A blog about baseball cards... and the Padres

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Los Padres

It's late September, which means that the Padres are back to playing "meaningless" games for the last few weeks of the season.  Of course, now that there is no pressure (and no possibility of the playoffs) the Padres seem to be as close to firing on all cylinders as they have been all season.

Though their current record sits at nine games under .500 (they'd need to run the table the rest of the year just to finish with an even record), they have been on a tear in the month of September, going 12-6 since the 1st of the month.  In that time, they've won all but one series, sweeping the Rockies and taking 2 of 3 from the Braves and 3 of 4 from the Pirates.  The play against Pittsburgh was the most impressive, as it featured a one-hitter from Andrew Cashner and a 9th inning comeback against Mark Melancon, which improved the Padres all-time record at PNC Park to a ridiculous 31-11.

Jedd Gyorko has been improving a lot since going on the DL earlier in the year and struggling when he got back.  He's currently the league leader in home runs for all rookies, tied at 20 with Evan Gattis.  Though his average is low (.251), his defense is great and baseball-reference.com's projections over a 162 game average compare favorably to a more promising rookie of the year candidate; Yasiel Puig.

162 Game Projection for Puig: 199 hits, 35 doubles, 29 homers, 66 RBI
162 Game Projection for Gyorko: 158 hits, 35 doubles, 28 homers, 74 RBI

Of course, Puig's OBP, SLG, and average are much higher than Gyorko's, so I'm not trying to sell Jedd as a player of Puig's stature.  But the chasm might not be as big as the Rookie of the Year voting will lead you to believe.

Of course, since it's the end of the year, there have been a decent amount of September call ups for the Padres.  Most notable has been Tommy Medica, a first baseman/catcher who was called up from AA San Antonio (just before the last few games of the Texas League playoffs, which the Missions won).  The 14th round pick of the 2010 draft has filled in admirably for the injured Yonder Alonso, going 9 for 36 in his first ten games, while belting 2 homers and a double and notching 6 RBI.  Haven't seen many Medica cards online, hopefully he makes the Update set, though his call up might've been a little too late.

One rookie that I do have a card of is Robbie Erlin.  He's been bouncing back and forth from Tucson to San Diego, but he's making a big case to be in the starting rotation next year.  He was sent back to AAA after having a meltdown in Washington in July, but his ERA since his most recent call up is a very impressive 1.44, going 25 combined innings against Arizona, San Francisco, Atlanta, and the Dodger B team last night.

The unsung... um, well, I hesitate to say "star", so I'll go with "performer" has been Huston Street.  He was the subject of trade talks after giving up ten homers early in the year (most were in non-save situations, so his conversion ratio has still been good all year), but he's definitely settled down.  Last night against the Dodgers, he gave up a lead off double and then a one out single to super-pinch hitter Adrian Gonzalez.  He went on to retire the last two batters he faced, more super-pinch hitters in the form of Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp, each swinging strikeouts.  Clutch.

Though I know the Padres fan base is a rather small contingency, I figure that it's not news that you're going to read in many corners of the internet, so there's your Friar update for the year.  Probably a little premature, since I'll be ready to do the "year-end retrospective" post relatively soon (only nine games left).  Here's hoping that the Padres continue their other-worldly dominance of Clayton Kershaw tonight.  Though he's a lock for the NL Cy Young, three of his nine losses have been against the Padres (0-3 in three games, posting a 4.73 ERA, with the Padres hitting at a .292 clip against him with 5 homers).  Until tonight, of course, as I totally jinx the Padres.


  1. Great write up.

    You're right. When one's team doesn't do well, at least one can enjoy seeing those AAA ups show off what they can do.

    P.S. I hadn't realized how well you guys did agaianst Kershaw this year. But then again, the Pads always play us tough. At least now we have Adrian Gonzalez on our side.

  2. Gotta love the Padres and the typical meaningless games in September. But... that's what makes us loyal fans. Go Padres!