Jerry Manuel cracks jokes at Oliver Perez’s expense.
Adrian Gonzalez was a doubles machine (4 for 5 with 3 two-baggers) and the Padres’ offense roughed up Mariner starting pitcher Cliff Lee (-.171 WPA), but, for once, Seattle’s bat’s were simply too potent, as the Mariners mightily thumped Padres’ starter Wade LeBlanc and the pitchers who followed in the game, slugging their way to a 15-8 victory.
writing nice things about teams. I just gotta’.
Jack Moore provides some food for thought about how competitive the National League is proving to be:
As we enter play on Friday, the entire National League is only separated by nine games – the difference between NL leading San Diego at 22-12 and NL trailing Houston at 13-21. The entire NL Wild card race is occurring within a 6.5 game spread, as Washington currently leads the race at 20-15. The American League, on the other hand, has already started to separate, as Tampa Bay leads Baltimore by 13.5 games and only four other potential Wild Card teams are within eight games of leading New York.
We’ve also seen some surprises emerging in the National League. Washington, as mentioned above, is leading the Wild Card race despite a pitching staff without a single pitcher projected as above average. Cincinnati is four games over .500 despite most projection systems pegging them at .500 or below. San Diego and San Francisco are both surprising in an NL West which was handed to either Los Angeles or Colorado by most projection systems and analysts.
In a season that began with the assumption that it was only a matter of when and not if both 1B Adrian Gonzalez and RP Heath Bell were traded away for prospects, the San Diego Padres refuse to lose enough games to make that assumption a reality.
[A]s ESPN’s Buster Olney noted this morning, you’ve gone 59-38 since last July 27, which makes you the owner of NL’s best winning percentage, just ahead of the Cardinals and Phillies. Your staff ERA is a best-in-the-bigs 2.61 and have twice as many team shutouts (eight) as any other team. Hugely impressive, considering everyone thought that rotation was at least still one year away from being really good and the injured Chris Young has only made one start.
I am not jumping on the Padres bandwagon quite yet, for (a) the Padres still have plenty of time to start losing, sinking in the standings, and acquiring prospects by trading their stars away, and (b) I am already halfway committed to the Nationals bandwagon. But as long as the Padres remain within striking distance of the NL Wild Card, they will likely stand pat.