<![CDATA[NBC 7 San Diego - San Diego Padres]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbcsandiego.com/feature/san-diego-padres http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/KNSD+RSS+Feed+logo+blue.png NBC 7 San Diego http://www.nbcsandiego.com en-us Sat, 20 Dec 2014 00:44:37 -0800 Sat, 20 Dec 2014 00:44:37 -0800 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Now Padres Recruting Has Gotten Ridiculous]]> Fri, 19 Dec 2014 20:50:09 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/160*130/456055540.jpg

Right now, I'm not sure if Padres General Manager A.J. Preller should be commended or committed. Perhaps both. What he has done, and continues to do, with the Padres roster is astonishing.

The Chargers are a day away from playing a football game in December that could mean the difference in making the playoffs or not, and they've become an afterthought. It's all Padres all the time, and Preller is not showing signs of slowing down.

On the day the Friars introduced Matt Kemp and finalized a trade for Wil Myers, the ever-busy Preller worked another deal with the Braves to bring 27-year-old, 2-time All-Star Justin Upton to San Diego. Atlanta gets a package of four minor league prospects in return (LHP Max Fried, IF Dustin Peterson, IF Jace Peterson, OF Mallex Smith). San Diego also gets minor league right-hander Aaron Northcrarft in the deal.

Upton is in the final year of a 5-year, $50 million contract. The Padres will give him $14.5 million for 2015. Even if it is just a one-year rental, it's likely going to be one heck of a year. Upton hit 29 home runs and drove in a career-high 102 runs with the Braves last season. Defensively, Upton has incredible physical gifts and a long list of highlight reel catches on his resume, but is prone to mistakes and occasionally doesn't play up to his athletic potential.

However, that should not be a problem for the Padres in 2015. Upton is in a contract year and returning to the National League West, a place he knows well. Upton spent six years in Arizona before a trade took him to Georgia ahead of the 2013 season.

Upton will likely play left field in the new-look Padres outfield, with Kemp in right. According to Padres manager Bud Black, Myers is tentatively the centerfielder, but with seven outfielders now on the roster and under contract for 2015, a few deals still need to be made.

In a separate deal on Friday, the Padres beefed up their infield, agreeing to a deal with the Red Sox for 3rd baseman Will Middlebrooks. Boston will get catcher Ryan Hanigan, who just came over from Tampa in the Myers deal, in return. Injuries have derailed Middle brooks' career a bit, but the power potential is there.

Over the first 169 games of his career (split between 2012 and 2013), Middlebrooks hit 32 home runs with 103 RBI. He only hit two home runs in 63 games last season, when he went to the disabled list twice with a calf strain and a broken finger. Middlebrooks projects as an average to slightly above-average defensive 3rd baseman.

So far, it appears Preller's plan to add offense has worked amazingly well. He's gotten the players he wants. Now we'll see how good he is at unloading the players he doesn't want (and likely nobody else does, either).



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Kemp Is Officially Coming To San Diego]]> Thu, 18 Dec 2014 21:16:06 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/177*120/456663944.jpg

Let me be the first to congratulate Padres General Manager A.J. Preller on winning the 2015 MLB Executive of the Year Award.

Preller was officially hired on August 8th. On December 18th, he endeared himself to Padres fans in a way no front office member has since Kevin Towers put together a World Series club in 1998 (we’ll leave it there and not mention the fallout).

Let’s take a quick look back at the week that was for Preller:

Thursday, 12/11/14: On the final day of the MLB Winter Meetings the Padres and Dodgers agreed to a trade that will bring All-Star outfielder Matt Kemp, catcher Tim Federowicz and $32 million to the Padres in exchange for catcher Yasmani Grandal, pitcher Joe Wieland and minor league pitcher Zach Eflin. The deal will immediately upgrade the Padres’ near-historically bad offense and inject enthusiasm in to a fan base desperate for star power. Eventually.

Tuesday, 12/16/14: During Kemp’s physical, San Diego doctors discover Kemp has arthritis in both hips. Preller uses this information to bring the Dodgers back to the negotiating table, presumably to re-work the details of the transaction or ask Los Angeles to insure Kemp’s contract. The information being made public upsets the L.A. front office (bonus points for Preller!).

Wednesday, 12/17/14: The Padres, Rays and Nationals work a 3-team, 11-player trade. San Diego receives outfielder Wil Myers (2013 AL Rookie of the Year), catcher Ryan Hanigan (statistically the best defensive catcher in baseball not named Yadier Molina), and minor league pitchers Gerardo Reyes and Jose Castillo. The Padres give up catcher Rene Rivera (2014’s breakout star), along with first baseman Jake Bauers, pitchers Burch Smith and Joe Ross, and shortstop Trea Turner (all currently in the minor leagues).  Myers is getting over an elbow injury that limited his production in 2014, but at the age of 24 is still expected to be an impact player. The deal is expected to be finalized on Friday, 12/19/14.

Thursday, 12/18/14: After wrangling for a few days, the Kemp trade finally becomes official. Preller also signs starting pitcher Josh Johnson to a one-year contract worth less than $2 million Performance incentives can push the contract to nearly $8 million, the amount Johnson got for 2014 despite having Tommy John surgery and never appearing in a game for the Padres. Johnson has resumed throwing activities. Even if he comes back as a relief pitcher, a guy with his pedigree at that price is a smart, low-risk, high-reward move. The Padres also finalize a trade with the Oakland A’s to bring All-Star catcher Derek Norris and minor-league pitcher Seth Streich to Petco Park in exchange for pitchers Jesse Hahn and R.J. Alvarez. Norris is an elite offensive catcher (10 HR, 55 RBI, .270 average in his first full season as a starter), but with Hanigan in the mix it’s possible he will move to first base for the Padres.

So, let’s recap. In an eight day span A.J. Preller oversaw the movement of 21 players, three All-Stars (all coming to San Diego), and an influx of $32 million. Oh, and there are more moves to come.

San Diego now has six outfielders and three catchers under contract for 2015. Assuming they go with manager Bud Black’s preferred strategy of carrying 12 pitchers that only leaves four roster spots. Since most MLB teams prefer to play with that many infielders, plus have at least one in reserve, we have not seen the end of Preller’s wheeling and dealing ways.

Oh, by the way, this is interesting. Thursday marked the 133rd day of Preller’s tenure as Padres G.M. That’s exactly 19 weeks.

How fitting is it for THAT to be the number that excites Padres fans again?



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Padres Trade for Myers]]> Wed, 17 Dec 2014 23:35:57 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/preller+1.jpg

On Wednesday the Padres pulled the trigger on a trade that, pending physicals, would nab them 23-year old outfielder Wil Myers from the Rays.

In the three-team deal the Padres acquire Myers, the 2013 AL Rookie of the Year, catcher Ryan Hanigan and a pair of prospects.

In return Tampa Bay gets catcher Rene Rivera, pitcher Burch Smith and minor-leaguer Jake Bauers.

The third team in the deal, Washington, will receive pitcher Joe Ross (Tyson's brother) and the Padres top pick in the 2014 draft, shortstop Trea Turner.



Photo Credit: Matthew Wood/NBC7]]>
<![CDATA[Tony Gwynn Remembered in San Diego]]> Tue, 17 Jun 2014 14:27:10 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Gwynn-Fans-4.jpg Legendary San Diego Padres baseball player Tony Gwynn was honored by fans after he died Monday morning.

Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[Padres Season in Images]]> Wed, 06 Aug 2014 10:30:09 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/padres+pics+85+8.jpg Relive all the great moments from the San Diego Padres' 2014 season in photos.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Padres Offense Gets An Upgrade]]> Thu, 11 Dec 2014 17:23:24 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/456280776.jpg

In 2014, the Padres had the worst offense in baseball, and it was not even close. San Diego ranked last in MLB in the following offensive categories:

-    Runs Scored
-    Runs Batted In
-    Hits
-    Batting Average
-    On-Base Percentage
-    Slugging Percentage
-    Doubles

There’s more, but that paints a pretty good picture. When the Padres hired A.J. Preller in August, he knew he had a major offensive rebuilding project on his hands. This is a nice way to start.

Sometime between Wednesday night and Thursday morning, the Padres and Dodgers agreed to the biggest trade of the 2014 MLB Winter Meetings. San Diego is sending catcher Yasmani Grandal, right-handed pitcher Joe Wieland, and minor league starting pitcher Zach Eflin to the Dodgers for All-Star outfielder Matt Kemp and catcher Tim Federowicz, plus about $31 million.

Kemp provides an immediate and MASSIVE improvement for the Padres offense. In 2014, Grandal led the Padres with 15 home runs and Jedd Gyorko led the team with 51 runs batted in. Kemp alone had 17 home runs and 54 runs batted in.

AFTER THE ALL-STAR BREAK.

The 2011 National League MVP (yes, I took it away from Ryan Braun in my head) battled hamstring, ankle and shoulder injuries the last few years, but his big second half coincided with a clean bill of health. Kemp turned 30 in September and has another five years on his contract, so Preller got an impact power hitter who’s still in his prime and under financial control for the near future, a combination the Padres have not had since Adrian Gonzalez arrived in 2006. The Friars are really only on the hook for about $75 million for Kemp over five years, still the largest financial commitment the franchise has ever made.

Now, if there’s a concern (other than the injury history), it’s that Kemp came from a situation where he had guys like Gonzalez, Dee Gordon, Hanley Ramirez and Yasiel Puig around him in the lineup. He won’t have that kind of help at Petco Park, so unless Preller is able to add another respected hitter, something he is still trying to do, it’s likely Kemp will lead the league in walks.

The Dodgers had a logjam in their outfield with Puig, Andre Ethier and Carl Crawford all getting paid big bucks, so Kemp became the odd man out. Los Angeles needed offensive help behind the plate, so they coveted Grandal, who became expendable when Rene Rivera emerged as the best catcher on the roster and one of the best defensive backstops in all of baseball. Federowicz will provide depth until top prospect Austin Hedges is ready for The Show, which should not take more than another year or two.

The Dodgers also fill a need in acquiring Wieland, who is a good fit as a long relief pitcher coming off Tommy John surgery. Los Angeles has had trouble getting from their front-line starting pitchers to closer Kenley Jansen.

The deal is not yet official because the players involved need to take physicals and the Commissioner’s office has to give final approval due to the large amount of money trading hands. But, when it is finalized, the Padres are a whole lot better than they were on Tuesday, and Preller has already ingratiated himself to Padres fans.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Padres to Acquire Matt Kemp: Report]]> Thu, 11 Dec 2014 07:39:16 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/matt-kemp-generic-dodgers-1.jpg

Seasoned veteran outfielder and hitter Matt Kemp is about to become a San Diego Padre, according to a published report.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that the 30-year-old Kemp would be traded to the Padres with back-up catcher Tim Federowicz, citing unnamed sources.

In exchange the Dodgers would take 26-year-old Padres catcher Yasmani Grandal and two pitching prospects, according to the newspaper.

The Dodgers would also pay $30 million of the $107 million remaining on Kemp's contract, the newspaper reported.

The Padres will get a big boost to their offense which ranked dead last in the National League according to NBC Sports.

The deal is expected to be finalized Thursday before the conclusion of baseball's Winter Meetings in San Diego.

A spokesperson for the San Diego Padres could not confirm the report to NBC 7.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Padres Loosen Their Purse Strings]]> Mon, 08 Dec 2014 18:13:40 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/160*120/AJ+Preller+2.jpg

For decades, the Padres have done things on a shoestring budget. Instead of being in the hunt for a guy like Albert Pujols, they would go all in on Alberto Gonzalez.

Now, all of a sudden, that seems to be changing.

Major League Baseball's Winter Meetings got going in earnest in Downtown San Diego on Monday. It would appear Padres General Manager A.J. Preller has his fingers in an awful lot of pies. After offering monster contracts to, but losing out on, Pablo Sandoval and Yasmany Tomas, Preller has been talking to teams about acquiring some big-name players and their big-dollar deals.

Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp and Reds outfielder Jay Bruce are on the radar. They both have 10-figure annual salaries. Finally, the Friars are (at least on the surface) serious about contending in the current MLB economy.

"We don't really want to tie ourselves down and say we just have to focus on this one category of player," Preller told me on Monday at the Manchester Grand Hyatt. "I think you get the best ideas when you have the most information and a chance to look at everybody, then filter that down to maybe the two, three, four players that night work for us."

The problem has been, those players are out of the Padres' price range. This year, though (again, on the surface), San Diego is not shying away from parting with piles of cash.

"We hired A.J. with the intent to unleash him and unleash the team that he's put together underneath him," Padres President & C.E.O. Mike Dee told me. "He's going to work hard, and he has our full support."

For once, it appears that support is going to be of the financial variety. You can hear more of what Dee had to say about Preller by checking out my Facebook page here.

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<![CDATA[Padres Non-Tender Cabrera]]> Wed, 03 Dec 2014 09:08:05 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/padres+celebrate+625+1.jpg

In 2013 he was an All-Star. In 2015 he will be a free agent. That is the fate that awaits former Padres shortstop Everth Cabrera. In an expected move the club non-tendered the 28-year old on Tuesday. He is now free to sign with any team.

Cabrera played six seasons with the Padres, but appeared in just 90 games for the team in 2014, batting .232, while earning $2.45 million as a first-year arbitration eligible player. While on the disabled list with a bad hamstring, Cabrera was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of marijuana.

Cabrera also served a 50-game suspension two years ago for violating the league's PED policy.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Padres Earn Rights To Korean Pitcher]]> Thu, 13 Nov 2014 17:08:49 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/186*120/456251690.jpg

New Padres General Manager A.J. Preller is known for his ability to sign international talent. It didn't take him long to start bringing more diversity to Petco Park.

Or, at least, try to.  For $2 million, the Padres have won the bidding for South Korean pitcher Kwang-Hyun Kim, giving them 30 days of exclusive negotiating rights with the 26-year-old lefty.

Kim has a low-90's fastball and a good, hard slider but does tend to walk a lot of hitters and has an injury history.

If the Padres can work out a deal with Kim, he'll become the second player from the Korean Baseball Organization to come to the United States through the posting system. The first was Dodgers lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Extreme Makeover: Petco Park Edition]]> Thu, 06 Nov 2014 19:38:52 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/petco+park+makeover.jpg

In the middle of the 2014 season, the Padres moved one of their left field scoreboards and caught some flack from fans. Turns out, they had a reason for the change.

On Thursday the Padres announced a massive change to the left field area at Petco Park, and when I say massive, I'm speaking literally.

A new high-definition video display system is replacing the video board that's been there since the stadium opened in 2004.

It's 61.2-feet tall by 123.6-feet wide, covering 7,564.32 square feet, the third-largest in Major League Baseball (behind Seattle's Safeco Field and Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City). That's nearly five times the size of the current video screen (30-feet tall by 53-feet wide; 1,590 square feet). The entire board can be run full-screen to show live action or video replays, or it can be split into sections for statistical information, graphics and animations.

But that's not all! New LED ribbon boards spanning nearly 750 feet along the first and third base lines, as well as on the left field grandstand fascia, are going in.

Of course, a bigger board and more electronic screens take up more space, so seating will have to change a bit. Two new rows of seats (171 total) will be added to the front of the Left Field Lower Box spanning sections 126, 128, 130, 132 and 134, while 110 fixed seats will be removed from from the back rows of these sections. That back area will be replaced by a number of bar stool seats to create another fan gathering area.

The Left Field Upper Box overhang will also be scaled back and raised four feet. That means 192 existing seats will become 111 barstool seats.

Also, 610 seats from the top of the Left Field Reserved sections will be replaced by what the team calls a, "new social group space" that can hold 270 people.

All the changes will reduce Petco Park's overall seating capacity, but season ticket holders will have the option to choose new seats in at the same renewal price.

Oh, and there's one more change of note. The new seating arrangement is forcing the padded wall that runs from left field through left-center field to be brought in about three feet. It will also be lowered from eight feet to seven feet in height.

We'll have to wait and see how the alterations look aesthetically, but at this point, anything that might help the Padres score runs is a reason to be excited.

Demolition begins next week. All the changes are scheduled to be completed in time for the home opener on April 9 against the World Champion San Francisco Giants.

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<![CDATA[Padres Fire Hitting Coach Phil Plantier]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 10:41:49 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/phil+plantier.jpg

An anemic Padres offense has cost hitting coach Phil Plantier his job.

The team is expected to announce his firing later today after Plantier guided an offense that finished last in runs per game (3.3), batting average (.226), hits (1,199) and a slew of other offensive categories.

The rest of Padres manager Bud Black’s staff is expected to return, including assistant hitting coach Alonzo Powell. There’s no word who will take over as hitting coach.

Plantier just finished his third season with the team. He was under contract through next year, according to MLB.com, which broke the story.

The Padres were shut out 19 times this season. Their .171 batting average in June was the lowest single month by a team in decades.
 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Bud's Back]]> Mon, 29 Sep 2014 20:36:18 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/preller+1.jpg

As expected there will be no change at manager for the Padres in 2015. In a dugout press conference on Monday General Manager made official what most close to the Padres already knew, Bud Black is keeping his job.

"I think at the end of the day we have a common sense of what we need to do to the ball club. I think there is a mutual respect there," Preller said.

In eight seasons as skipper of the Padres Black has two winning seasons ('07 & '10). He is under contract through 2015.



Photo Credit: Matthew Wood/NBC7]]>
<![CDATA[Padres End Season With Loss]]> Sun, 28 Sep 2014 23:13:10 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/178*120/456113122_8.jpg

In a season where the pitching has been their strong suit, it let the Padres down in their final game of 2014. Starter Robbie Erlin (4-5) didn't make it out of the second inning in the Friars 9-3 loss to the Giants at AT&T Park.

Reliever Nick Vincent got knocked around in a four-run seventh inning that put the game away for the Giants.

The Padres ended the season at 77-85, a two-game improvement over the past two years.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Peavy, Giants Top Padres]]> Sat, 27 Sep 2014 19:06:58 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/178*120/456210204.jpg

For seven and a half years, Jake Peavy was among the most popular of Padres players. In 2009, he was traded to the White Sox, and stayed in the American League with Chicago and Boston until this year, when a mid-season trade to San Francisco sent him back to the N.L. West.

During all that time away, Peavy never had a chance to face the team for which he won the 2007 Cy Young Award. That changed on Saturday at AT&T Park, when the Giants met the Padres in the final game of the season.

Alas, there was none of the nostalgia you'd expect. It's only been five years, but the only guys still with the franchise from Jake's time are outfielder Will Venable, pitcher Tim Stauffer, manager Bud Black and pitching coach Darren Balsley.

So, it was really just another day at the office for Peavy, who threw 5.0 innings, allowing one run and taking a no-decision in a game the Giants eventually won 3-1. The only run Jake allowed came on a sacrifice fly by Yasmani Grandal that brought home (quite fittingly) Venable.

Padres starter Eric Stults was, as he's been for the last couple of months, fantastic. The lefty allowed one run in 7.0 innings, but since he once again received little run support (Stults was backed up by the 4th-fewest runs of any starter in the league) he took a no-decision.

With the game tied 1-1 in the 8th inning, Dale Thayer loaded the bases on a single, a fielder's choice, an error and two walks. After striking out Pablo Sandoval for the second out, Thayer gave up a bloop single to Brandon Crawford and the winning runs scored.

The Padres and Giants play the final game of the regular season (which will not be the final game of San Francisco's year) on Sunday in San Francisco. San Diego sends LHP Robbie Erlin to the mound against Chris Heston, who will make his first career Major League start.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Padres Reach 77 Wins]]> Fri, 26 Sep 2014 23:03:26 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/178*120/456166226.jpg

In 2011 and 2012, the Padres finished with 76 wins. Actually, the Padres had finished with 76 wins in four of the previous 14 seasons.

So, when they beat the Giants 4-1 behind a gem by Ian Kennedy on Friday night in San Francisco, there was a bit of a reason to celebrate.

The Friars earned their 77th win of 2014, meaning they will not be an even 10 games under .500 for the third straight year.

Seth Smith and Rene Rivera had big hits in a 3-run 7th inning that gave Kennedy all the cushion he needed. Ian threw 7.0 innings, striking out six while only allowing one unearned run.

Ian also went over the 200 innings pitched mark, the third time he's done that in his career. Kennedy is the first Padres right-handed pitcher to throw 200 innings since Jake Peavy in 2007.

The Padres can get ambitious and go for their 78th win on Saturday afternoon at AT&T Park.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Road Weary]]> Thu, 25 Sep 2014 23:10:41 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/178*120/456115160.jpg

Thursday was National Comic Book Day. So, in honor of the occasion, the Padres and Giants turned AT&T Park in San Francisco in to "Bizarro World."

The Padres offense scored a lot of runs. The Padres pitching staff gave up a lot of runs. Everything was backwards, and the Giants came out with a 9-8 win and a Wild Card spot (which they had already locked up because of the Brewers losing in the afternoon, but celebrating after a win is still more fun).

Andrew Cashner allowed six runs in 5.0 innings, putting San Francisco up 6-0. That's usually far too much for the Padres to overcome, but lo and behold, they pulled it off.

In the 6th inning, Will Venable and Yasmani Grandal hit home runs.

In the 7th inning, Grandal hit a grand slam and Rene Rivera smashed a solo homer, giving San Diego's hitters eight runs in a mere two innings. There have been times this season the Friars haven't scored eight runs in an entire series.

However, the normally reliable bullpen could not hold the lead. Blaine Boyer surrendered three runs in the 7th, giving the Giants the last runs they needed. It's the first time this season the Padres have scored at least seven runs and not won a game.

A night after beating the Rockies at home to finish with a 48-33 record at Petco Park (a new high mark for their 10-year-old home) the Padres were done in by their inability to win away from the East Village.

Only five teams in baseball have a better home record than the Padres. All five of them are going to the playoffs, while the Friars will finish under .500.

So, it appears they've solved the mystery of how to win at Petco. Now they have 29 other ballparks to figure out.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Wieland Wins]]> Wed, 24 Sep 2014 22:33:40 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/padres+celebrate+77+1.jpg

It has been a long road back to the majors for Padres starter Joe Wieland. In just his second start since reconstructive surgery on his pitching elbow in 2012 Wieland collected his first big-league victory as the Padres outlasted the visiting Rockies 4-3 in their last home game of 2014.

Wieland (1-0) pitched into the sixth inning, allowing three runs with one strikeout. Tommy Medica provided most of the offense. His three-run homer in the bottom of the first put the Padres up for good.

The Friars finish the season with a four-game series in San Francisco beginning Thursday.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Winning Streak Over]]> Tue, 23 Sep 2014 22:58:03 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/erlin.jpg

All good things must come to an end and the Padres winning streak did just that after a 3-2 loss to the Rockies. The Friars had their chances, but a stout Colorado defense was the difference. 

Trailing by a run after a Drew Stubbs homer in the top of the eighth off of reliever Dale Thayer (4-4), the Rockies flashed some leather to secure the win. Brandon Barnes robbed Rene Rivera of a potential homer with a catch in left to start the eighth. Later, D.J. LeMahieu made a nice play at second base on a ball hit by Alexi Amarista to end the inning.

Padres starter Robbie Erlin lasted just four innings, but got a no decision. With the loss the Padres (75-82) are assured of another losing season. They wrap-up their home schedule of 2014 Wednesday night.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Padres Win Fifth Straight]]> Mon, 22 Sep 2014 23:24:54 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/padres+pic.jpg

Eric Stults took the mound Monday night at Petco Park with a 7-17 record. Numbers can be misleading because the veteran lefty has not pitched terrible this year, he's just been a little unlucky. Sure, there have been some game when Stults has not been sharp but sometimes when he's thrown well Stults has gotten very little run support.

On Monday he took matters into his own hands. Stults threw six-plus innings without giving up a run. He gave up a seven hits, got out of a few jams and was rewarded with his eight victory of the year after the Padres hung on for a 1-0 win over the Rockies.

The only run of the game came in the bottom of the first when Rene Rivera hit a two-out double to score Jedd Gyorko. After Stults left in the seventh, four pitchers combined to keep the Rockies off the scoreboard for the Padres fifth straight win.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Padres Complete Sweep]]> Sun, 21 Sep 2014 23:21:14 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/183*120/455888228.jpg

When the Giants arrived at Petco Park on Friday for their three-game series against the Padres they were 2 1/2 games behind the first place Dodgers in the NL West. On Sunday afternoon after getting swept by the Padres they left San Diego 4 1/2 games out.

Padres starter Ian Kennedy (12-13) got the win and reached the 200-strikeout milestone for the season. He's just the fourth Padre pitcher in history to do so.

The Padres put the game away with a four-run sixth inning and a three-run seventh and won 8-2.

Colorado comes to town for a three-game series starting Monday that will finish off the 2014 home schedule for the Friars.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Cashing In]]> Sat, 20 Sep 2014 21:48:46 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/mets+preview+cashner.jpg

Padres starter Andrew Cashner did it with his arm and bat Saturday night in the Padres 3-2 victory over the Giants at Petco Park.

Cashner (5-7) pitched into the ninth inning and left allowing just two runs on four hits. He also was 2-for-2 at the plate with a triple (the first by a major league pitcher this season) and a swinging bunt.

It was the second straight excellent start for the big righty. Cashner was within three outs of his second straight two-hit shutout.

The Padres scored one run in the third and another two in the sixth. The Giants made it interesting, scoring twice in the ninth before Kevin Quackenbush secured the save.

The Padres go for a series sweep of the second place Giants Sunday afternoon at Petco Park. The Giants are three-and-a-half games behind the Dodgers in the NL West.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Padres Win Another One At Home]]> Thu, 18 Sep 2014 23:12:20 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/166*120/455684350.jpg

The beginning of A Tale Of Two Cities is not exact, but the idea is a pretty good way to think about the Padres right now.

At Petco Park, they have been borderline unbeatable (the best of times). On the road, however, they couldn't even win an argument (the worst of times).

Behind home runs from Alexi Amarista and Will Venable, a balanced offensive attack that saw all eight starting position players get at least one hit, and a fantastic return to the mound by lefty Robbie Erlin (6.0 innings, five hits, one run), the Padres beat the Philadelphia Phillies 7-3 to win three of the four games in the series.

That means, since the All-Star Break, the Padres have gone 7-0-1 in series played at Petco Park. Here's the problem. In series played away from the East Village (and there have been 11 of them) the Padres are 2-8-1.

Now, I'm not sure what causes that kind of split personality, but if the Padres can figure out a way to convince themselves they're in San Diego when they're really in another city, they might end up winning 120 games next year.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Hamels Handles Padres]]> Wed, 17 Sep 2014 21:57:36 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/192*120/usa-cole-hamels-phillies-nationals.jpg

San Diego native Cole Hamels apparently likes pitching against the Padres. The Rancho Bernardo High alum has won his last six starts against the Friars and is 5-1 lifetime at Petco Park. On Wednesday night Hamels (9-7) threw seven innings and struck out nine as the Phillies beat the Padres 5-2.

The Padres got out to a 1-0 lead in the fourth on an RBI single by Cameron Maybin. That lead didn't last long. The Phillies responded in the top of the fifth with four runs on five hits. Padres starter Eric Stults (7-17) left in the fifth after all four runs scored.

The final game of the series is Thursday night at 6:10 p.m.



Photo Credit: CSNPhilly.com]]>
<![CDATA[Amarista Lifts Padres]]> Tue, 16 Sep 2014 22:48:18 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/padres+celebrate+77+7.jpg

The Padres scored two runs in the first inning, then added three more in the sixth and held on for a 5-4 win over the Phillies 5-4 on Tuesday night at Petco Park.

Alexi Amraista was a triple short of the cycle. He doubled in the second, singled in the fourth, then hit a go-ahead two run homer in the sixth inning. Amarista's chance to be the first Padre ever to hit for the cycle ended when he grounded out to shortstop in the bottom of the eighth.

Starting pitcher Ian Kennedy threw six innings to get his 11th win of the season.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Cashner Dominates Phils]]> Mon, 15 Sep 2014 22:53:21 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/mets+preview+cashner.jpg

Early on it was evident both starting pitchers brought their A-game to Petco Park on Monday night. As the strikeouts, ground outs and double plays mounted the game whizzed by at a breakneck pace. Two hours and eight minutes after the first pitch the contest was over. The Padres beat the Phillies 1-0 to open their final homestand of the season.

Cashner (4-7) struck out seven and allowed just two-hits in his second complete game shutout of the season. Phillies starter Jerome Williams (3-2) pitched into the eighth. His line was impressive as well. Williams struck out six, giving up just three hits, but in the end was the hard luck loser.

The Padres only run came in the second inning. Cashner was safe at first on an error by third baseman Cody Asche which allowed Rene Rivera to score.

Cashner's no-hit bid ended in the fifth. With a shift on, Dominic Brown laid a clean bunt single down the third base line.

Game two of the four-game series is Tuesday night at Petco Park.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Padres Lose in Arizona]]> Sun, 14 Sep 2014 23:15:44 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/padres+pics+77+2.jpg

A five run 5th inning by the Diamondbacks was the difference in their 8-6 win over the Padres at Chase Field on Sunday.

Odrisamer Despaigne (3-7) took the loss for the Padres. He gave up five runs before leaving in the sixth inning. Reliever Nick Vincent struggled in the eighth inning. He lasted just one-third of an inning, giving up three runs before his departure.

The Padres scored two runs in the top of the ninth, but got no closer.

The Friars return to San Diego for their final homestand. It begins with a game against the Rockies on Monday.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Padres Cash In Against Dodgers]]> Tue, 09 Sep 2014 22:50:40 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/mets+preview+cashner.jpg

He did it on the mound. He did it with the bat. Padres starter Andrew Cashner (3-7) gave up two runs over seven innings to get his first win since April 16th. Cashner also drove in a pair of runs in the Padres 6-3 win Tuesday night over the Dodgers at Chavez Ravine.

The Padres got to Dodgers starter Roberto Hernandez (8-11) early. Cashner's 2-RBI double in the second started the scoring. He came across on a Cory Spangenberg single to make it 3-0 Padres.

Jedd Gyorko drove in a pair in the third on his tenth home run for the year. Hernandez was pulled after the inning.

With the win the Padres broke a six-game losing streak. The rubber game of the series is Wednesday evening and the last match-up of the year between the two. Ian Kennedy takes the hill for the Padres against Dan Haren.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Kershaw, Dodgers top Padres]]> Mon, 08 Sep 2014 22:55:34 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/clayton+kershaw+padres.jpg

The Padres scored three runs off of Clayton Kershaw but that wasn't enough. The Dodgers pushed nine across and beat the Friars 9-4 on Monday night at Chavez Ravine.

Kershaw struck out eight over eight innings and improved his record to a MLB-best 18-3. Only one of the three runs scored against him was earned. Odrisamer Despaigne took the loss for the Padres. He's now 3-6 on the year.

The Padres have now lost six in a row. The Dodgers have won four straight and at 20-games over .500 lead the NL West by three and a half games over the Giants.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[2015 Padres Schedule Released]]> Mon, 08 Sep 2014 16:46:42 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/182*120/454359850.jpg

The 2014 Padres season is a lost cause, but it's never too early to start looking ahead to 2015!

MLB teams released their schedules for next year on Monday. The Padres open things up in Los Angeles against the Dodgers on Monday, April 6.

The home opener is later that week, on Thursday, April 9 against the San Francisco Giants. The entire schedule can be seen below.

 

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Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Padres Edged Again In Colorado]]> Sat, 06 Sep 2014 23:06:06 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/454827484.jpg

Saturday night in Coors Field, Padres RHP Joe Wieland made his first Big League start since May of 2012 after recovering from Tommy John surgery.

Coors Field is not the place you want to make a triumphant return.

Wieland only lasted 2.1 innings, giving up two home runs (one a monster 2-run shot by Justin Morneau) and four runs on seven hits in Colorado's 7-6 win. The Rockies built a 6-2 lead, but Wieland was not saddled with a loss because the Padres offense actually woke up.

After going scoreless in their first 13 innings in Colorado (and scoring seven runs in their previous six games combined), the Padres bats finally remembered to make contact with the ball. Tommy Medica hit a solo home run and Cory Spangenberg smacked a 2-run blast to the opposite field as part of the comeback.

Spangenberg also hit a pinch-hit dinger Tuesday night at Petco Park to beat the Diamondbacks. He now has two home runs in 13 at-bats, giving him one more long ball than CF Cameron Maybin has in 202 at-bats.

A Seth Smith RBI single tied the game 6-6 in the 8th, ushering in extra innings.

The game finally ended in the 12th when Drew Stubbs singled home D.J. LeMahieu with the winning run. The Rockies go for the series sweep Sunday afternoon.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Padres Punchless In Colorado]]> Fri, 05 Sep 2014 22:44:01 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/454737694.jpg

It doesn't matter if the Padres are playing in Coors Field, the greatest run scoring mecca on the planet. It probably would not matter if they were playing in a ballpark on the moon. If Eric Stults is starting for them, San Diego's offense is probably not going to score any runs.

The Friars fell to the Rockies 3-0 Friday night in Denver. Stults, despite allowing just three runs in 6.1 innings (a very good effort in that yard), took the loss because his hitters could not muster more than three hits off rookie lefty Tyler Matzek.

Matzek's 3-hit shutout was nothing short of masterful in the mile-high air. In fact, it's only the eighth time in the Rockies' 22-year history one of their starters has allowed 3 or fewer hits in a complete game effort.

Stults has now started 28 games this season. The Padres have scored zero or one run for him 15 times. To quote Austin Powers:

"Ouch, baby. Very ouch."



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Spangenberg Walkoff Wins it]]> Tue, 02 Sep 2014 22:20:32 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/160*240/padres+pics+85+9.jpg

It has been quite a debut for Padres rookie Cory Spangenberg. On Monday he made two fine defensive plays and drove in the go-ahead runs against the Diamondbacks. On Tuesday he delivered a walkoff win for the Padres.

With nobody on and one out Spangenberg came up to pinch hit in the bottom of the ninth. He liked the first pitch he saw from Arizona reliever Brad Ziegler and promptly deposited it in the right field bleachers for a 2-1 Padres win.

Lost in the excitement was the job Padres starter Odrisamer Despaigne did on the hill. Although he failed to get the decision Despaigne went seven innings, allowing just one run on four hits.

Game three of the series is Wednesday night at Petco Park.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Spangenberg Delivers in Debut]]> Mon, 01 Sep 2014 20:30:42 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Bud-Black-Padres-168567365.jpg

Cory Spangenberg did it with his glove and bat in the Padres 3-1 win over the visiting Diamondbacks. He made two fine defensive plays and drove in two runs in his first major league game.

Friars starter Tyson Ross delivered another fine performance on the mound. He went six innings, allowing just one run on six hits.

Up 1-0 in the fifth Spangenberg singled to left scoring a pair. That 3-0 lead was more than enough for Ross, who pitched his 14th quality start in a row.

Game two of the four game series is Tuesday night at Petco Park.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Hard Luck Loser]]> Sun, 31 Aug 2014 21:50:33 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/padres+pics+77+11.jpg

When starter Eric Stults (6-15) left the game Sunday afternoon at Petco the Padres trailed 2-1. It was another quality start , but the result was another loss...his 15th of the season. The Dodgers piled on four runs in the eighth and beat the Padres 7-1 to avoid the sweep.

Despite his poor record, Manager Bud Black was quick to praise his hard luck lefty, "Really he deserved a better fate, six innings, two runs, I'll take that every time." In the month of August Stults' ERA is a very respectable 2.43. He gave up two or less earned runs in four of his six August starts, yet only managed a 3-3 record.

Even with Sunday's loss the Padres have still managed to win their last six series at Petco Park and finished the month with a 16-11 record. The Friars start a four game series with the Diamondbacks Monday afternoon.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[It's Trevor's Time: Hoffman Joins Padres Hall of Fame]]> Sat, 30 Aug 2014 16:55:33 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/hoffmanp9.jpg

Retired San Diego Padres pitcher Trevor Hoffman closed a major milestone on Saturday: the ball player was inducted into the Padres Hall of Fame.

The iconic closer, No. 51, was inducted into the Padres Hall of Fame prior to the evening Padres game against the L.A. Dodgers at Petco Park.

One could say it was definitely Trevor's Time.

Fans will forever remember the excitement of Hoffman being summoned to the pitcher's mound to close a Padres game. His signature song, which always got fans on their feet, was AC/DC’s “Hells Bells” and his appearance on the diamond was referred to as "Trevor Time."

Hoffman, the Padres all-time saves leader, retired in January 2011, following a career that spanned 18 seasons, including 16 years with San Diego.

Over his 16 seasons with the Padres, Hoffman built a 54-64 record with 552 saves in 618 opportunities. His save percentage was .893. Hoffman also had a 2.76 ERA, .211 opponent batting average and 1,029 strikeouts in 902 relief appearances.

According to the team, Hoffman was elected unanimously into the Padres Hall of Fame by the San Diego Padres Hall of Fame committee.

He’s the ninth person inducted into the elite group, joining baseball icons Buzzie Bavasi, Nate Colbert, Jerry Coleman, Randy Jones, Ray Kroc, Dick Williams, Dave Winfield and, of course, the late and beloved “Mr. Padre,” Tony Gwynn.



Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Padres Walk Off With A Win]]> Fri, 29 Aug 2014 22:50:50 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/182*120/454359850.jpg

The Padres got 35 outs on Friday night at Petco Park. In those 35 outs, they did not have a single extra-base hit against the Dodgers.

Turns out, it was singles night in the East Village, and that was just fine.

Yasmani Grandal's 12th inning, bases loaded, 2 out single off former Padre Kevin Correia drove in Yangervis Solarte with the game-winning run.

When you play as many close games as the Padres do, you're going to win a lot of games in your last at-bat Since 2005, the Padres have 86 walk-off wins, the most in baseball over that time (one more than the Cincinnati Reds).

Padres starting pitcher Andrew Cashner, making his second start since coming off the disabled list, struck out eight Dodgers hitters and allowed one run in 6.0 innings.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Rivera's Walk-Off Beats Brewers ]]> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 05:30:12 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/despaigne+mets+preview.jpg

Trailing the Brewers 2-1 heading into the bottom of the 9th inning it didn't look good for the Padres. But their fortunes changed with one swing of the bat. Francisco Rodriguez threw a fastball over the plate and Rivera deposited it into the left field bleachers at Petco Park. The lead-off homer, Rivera's th of the season, tied the game.

An inning later it was Rivera again to the rescue. His two out single in the 10th won it for the Padres 3-2. Starter Odrisamer Despaigne pitched well for the Friars. He went seven innings, allowed just one earned run and struck out nine.

The Padres are off on Thursday. They host the Dodgers in a weekend series beginning Friday.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Ross Leads Padres Past Brewers]]> Tue, 26 Aug 2014 22:55:29 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/tyson+ross+reds+start.jpg

Padres ace Tyson Ross provided the pitching. Outfielder Abraham Almonte provided the offense. The result was a 4-1 Padres win Tuesday night at Petco Park to even the series with Milwaukee at a game apiece.

Ross (12-12) pitched into the seventh inning and allowed just one run and four hits. It was Ross' 13th quality start in a row, extending his Padres record. Almonte homered in the first, had a pair of RBI's and scored twice.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Brewers Blast Padres]]> Mon, 25 Aug 2014 21:50:31 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/160*195/173196464.jpg

So much for a happy homecoming. The Padres, just back from a 10-game road trip, fell to the Brewers 10-1.

Starter Eric Stults (6-14) lasted five innings. He was charged with four runs and nine hits in his first August loss. The Brewers collected 16 hits and had a runner reach base in every inning except the sixth.

With the loss the Padres dropped 10-games below .500.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[This One's for You, Bud]]> Sun, 24 Aug 2014 22:15:32 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/160*240/padres+pics+85+9.jpg

Yasmani Grandal and Will Venable provided the power and Ian Kennedy pitched well enough to get his win against his former team. The Padres 7-4 victory in Arizona was manager Bud Black's 600th career win. He's the second Padre skipper to surpass the 600 mark. He's still 351 behind Bruce Bochy, who managed the Friars from 1995-2006.

Kennedy (10-11) pitched into the sixth inning, allowing three runs on eight hits with six strikeouts. Grandal's blast in the fifth gave the Padres a three run lead. His homer measured 419 feet. Grandal's 4-RBI's were a career high. Venable's eight inning home run cleared the pool past the center field fence.

The Padres ended the ten game road trip with a 3-7 record. They host Milwaukee at Petco Park on Monday.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Padres Burned In The Desert]]> Fri, 22 Aug 2014 22:02:13 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/175*120/453988684.jpg

The Padres opened a 3-game series in Arizona against a Diamondbacks team that had lost six straight games and is transitioning to give young prospects a chance to play because it's so far out of playoff contention.

So, advantage San Diego right?

Not exactly. The Padres could play the Bad News Bears and, if the game was held at Chase Field, probably lose.

Since the stadium opened in 1998, the Padres are 50-93 at the Downtown Phoenix facility. That includes Friday night's 5-1 loss to that D-Backs team that was on a 6-game losing skid.

Starting pitcher Odrisamer Despaigne gave up four runs in the first two innings, continuing a trend of early struggles, to take the loss. Arizona starter Josh Collmenter struck out eight in 8.1 innings for his 9th win of the year.

On Saturday, Andrew Cashner comes off the disabled list to get the start for the Padres.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Ross Outdueled by Kershaw as Dodgers Take Series]]> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 21:45:44 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/padres+dodgers+ross+kershaw.jpg

For seven innings, Tyson Ross matched Dodgers ace an Cy Young candidate Clayton Kershaw pitch for pitch on Thursday night.

He allowed just two hits, striking out six while shutting out the Los Angeles lineup.

That all disappeared with just two swings of the bat. A Carl Crawford leadoff single in the eighth was followed by a Justin Turner homer to left field and suddenly the host Dodgers had a 2-1 lead they would not relinquish.

Ross finished with eight Ks against just two walks, but it wasn’t enough to top Kershaw’s eight innings of three-hit ball, punctuated by 10 strikeouts of his own. Kershaw didn’t allow a hit until the sixth inning – coincidentally off the bat of Ross.

The lone Padres run came on a Rene Rivera single in the seventh that scored Abraham Almonte.

The loss is a bitter pill as the Padres drop the series despite pounding out 25 hits in the previous two games. It drops them 11 ½ games behind the first-place Dodgers and eight games out of the wild card race.

They head to Arizona for a three-game series with the Diamondbacks this weekend.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Stults Stifles Dodgers]]> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 22:50:31 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/padres+pics+618+6.jpg

Padres starter Eric Stults is pitching well of late. He got the win Wednesday night at Chavez Ravine and is 3-0 in the month of August. Stults (6-13) scattered four hits over five innings and gave up just one run in the Padres 4-1 victory.

The Padres got all the offense they would need in the second inning. They parlayed three hits into three runs. Alexi Amarista and Stults both had RBI singles.

Kevin Quackenbush pitched the ninth to get his first major league save.

The series winds up Thursday with Tyson Ross taking the hill for the Padres. He'll face Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Padres Fall to Dodgers 8-6]]> Tue, 19 Aug 2014 22:50:31 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/tlmd_yasiel_puig_responde_polemica_cuba_mexico_los_zetas_dodgers_los_angeles.jpg

Padres starter Ian Kennedy wasn't sharp. He gave up six runs on seven hits and only lasted five innings. Kennedy (9-11) threw 97-pitches in the Padres 8-6 loss.

The Padres defense was not crisp either. Seth Smith and Abraham Almonte could not flag down catchable balls in the outfield. First baseman Jake Goebbert and third baseman Yangervis Solarte each had a throwing error.

Jedd Gyorko got the Friars off to a quick start. His first inning homer staked the Padres to a 3-0 lead. That lead was gone by the fourth inning when the Dodgers took the lead for good, scoring three runs on a couple of hits and a critical Goebbert error.

Game two of the series is set for Wednesday evening at Chavez Ravine.

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<![CDATA[Cardinals Beat Padres Again]]> Fri, 15 Aug 2014 21:45:38 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/yasmani+grandal+cubs+preview.jpg

Padres starter Tyson Ross got in trouble early. After giving up a pair of first inning runs the Padres ace settled in, but the damage was done. Ross (11-11) went six innings, allowing three runs on five hits.

Lance Lynn (13-8) pitched well for the Cardinals. Like Ross, he went six innings to collect his 13th win of the season.

Yasmani Grandal hit a home run in the ninth inning, his tenth of the season.

The Padres lost 4-2. After winning five straight the Friars have dropped their last two.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Padres Roll Rockies Again]]> Tue, 12 Aug 2014 23:05:34 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/padres+pics+77+2.jpg

The Padres got a little bit of everything in their 4-1 victory over the Rockies Tuesday night at Petco Park. Starting pitcher Odrisamer Despaigne (3-3) threw seven shutout innings and struck out a career high eight in notching his third win of the season.

Up 2-0 in the eighth the Padres got a pair of defensive gems from their corner infielders on consecutive at-bats. Third baseman Chris Nelson went into the stands to catch a foul pop-up off the bat of Charlie Blackmon. First baseman Tommy Medica did the same to retire Josh Rutledge.

Nelson drove in two with an RBI single in the bottom of the eighth. The Rockies lone run came on a Corey Dickerson home run in the top of the ninth off of reliever Dale Thayer.

The Padres have now won four in a row. They're 8-1 in the month of August and are a National League best 15-8 since the All-Star break.

The Padres go for the series sweep Wednesday afternoon.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Padres Stay Hot At Home]]> Mon, 11 Aug 2014 23:05:13 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/173*120/453503864.jpg

Since the All-Star break, the Padres have gone 14-8. That's the best record in the National League.

Now, if they could just figure out how to do that in April, we'll really be rolling!

Monday night at Petco Park, the Padres beat the Rockies 4-3 on some timely hitting (something they haven't gotten a whole lot of in 2014) and amazing bullpen work (something they've gotten since about 2004).

Yangervis Solarte hit a 2-run home run in the 8th inning to put the Friars up 4-3. It was Solarte's third homer as a Padre, and easily the biggest. Yonder Alonso also went deep, a solo shot that gave San Diego a 1-0 lead in the 4th inning.

But it was that dominant bullpen that held things together. Rookie starting pitcher Jesse Hahn have up three runs in 5-plus innings, all of them on one swing of the bat by Corey Dickerson, who hit a 3-run home run in the 6th to put Colorado up 3-1 and knocked Hahn out.

But that was the worst thing that could have happened to the Rockies. Nick Vincent threw the next 2.0 innings, striking out three.

Kevin Quackenbush whiffed the side in the 8th, and Joaquin Benoit did the same in the 9th to preserve the win. Vincent, Quackenbush and Benoit combined to punch out nine of the 12 batters they faced, including the final seven in a row.

Just another day at the office for the best bullpen in baseball, which now resides with the hottest team on the Senior Circuit.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Padres, Rockies Headed in Opposite Directions]]> Mon, 11 Aug 2014 08:25:35 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/rockies+preview+810.jpg

If there was ever a time to play the Colorado Rockies, this is it.

The Padres' opponent this week at Petco Park has the worst record in baseball, is missing superstars Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez and will start two rookies in the series.

They have also lost eight of 10 and are the worst road team in the league (18-41).

Meanwhile, the Friars stay hot with wins in six of their last eight games. They have lost just one series since the All-Star break and have the fourth-most runs in the National League during that time. Of course, they still have the worst overall batting average in the league and are last in baseball in runs scored by a wide margin on the season.

But we’re not here to talk about the past. It’s time to look to the future, a glimpse of which arrives this week as outfield prospect Rhymer Liriano is expected to join the team.

The 23-year-old hit .292 with 14 homers and 20 stolen bases in the minors this year, spending time with both Double-A San Antonio and Triple-A El Paso. He’s considered the No. 6 prospect in the Padres system.

An otherwise dreary season is starting to look up. This is a good reminder that things could be worse for the Padres: They could be the Rockies.

Here’s how the series stacks up.

Matchups:
Monday, 7:10 p.m.:
Jesse Hahn (R, 7-3, 2.28) vs. Jordan Lyles (6-1, 3.72)
Tuesday’s loss to the Twins (5 2/3 IP, 3 ER) snapped Hahn’s streak of three straight starts allowing just one run. Lyles made his first start in two months last week after breaking his hand, beating the Cubs.

Tuesday, 7:10 p.m.: Odrisamer Despaigne (R, 2-3, 3.10) vs. Yohan Flande (L, 0-4, 5.77)
Despaigne has seen his ERA rise more than 2 points (0.92 to 3.10) in his three-game losing streak. The rookie Flande is still looking for his first big-league win in six starts.

Wednesday, 3:40 p.m.: Ian Kennedy (R, 8-10, 3.51) vs. Matzek (R, 2-7, 5.32)
In his start against the Rockies last month, Kennedy allowed just one run and struck out nine in the win. He has two straights starts allowing just one run. Matzek, another rookies, has just one win in his last 10 starts.

Who to watch:
Padres:
Hot-hitting Tommy Medica should be back in the lineup after getting hit in the head on Saturday. He is hitting .396 since the All-Star break. Outfielder Seth Smith was the hero on Sunday, putting the Pirates away with a three-run triple in the fifth inning. He has six RBIs in his last three games. First baseman Yonder Alonso is 10 for his last 20 with three doubles. Shortstop Everth Cabrera may miss some time with a hamstring injury.

Rockies: With Tulo and CarGo out, it’s hard to find a recognizable name in this lineup. Outfielder Corey Dickerson has impressed with 14 homers, 46 RBIs and a .319 average. He also has a five-game hitting streak. Third baseman Nolan Arenado has five long balls and 16 RBIs since the All-Star break.

Coming up: This is your last chance to see the Friars at home for a while, as they embark on a 10-game road trip starting Thursday. It includes trips to St. Louis, Los Angeles and Arizona.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Padres Use The Pirates Plan Against Them]]> Sat, 09 Aug 2014 22:38:42 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/169*120/453407778.jpg

On Friday night in Pittsburgh the Padres scored one run in the first inning, the Pirates scored two runs in the first inning, and that was it for the night's scoring.

So, the Friars thought they'd try that course of action for themselves on Saturday night. The Padres scored twice in the first, the Bucs got one in the first, and that was it for the night's scoring.

Second baseman Jedd Gyorko lined a bases loaded single to center to score Everth Cabrera and Yasmani Grandal hit a sacrifice fly to account for San Diego's other run.

Eric Stults made it stand up with his second straight fantastic start. After giving up a run on a Russell Martin single, Stults buckled down and threw 6.1 innings, striking out six and earning his fifth win of the season.

He had help from that tremendous Padres bullpen, too.

Alex Torres, Nick Vincent, Kevin Quackenbush and Joaquin Benoit followed Stults to keep the 1-run margin intact. Benita got his 5th save of the season, but Quackenbush showed some guts in the 8th inning.

Jody Mercer and Martin (who had two hits) led off the inning with hits, putting runners at second and third with nobody out. Quackenbush got the next three hitters, Ike Davis, Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco, with no damage being done.

The Padres can win the series from the Pirates, who entered the weekend with the best home record in the National League, on Sunday behind All-Star Tyson Ross.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>