So this is what a slump feels like …

The headline is a little misleading because, well, I know exactly what a slump feels line. I’m not so far removed from the 2008 season that I’ve forgotten what it’s like to watch these Padres lose more than they win.

As a journalist, of course, we have to be objective. Really, it matters little to me if the team wins or loses. My job is to tell the story of how/why it happened. I will say, though, that I much rather watch good baseball than bad baseball.

I don’t think any of us (myself included and the fans) ever had any grand illusions (delusions?) that this team was ever going to keep up that early-season pace where they went 9-3 and everything went their way …. strong bullpen work, timely hitting, scoring in bunches.

I was asked yesterday on 1360 AM about what’s a bigger disappointment: The failures of the bullpen recently or the lack of timely and situational hitting. As bad as the bullpen has been in this fitful stretch, you’re dealing with guys like rookies Edwin Moreno, Luke Gregerson, Luis Perdomo who have never pitched at this level before and others like Edward Mujica who don’t have vast Major League resumes.

And while a handful of these guys pitched well early, you have to be able to show you can do the job over the long haul. These guys aren’t there yet. I imagine is a daunting proposition for these rookies, pitching for their jobs, trying to get acclimated to facing Major League hitters. I don’t imagine that’s easy.

I think the hitting, or lack thereof, is the bigger disappointment. As I sit here Tuesday, these Padres have a lineup that has Brian Giles hitting .153, Kevin Kouzmanoff hitting .227,  Jody Gerut hitting .230. Nick Hundley (.238) and Luis Rodriguez (.237) are also struggling, but in the case of Giles/Kouzmanoff/Gerut, there’s a history there that shows these guys have/can do better.

The lack of production with runners in scoring position has been obvious. It certainly was in a four-game sweep (the wrong end of a sweep, I might add) against the Dodgers last weekend. The team simply can’t win if they’re 4-for-29 with runners in scoring position, no matter how good the pitching is (and it was, with Jake Peavy and Chris Young).

What can we expect moving forward? For starters, more lineup juggling, trying to find the right combination. Don’t expect to see Giles sit for any prolonged periods of time. It’s just not going to happen. It’s a track record thing and, of course, a contract thing (he’s owed $9 million this season).

I would expect to see reliever Greg Burke up from Triple-A Portland at some point, possibly sooner than later, to help a bullpen that needs it. Gabe DeHoyos is another interesting name but he’s walked seven in nine innings and the last thing the Padres need is another reliever who has a tendency of putting runners on base.

In short, the best fixes, the most immediate fixes, are in the clubhouse already.

Cheers, Corey

8 Comments

“Don’t expect to see Giles sit for any prolonged periods of time. It’s just not going to happen. It’s a track record thing and, of course, a contract thing (he’s owed $9 million this season).”

So if Giles was only making $2 million – $3 million and hitting .155 he’d be riding pine? If he’s not helping this team and continues to go 0-fer night in and night out, why keep running him out there? Is there a reason besides his $9 million?

The reason is his track record. If you’re a salesman and you’ve been very good at your job for the last few years and suffer a dry spell for a month, should you be canned? Should they fill your spot with some newbie just one the “potential” he’ll do better. No, you stick with the guy who has done the job before, done it well and done it for a while. Don’t get me wrong, we might very well get to a point where something HAS to be done with Giles. But’s it won’t happen on May 5. — Corey

How can Bud Black not use Heath Bell in the Dodger series at all ? In either the Peavy or Chris Young game he should have committed to pitching Heath 2 innings to give them a chance, Throwing Gregorson out there to face the top of the lineup was ridiclous. You would have thought that was the 15th inning.

Do our hitters have a plan to execute ? Why not lay off the Billingly slider and make him work. Good teams make Billingsly work and he usually has a hard time keeping his pitch count down. We just hack away.

I think the lineup needs to be improved… jody is a good leadoff guy keep him there. Scott needs to play more games, he was so good last year but needs to play more.
Why not trade giles to give the young guys more playing time?

And perhaps another veteran guy in the bullpen might them pitch more consistent.

There is a guy in AAA right now that has dominated AA and AAA and pitched well in his brief big league stints. This team needs Scott Patterson! Check out his career numbers, compare it to his numbers he is putting up this year, and try to figure out a reason why he doesn’t seem to be in the conversation…beats me.

culpepper91506 asked why not trade Giles? I think that’s exactly what the Padres want to do, but no one is going to take a 38-year-old, $9-million, .150-hitter off another team’s hands. The Padres ae hoping Giles catches fire and increases his value. But it’s obvious to anyone who watches the game, that Giles’ age and lawsuit have caught up with his swing.

So when Bud Black and Kevin Towers finally give up hope later this month, the question will be whether to simply bench him or cut him? Either way, the team eats a $9 million contract.

Too early to call for Giles’ head? 2 for 3 and the game winning RBI.

“As a journalist, of course, we have to be objective. Really, it matters little to me if the team wins or loses. My job is to tell the story of how/why it happened.”
That’s something I kind of struggle with as a future sports journalist. I love the Padres, and I’m a die-hard fan. But as a journalist, I would just have to report, and I can’t put my emotions of excitement or disappointment into an article. That’s why I love blogging, because it gives me the chance to write as a fan. Great win last night!!
http://kaybee.mlblogs.com

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