesday.  Assigned to the T-Pads:  RHP Will Scott (from Eugene; Extended Spring) and RHP Greg Gonzalez (also from Eugene; Extended Spring).  San Diego activated Mark Kotsay from the MLB DL and optioned RHP Brad Brach back to Tucson (Brad was called up from Tucson before we ever played a game).

League Standings.  Tucson now has a three (wins) and eleven (losses) record…and Memphis has finally improved to a better record than that (three and ten).  We’re at the bottom of our Division (led by Fresno with a ten and three record) and the Conference and the League.  But it IS still early days.  I keep telling myself:  almost all of this team played together in San Antonio last season and they were most definitely WINNERS.  They’re going to get acclimated to AAA pitching and playing any day now.  Just you wait and see!

T-Pads Are On the Road.   The Padres are in Colorado Springs to face the Sky Sox (Rockies’ AAA affiliate) for a day game tomorrow and a night game on Friday before they return home to Tucson.  Remember ALL Tucson Padres games this season can be heard on Tejano Radio 1600!   You can check the schedule for start times here.  I hope you’re planning to greet the T-Pads on their return Saturday night!  They will face the Salt Lake Bees here for a quick four-game homestand.  The promo Saturday night is intriguing:  it’s Tucson Conquistadores Car Giveaway Night!  It’s also a Little League night – kids who show up in their uniforms get in FREE (adults with them get in for $5).

Bee Players You Want to See!  After listening to the games at Salt Lake this past weekend, there are a couple of players I’m anxious to see here in Tucson this coming weekend.  The first is CF Mike Trout.  According to his stats, Mike will turn 21 in August…and yet he’s got a .407 batting average, with six RBIs for the season.  He’s gotten 22 hits in 13 games this season!  He’s exciting (and very beloved of the Salt Lake fans)!  The other guy I can’t wait to see is RHP Loek (pronounced “Luke”) Van Mil.  From the Netherlands, what puts Van Mil on my “must see” list is his height:  he’s 7’1” tall!  Wow!  Come on out and see these guys, fans!

(Disclaimer – This posting has not been reviewed/approved by Pima County, the City of Tucson, the Tucson Padres, Tucson AAA Baseball, Arizona Diamondbacks, San Diego Padres, PCL, MiLB, MLB, National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues, Tucson Baseball LLC, or any other baseball official and represents the views and biases of the author alone)


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