Oh No, Padres down 2-0!
A whole lot of zeros for the San Diego Padres right now. They’re down 0-2 to St. Louis in the series and 0 and 8 lifetime in the playoffs against the Redbirds. They’re 0 for 10 with runners in scoring position in the two games.
The only positive zeros for San Diego have come from the bullpen which hasn’t had a lead to hold yet. The Padres relievers haven’t allowed a run in the divisional series. Cla Meredith, Clay Hensley and Scott Linebrink combined to toss four innings of scoreless relief Thursday. Too bad St. Louis’ pitching has been lights out. In Game 2, it was Jeff Weaver’s turn to throw five scoreless allowing just two hits. The Cards reliever finished the final four innings allowing just two hits. Tyler Johnson and Adam Wainwright came through with their second straight strong showing this postseason. Jason Isringwho?
All isn’t zeroes for the Padres. They’ve scored one run in 18 innings. Before the playoffs, the series most picked to go three was the Tigers-Yankees, I just saw the Tigers bandwagon roll by, it has some passengers.
David Wells might have pitched his final game the way this keeps up. Wells held the Cards to 2 runs on seven hits in five innings. But considering the Padres anemic offense so far, two runs is too much. I get the feeling the Padres offensive woes, regular season and playoffs, might have to be addressed in the offseason.
San Diego’s lineup today had Todd Walker third and Adrian Gonzalez fourth. Ugh! Why isn’t Giles batting third? Gonzalez went 1 for 3 after a 0 for 4 game 1 outing but that one didn’t mean much. Walker in the third spot did nothing for the Padres offense going 0 for 2 before being lifted for Josh Barfield, who smacked a seventh inning double. San Diego starters were 2 for 26. As in Game One, San Diego did a poor job protecting the plate with two strikes evident in their nine strikeouts including Roberts and Giles back-to-back strikeouts looking in the eighth.
Guess who did the damage for St. Louis? No surprise here. Albert Pujols broke the scoreless deadlock with a single to left and scored the team’s 2nd run. Pujols also got out of a potential rally-ending rundown by beating San Diego shortstop Geoff Blum to the bag at second. If you’re San Diego, the inability to execute a rundown is simply frustrating.
Mike Piazza made an appearance as a pinch-hitter in the seventh. His time was brief lining out to right on the first pitch. Not only did Piazza’s impatience end the threat, it forced manager Bruce Bochy to use his best offensive threat before the ninth inning. Not good!
As an A’s fan growing up, I know any Tony LaRussa managed team that has a 2-0 lead in the series is almost impossible to beat. In fact, I did a little research. In series when LaRussa’s teams have had a 2-0 series lead, those teams have gone on to win every series (10-0 to be exact).
For the Padres Saturday, no pressure on Chris Young now is there? Thankfully, it’s a road game for Young where he his best. San Diego will take any statistical bright side there is. Young’s road record during the regular season (6-0) pales in comparison to the following stat. Nineteen times in the playoffs, a road team has taken a 2-0 lead. Only once did that team fail to win the series-2001 Oakland A’s.
Keys for San Diego: Gee, I’m going to take a guess here! Get some men on base, drive in some runs, get some clutch hits and try not to strike out too much. Here’s another stretch-get a great outing from Chris Young. How about one more obvious one: no brain-lock plays.