Marty Graham 5:30 p.m., Feb. 26
Tuesday night in Colorado, it was the 49-year old Jamie Moyer that out-dueled the Padres hitters and the Padres wound up on the wrong side of the record books when Moyer became the oldest pitcher in MLB history to notch a win. Wednesday night, it was a barrage of Rockies doubles with a couple of home runs sandwiched in there, that did the Padres in early.
Padres starter Clayton Richard did not look sharp at times, giving up 10 hits, including six doubles and two home runs. "When Clayton keeps his pitches up, they flatten out. When he keeps them down, they sink," manager Bud Black said after the game. It was obvious that far too many pitches were left up and over the plate.
In the top of the first inning with two outs, Chase Headley got the Padres out on top, hitting his third home run of the season, an opposite-field solo shot, and the Padres led 1-0. But the Rockies didn't take long to bust loose offensively.
With, one out in the bottom of the second inning, the Rockies Todd Helton walked and Wilin Rosario doubled, moving Todd Helton the third base. Chris Nelson then doubled to left field scoring Helton and Rosario and the Rockies quickly led, 2-0.
Clayton Richard got Juan Nicasio to ground out, but then gave up a two-out double to Marco Scutaro and then another double to Dexter Fowler to score Scutaro. By the time Richard got out of the second inning he had given up a walk, four doubles, and a home run and with a 5-1 lead, the Rockies would wind up needing no more than that.
With one out in the bottom of the fifth inning, the Rockies added more against Clayton Richard and the Padres. With one out, Richard walked Carlos Gonzales and then Michael Cuddyer launched a home run to left field to make the score 7-1 in favor of the Rockies.
In the top of the sixth inning, the Padres answered back. With one out, Will Venable doubled to the gap and Chris Denorfia moved Venable to third base on a ground out. Chase Headley then hit his second home run of the game, cutting the Rockies advantage to 7-3.
The Rockies added an insurance run in the bottom of the frame, when Chris Nelson opened the inning with a double, his second of the game. Then with one out, Nicasio plated Nelson with a single, and that was all for Clayton Richard. Josh Spence entered in relief of Richard, and after issuing a walk, Spence struck out the last two Rockies batters in the inning to end the threat.
The Padres tried to mount a rally in the seventh inning. With one out, Nick Hundley singled to right field, and after Jason Bartlett struck out, Orlando Hudson singled and Jeremy Hermida drew a walk to load the bases. Will Venable then struck out swinging but the ball went to the backstop on a wild pitch and Venable made it to first base without a throw and all of the runners moved up, Hundley scoring.
Chris Denorfia then ground out to end the inning and that was the best the Padres could do after that, dropping the rubber game to the Rockies 8-4. The Padres six game road trip culminated with only one win, and they return home with the worst record in baseball at 3-10.
Some of the bats have woken up, if anything much good can be said about the road trip. Headley, Hundley, and Venable are looking sharper at the plate. But even when the bats looked good enough, the starting pitching was often disappointing. It isn't a good idea to leave pitches up and often out over the plate in the Major Leagues. This is especially true in Colorado.
Chase Headley, in thirteen games, now has matched his entire home run total for last season with four, including the two hit on Wednesday night. Headley had stated coming into this season that he expected that he would produce more power. So far, those expectations are being realized.
The Padres return home on Thursday where they'll open with a four game series with the Philadelphia Phillies. Thursday night's match-up has Joe Wieland on the mound for his second-ever Major League start. Wieland will face right-handed Vance Morley of the Phillies. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM, and can be seen on cable and dish providers that carry Fox Sports San Diego, and heard on radio XX 1090 AM.
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