Complete coverage of the 2014 season

Better This Time, But Padres Still Lose

Burch Smith Impresses Again

By Derek Togerson
|  Saturday, May 18, 2013  |  Updated 9:12 AM PDT
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4 Year-Old Catches Fly Ball

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SAN DIEGO, CA - MAY 17: Burch Smith #26 of the San Diego Padres pitches during the first inning of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals at Petco Park on May 17, 2013 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)

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4 Year-Old Catches Fly Ball

4-year-old Bodie describes how he caught Kelly Johnson's hit in the 3rd inning of the Padres, Tampa Bay game Sunday.
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The one area I can thing of where location is more important that real estate is pitching.

Jamie Moyer threw in the Big Leagues until he was 49 years old, despite having a fastball that would have a hard time breaking through a stretched out Bounty paper towel roll, because he could put the ball where he wanted to.

Padres starter Burch Smith has a fastball in the high-90's. When the 23-year-old learns to put it where he wants to consistently, he's going to be something special.

Smith rebounded from his dismal MLB debut in Tampa (1 IP, 6 ER) to throw 5.1 innings against the Nationals at PETCO Park on Friday night. Smith struck out 8 Nationals with occasionally stellar command.

However, he also allowed three home runs, two to Adam LaRoche (who has now hit 10 homers at PETCO Park, the most by any visiting player), on fastballs he left too far out over the plate.

Smith will likely be sent back down to the minor leagues when Carlos Quentin returns from paternity leave, but he showed he has the kind of stuff to be successful in the Show.

The Padres were able to get Burch another no-decision with a 9th inning rally. An error and three straight singles off Washington closer Rafael Soriano (by Chase Headley, Yonder Alonso and Kyle Blanks) turned a 5-3 Nationals lead in to a 5-5 tie.

Alas, Soriano was not the only closer to have a rough night. Huston Street got the first two outs of the 10th inning, then gave up a solo home run to Chad Tracy.

It's the 6th homer Street has allowed already this year, tying his career high for any full season that he didn't spend at Coors Field.

Washington won 6-5, taking the first two games of the series. On Saturday Eric Stults goes up against Dan Haren.

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