Last night's game was a bit surreal. Four foul outs, including a rarely foul popout/double play when Ryan Spilborghs broke for the plate and was cut down by Orlando Hudson. One of the fastest men in the NL picked off second . . . on a throw down from Nick Hundley. A 1-6-4 force out at second. And so on.
Part of it was not so surreal, as the Padres dropped their ninth straight.
I was really looking forward to seeing Cory Luebke pitch again. The last game I attended that he started, he retired the first 11 hitters he saw. Last night's game was aptly summed up on Twitter by Geoff Young of Ducksnorts:
Great second inning surrounded by a whole lotta batting practice.
On to the thoughts.
- Lubeke must have thought he was in a shooting gallery. On three separate instances a hard shot went right through the box, started by Todd Helton on his line drive single in the first. Kevin Kouzmanoff and Dexter Fowler also buzzed the tower, as it were. I would think that unsettles a pitcher. After Helton's near miss Luebke retired the next 7 hitters he saw.
- It could have been eight, but Hudson had a sinking line drive off Troy Tulowitzki's bat glance off his glove and roll away. O-Dog then watched it roll into short RF. Tulo, hustling all the way, made it to second standing. Two thoughts here - (a) why did O-Dog buy a ticket after missing the play, and (b) what the heck was Jason Bartlett doing not covering second base?
- Luebke threw 37 pitches in the first inning. Not to be outdone, Rockies starter Alex White threw 28. The first inning took almost 40 minutes to play.
- Padres got the leadoff hitter on in the first, third, fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth innings. In the third, sixth, and seventh he didn't get to second. In the eighth he did thanks to a 2-out walk, but was still stranded.
- San Diego showed no interest in trying to move the runner up by bunting in the seventh or eighth innings. I don't count the half-hearted bunt attempt by Hudson that he fouled back over the screen. Stuck in an eight-game losing streak, I would have expected to find Bud Black willing to pull out all the stops in an attempt to break the streak.
- Of course, if Kouzmanoff does not make a tremendous play on Jason Bartlett's line shot in the seventh the game might have ended differently. Kouz dove to his left to snare the drive, then doubled Will Venable off first.
It's been said elsewhere but will be said again here. San Diego lost 10 straight last year from 26 August to 5 September. The current streak started 24 August. Let us hope long losing streaks in late August don't become the norm.
Padres send Mat Latos to the hill today against Padre Killer Aaron Cook.