Padres postscript: 3/11/10

The Padres fall a run short today, nearly rallying from a 8-0 deficit, losing to the Cubs 8-7 at the Peoria Sports Complex. Here’s a few newsy things, notes and random observations I have from the day here.

I did an interview with Darren Smith at XX 1090 AM today. It’s always fun to talk Padres with Darren. Anyway, shameless plug here. Hope you enjoy it.

Also, Matt Stairs played a little first base today. Looked pretty good, too.

— The game. Don’t read anything in pitcher Jon Garland’s line today. He allowed four runs on three hits and three walks over 1 2/3 innings. It looked to me at the time from the pressbox he was getting squeezed by plate umpire Casey Moser. Turns out, he was. Garland was certainly diplomatic, saying he didn’t miss by much and missed a few times down the middle. Manager Bud Black was encouraged that Garland’s misses were down in the strike zone. In other words, he’ll be fine. You know what you’re getting from this guy.

— Reliever Luis Perdomo left with a tweaked right knee. Perdomo allowed two runs in 1 2/3 innings before leaving. He has now allowed six runs in three innings. He wasn’t a treat to make the 25-man roster and can certainly benefit from time with Triple-A Portland. We’ll have an update tomorrow on his condition.

— Outfielder Scott Hairston is still hitless but he nearly hit a home run today. Sam Fuld of the Cubs made a nice catch out in deep left-center to rob Hairston of extra bases. In other news, Hairston, who was hit in the hand with a pitch on Saturday, fouled a ball off his calf. He was removed from the game as a precautionary measure. Again, we’ll have more on him Friday.

— Word started to spread before the game that former Padres outfielder Brian Giles decided to retire. His knee, the one that gave him fits last season, just wasn’t coming around enough to make it work. The players I talked to had nothing but good things to say about Giles. Hairston said this: He had several years where he had more walks than strikeouts. That’s totally amazing.”

— Black continues to be impressed by what can best be described as the second unit, the group of prospects and Minor League roster fodder who find their way into games after the starters have departed. Lance Zwadzki had a two-run single. Aaron Cunningham threw out a runner at the plate and had a double. Luis Durango had two hits and sparked a late rally. I like what Logan Forsythe has done and how he handles himself. Good stuff there.

— I’m working on a story about the Padres essentially imploring their base runners to run this spring and take chances on the bases. The team is serious about pushing this. Black has told them to run and Dave Roberts and Rick Renteria have worked with guys on taking bigger leads, better secondary leads, etc. Look for the story later at Padres.com. Here’s what Will Venable had to say: “Because we play at PETCO, where it’s harder to score runs, we might be able to steal a few runs being aggressive. We don’t have five guys who are going to hit 25-plus home runs. We’ve got to find a way to steal any runs we can. I think this is just another tool to aid that.”

On Friday: The Padres will head to Surprise! (I added the !) for a game against the Rangers at 12:05 p.m. PT. Look for Clayton Richard to start and throw three innings. 

Remember this: Check us out on Facebook. Just search for Follow The Padres  for the latest on the team. That’s the same name as our Twitter account: @FollowThe Padres.

Corey Brock, MLB.com, Padres.com

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