Monday, April 20, 2009

Week in Review #2

I'm exhausted!

What a week of games for the Pads, resulting in a 4-2 record through New York and Philadelphia. To summarize the week one way: our four wins came from Peavy, Meredith, Meredith, and Mujica. Here's a quick and dirty recap:

Monday - Jump out on top 5-1, lose the lead giving up four runs with two outs in the 5th, but take the lead 6-5 on a balk and hang on to win.

Thursday - Down 3-0 after the first with Peavy on the mound but claw back to win 6-5.

Friday - Down 5-0 after the first and 7-1 after the 4th with Young on the mound. Put up two in the 5th, two in the 6th, and four in the 8th to win 8-7.

Saturday - Tied 3-3 after seven, take the lead 4-3 in the top of the 8th, lose the lead in the bottom of the inning, and then get four in the 9th off a dominant closer.

Sunday - Take a 4-2 lead into the 8th, give up one on a pinch hit homer to take a 4-3 lead into the 9th, and then lose on a walkoff homer.

Are you joking me?

The Good
Offensively, we scored 34 runs in six games (Kouz's 9th inning homer accounting for the sweetest three), but more importantly, we scored a lot of those after falling behind in games against some very tough pitching... including a guy who had notched 47 consecutive saves. After hitting .285/.349/.467 for the week, our offense has a .777 OPS, which is above the NL average of .755. In fact, Hairston, Adrian Gonzalez, Hundley, Gerut, Eckstein, Rodriguez, and Headley all currently have an OPS above the league average. That'll work.

On the pitching front, it wasn't pretty but we battled. Our cumulative ranks are still solid - a 106 ERA+, a 3.83 team ERA and 3.12 for the pen (good for 3rd in the NL). Furthermore, our walks went down a little this week as expected despite facing some stacked lineups.

One more good thing - Chase Headley's throw to home with the game on the line to nail Greg Dobbs. Nice.

The Bad
I can't complain about a 4-2 week through New York and Philly, especially considering how dogged our guys were. The only real bad part was a team 5.37 ERA; however, our underlying stats - 54 hits in 52 innings and 20 walks - weren't that bad. The big bad number... we gave up 11 homers. Hopefully the coming week with one game in Philly, two in San Francisco and three in Petco will treat us better.

Overall
Forget about all of the above numbers, because that was one of the most exciting weeks a team will ever have. The week was filled with emotion - opening New York's new stadium, Harry Kalas passing and the ceremonies at Citizen's Bank, Lidge receiving the Rolaids award, sellout crowds everywhere - and yet our guys maintained a tremendous focus. What a week.

Minor Leagues
It was just as good a week in the minor leagues, as we've driven our cumulative minor league record to 26-16 (that equates to a 100-win season over 162 games).

Portland (7-4) - Kyle Blanks has taken his hot spring into the regular season, hitting .350/.480/.575 through the first 11 games. Not to be outdone, Will Venable (.341/.420/.591) and Chad Huffman (.294/.415/.559) have helped to pace the Beavers. On the pitching side, the team has a 3.13 ERA, good for 3rd in the hitter-friendly PCL. Chad Gaudin made his first start in the Padres organization, pitching 3 2/3 shutout innings as he was limited on a pitch count.

San Antonio (4-6) - Mike Baxter (.375/.457/.600), Craig Cooper (.395/.465/.605), Eric Sogard (.333/.478/.556), and Mitch Canham (.393/.485/.500) are off to blistering starts for the Missions. What might be more impressive is that the foursome has drawn 25 walks and struck out just 16 times. Cesar Carrillo yielded just one run in six innings to lower his ERA to 3.27, and he's now generated 22 groundball outs compared with just six flyball outs. Brandon Gomes has been dominant in the pen, yielding just three hits while striking out 13 in seven innings of work.

Lake Elsinore (5-6) - Recovering from an 0-5 start, Elsinore has taken five of its last six (it was way too corny to say they "stormed" back). Logan Forsythe continues to lead the way offensively with a .303/.425/.424 line, but Lance Zawadzki helped inject some life after being activated from the DL and going 5 for 8 with three walks and three stolen bases. The pitching has been oustanding so far with a 3.00 team ERA, and this week the starters - Kluber, Hefner, Luebke, McBryde, and Pelzer - were downright ridiculous. Highlighted by Cory Kluber's two starts (13 innings, just four hits, one run, no walks, and 13 strikeouts), the starters posted a combined 1.53 ERA: 35.1 ip, 21 h, 4 er, 2 bb, and 44 k's. That's not a typo... two walks and 44 strikeouts.

Fort Wayne (10-0) - The TinCaps seem to have adjusted well to their new name and new stadium. James Darnell leads the Midwest League with a .541 obp and his overall line is .304/.541/.609. Additionally, Matt Clark, Allan Dykstra, and Blake Tekotte all got it going to some degree this week. The real story in Ft Wayne, though, has been the pitching. Of the 13 pitchers on the staff, seven of them still have an ERA of 0.00, and the team as a whole is sporting a 1.30. Of the starters, Anthony Bass and Stiven Osuna have yet to give up a run in 22 combined innings of work. The bullpen as a unit: 0.89 ERA, 41.2 ip, 20 h, 8 bb, and 50 k's.

Overall, the first two weeks have been great for the organization. The coming week will be a real battle for the Major League club, as the next three days are about as rough a schedule as I can remember: night game in Philadelphia on Monday as part of a wrap-around series, cross-country flight in the middle of the night, night game in San Francisco on Tuesday, and to top it off... day game in San Francisco on Wednesday. That off day on Thursday will be well deserved.

The best part is that we get to come home, albeit for only three days, over the weekend.

21 comments:

Peter said...

I don't get all the negativity towards the Padres brain-trust (your former boss, Alderson, Towers, yourself, and Fuson)...

Even with last year's 99-loss season, this is the best 5-year stretch in franchise history. The farm is brimming with talent, we have new ownership providing roster/payroll flexibility (assuming we get back to $60-70m payrolls), and to top it all off, a team most said was another 100-loss team is sitting pretty at 8-4. It's a great time to be Padres fan!

FriarStar said...

Paul, heard cabrera will be out 2 months, looking for shortstop bring back JJ Furmaniak who was with Padres in Portland. Loved the hustle and drive he had. Think he is with Phillies now

ElectricFriar said...

After witnessing last year's putrid offense, it's great to see the offense clicking - timely hitting and not a lot of wasted at-bats. Seems like Jim Lefebvre's influence is rubbing off.
Too bad today's game was rained out. Really hoping to take 3 of 4 from the World Champs in their little bandbox of a ballpark.

field39 said...

Great opening two weeks. I had planned on a half a dozen games this year, now I am looking at an even dozen.

Two softball questions:

Which do you prefer: The ultimate hitters park in Philly, or the ultimate pitchers park in San Diego?

From your 2008 draft: Who has impressed you most?

maestro876 said...

Paul,

Now that today's game has been rained out, I'm assuming the team is on their way to the airport, if not already there and on the plan. Having an extra off-day should make this week a bit easier, shouldn't it?

You Know Me! said...

Can you go through the injuries in the Minors and tell us what they are and how long they will be out. Latos, Decker, Antonelli, Kulbacki....

LynchMob said...

Hey, I'll cast another vote for JJ Furmaniak :-)

He played in Japan last year ... http://jjbaseball.blogspot.com/ ... and is currently at AAA Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs ... yo, that's a mouthful ...

Clayton said...

Paul,

How hard are you guys searching for a backup short stop? Do you think that you will promote some one from our system or look else where?

I know Cabrera will be missed (that kid is fast) but we already have Rodriquez and Gonzalez who can play short.

I assume one of the challenges is finding some one who isn't much more than a rental. Cabrera would need to be re-activated to the roster after his DL stint.

sdsuaztec4 said...

I love this team! Just wish we could get a few more pitchers that weren't taken off the scrap heap.

Fausto said...

My Lord a great start of a season. Nobody not even the experts expected this. The Chase Headle playing like Chase Utley, Adrian Playing like a true MVP our Pitching Staff and Bullpen playing ligths out. Heath Bell helping us forget a player called Trevor Something and our Pads are Surprising the MLB playing against good teams in empotional games. My question is where is Cesar Carillo ? I expected to see him play this season is he still a few years back? Good Day

Bogart in P Towne said...

So, how do you feel about Demetri Martin playing you in a movie...

How surreal does that feel?

Not the Demetri Martin part, the playing you in a movie part.

http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118002626.html?categoryid=13&cs=1

Paul DePodesta said...

field39,

I definitely prefer a pitcher's park. I just don't like cheap homers.

The 2008 draft has had a lot of solid performances. Guys like Decker, Forsythe, Darnell, and Tekotte have all been very good, but to some degree that was expected - we took all of those guys in the top few rounds. I get excited about guys like Chris Wilkes, a starting pitcher that was identified by our scout in Florida, Rob Sidwell, who wasn't on many radars.

Paul DePodesta said...

maestro876,

I'm sure they had an earlier departure, so that should help. However, going from coast-to-coast and playing a night game followed by a day game is still rough...just not as rough.

Paul DePodesta said...

You Know Me,

Decker should be activated this week as he's been playing in games in extended spring training.

Latos is pitching without restrictions and is currently building up his pitch count.

Antonelli is taking a few days off, and hopefully that will help the healing in this leg.

Kulbacki is doing all of his fielding drills and has started some light hitting drills.

Paul DePodesta said...

Bogart in P Towne,

Utterly bizarre.

JD said...

Glad to see Cesar is doing well. But most importantly, Demetri Martin as Paul DePodesta? Tremendous! I love it.

split_finger_21 said...

Hey Paul, I'm not a big "blog follower" but I do follow yours, mainly because I grew up a Pads fan and also I'm a fan of you as well. This is my first comment on a blog ever!

I'm sorry this doesn't apply to "Week in Review" but...

Let's get to it.

The soon-to-be elephant in YOUR room... (I'm not trying to scare you)

With production already started, "Moneyball: The Movie" (that just sounds weird) will probably make your name a household name. I know you didn't comment much when the book came out, and I've already seen your quote that you want no involvement in the upcoming movie... but with Brad Pitt playing Billy Beane, it's all but guaranteed to be popular. Demetri Martin is the actor portraying you, he's a comedian actually. (Ok, that should scare you!) If they go the typical Hollywood route, the straight-outta-college employee would be the butt of all jokes I'm assuming. At least the first half of the movie. You win in the end, though!

In my opinion, I think the "Moneyball" movie will help people understand the theory a little bit better. (Movies lay out the message easier than books.) If you say "moneyball" to the average joe fan, they'll think "on-base percentage and accountant-style number crunching." But what people don't realize is that's only half-true, right? At the time, OBP wasn't recognized. THUS, Beane and yourself found an inefficient market and exploited it. And now, everybody knows about OBP, so you can't do that anymore. Your trick was exposed.

Well, if somebody wrote a book about what I do at my job, I'm sure I wouldn't agree with half of it too. So I see where you stand.

Do you care one way or another about this movie? No comment? Or are you interested?

I'm interested in your response, and I think once this movie gets closer and closer to coming out, I think a lot more fans will be too.

Thanks Paul! Good luck!

GO PADS!

Schlom said...

Paul,

We expect to see you soon on Channel 4 before or after a Padre game, explaining club decisions in front of a large poster board.

Cpt Top Off said...

Paul, can you comment on the Chris Burke trade? I understand he was traded to Seattle for cash considerations and then returned for cash considerations - how much cash in each situation? I assume the Pads paid more because of the immediate need. Did Seattle gouge you guys, or do you a bit of a favor?

WebSoulSurfer said...

Paul,

I constantly hear about the offense of the Padres being so bad last year, but the Padres led the NL West in OPS+.

What do you attribute this misconception about the Padres offense to?

mweldon said...

I'm curious if Evan Scribner is in the plans for this year. The guy dominated at LE last year. Now he is doing the same at AA. Whip is around .700. K/9 is high. K/BB is ridiculously high. How bad would the Padres bully have to get before this guy gets the call?