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Friday, August 04, 2006


A Look at the Competition: Padres and Marlins (blogs & newspapers)

San Diego Padres: First place in NL West with a record of 56-52. Nationals play them Friday and Saturday at 10:05 pm & Sunday at 4:05.

Probable Pitchers:
Friday (tonight): RHP Ramon Ortiz (7-9, 4.84) vs. RHP Chris Young (9-4, 3.57)
Last start for Ortiz, he pitched 6.1 innings and gave up 3 runs. Last start against the Padres (only start this season against them) Ortiz pitched 6.1 innings and gave up 2 runs. Nationals lost.

Young’s second start since skipping start due to “stress reaction in his right foot” (whatever that means). Young was 2-1 with an ERA of 5.74 in 5 starts in July. He faced the Nationals on July 8th, and won the game, 6 innings pitched, 2 runs given up off of 7 hits and 0 walks (+ 1 HR), while striking out 9 (102 pitches, 67 strikes). This season, Young is 4-4 at home with an ERA of 4.77 in 11 starts (vs. 5-0 with an ERA of 2.42 in 10 road starts).

Saturday: RHP Pedro Astacio (2-1, 5.23) vs. RHP Mike Thompson (3-3, 4.34)
While Astacio has lasted at least six innings in his last three starts (and picked up a win in his most recent), Astacio lasted just 3.2 innings against the Padres on July 8th. He gave up 5 runs (4 ER).

Thompson is apparently a good (or consistent) emergency starter (according to the probable pitchers notes). 7 quality starts in 11 starts. 3 GS in May (2-1, 3.50), 5 GS in June (1-1, 4.82), and 3 GS in July (0-1, 4.42).

Sunday: RHP Livan Hernandez (9-8, 5.48) vs. RHP Jake Peavy (5-11, 4.81)
Hernandez has done quite while in his last several starts. Will face the Padres for the 15th time on Sunday (probably start; 8-1, 3.10 ERA against Padres).

Both Hernandez and Peavy went 7 innings in their 2 starts. While Hernandez picked up 2 wins, Peavy went 1-1 (even though he had only given up 1 run in that loss). Peavy is currently 0-1, with an ERA of 1.29 in August. He had a rough July (1-2, 7.13 ERA in 4 starts), but has had two good starts going into Sunday’s game.

Local newspaper: San Diego Tribune.

Nick Canepa: “Petco Park: Cursed place in National League West “
If you go by the first play of yesterday's game at Petco Park, the Padres may not need a third baseman more than they need an exorcist. Or, with exorcists being in great demand these days, at the very least an allergist with a witch background.

Blogs: Ducksnorts: No entry yet about the Nationals visiting. Sample from most recent entry (8/3/06) about Padres vs. Astros.
I guess now we know why last year Bruce Bochy wouldn’t stick a guy at third who hadn’t played the position in a while. Todd Walker went 1-for-3 at the plate in his first Padres start, and 2-for-4 in the field. Just a guess here, but I’m thinking we already had guys in the organization who could do that.

Gaslamp Ball: Nothing yet on the upcoming Nationals visit. Sample from most recent entry (8/3/06) about Padres vs. Astros:
I think the Padres think that if they just play half assed baseball that they will win the NL West.

San Diego Spotlight: Nothing yet on upcoming Nationals games. Most recent entry: “Padres Juggle The Roster, Trying To Hold On”:
The San Diego Padres have watched their northern neighbors tear their club apart but have decided that pitching, and not just starting pitching, is the way to the promised land. . . . Meanwhile, there have been changes. Todd Walker has flown out from the midwest for a shot at filling the hole at third base. Ben Johnson came off the DL and probably had to be stopped from packing his bags for Portland by reflex. Finally, a distinguished veteran has been reluctantly given his release for the second time in less than a month.

I’m sure there are other Padres blogs out there, but none of the other Padres blogs listed on Baseball Blogs are currently active.

Monday is a travel day, then three games at home vs the Florida Marlins (51-57, 3rd place - at moment).

Probably too far out to determine, but at present, RHP Ricky Nolasco is probable for Tuesday. No news on any other pitcher for this series.

Local newspaper: Miami Hearld
Marlins defeated the Mets on Thursday (article
Greg Cote: Marlins are just as wild-card worthy
Somebody is going to win the NL wild-card ticket, not necessarily by merit, but because it's required. It's sort of like somebody on the ballot is going to be elected. The résumé might be dubious and there might be hanging chads where a majority might have been -- but someone will be elected.

Marlins Ball: Marlins blog version of Nationals minor league blog: Nationals Farm Authority

FishStripes: most recent entry sample:
The team is only 4 games out but there are six teams ahead of us. In order to win the spot, the Fish have to stay hot, hot, hot, and hope that none of the teams that are already ahead us puts together a championship run.

The Marlins Ballpark News: Most recent entry was on July 29, 2006.

Marlins Today: Most recent entry is a video “I’ll be ready for Billy Wagner in the 9th.”

And the blog on my sidebar: Marlins Nation: Most recent entry is from July 31st and mentions that the Marlins are “making a bid for Soriano.”
Soriano would offer the Marlins a win/win gamble, and seems to be the type that has been a calling card of the Loria group. The Marlins would benefit offensively from landing Soriano, who most likely would man CF for the Marlins - albeit with a defensive risk built in. It wouldn't cost the Marlins any immediate pitching help - Pinto, Vargas and Petit have been unable to secure a spot mostly because the talent is overcrowding the parent club. And the scary thing is, there is more still to come.

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