Walter Mencken 11 a.m., May 24
Reds capitalize on Padres lack of timely hitting
The Padres couldn't hit when they needed it and the Reds took advantage of it
On Sunday, the Padres played a frustrating game against the Cincinnati Reds, frustrating in a lot of ways. It went thirteen innings before the Friars fell to the Reds 3-2 in a game they could have won several times.
Ian Kennedy pitched a swell game, and the Padres got a little lucky early and put up two runs in the top of the second inning. Yonder Alonso and Logan Forsythe hit back-to-back singles, and one out later, Ronny Cedeno singled to load the bases.
Rene Rivera then hit a sacrifice fly to score Alonso, and when the relay throw from Reds shortstop Cesar Izturis went awry, Forsythe came home and the Padres had themselves a 2-0 lead. Kennedy then got serious and stifled Reds hitters for a good long time.
Kennedy was still in there in the eighth inning, when he gave up a single and then Xavier Paul homered to right field and the score was tied. Kennedy wound up going eight innings and giving up only the two runs on three hits and two walks while striking out three.
The game went to extra innings, and the Padres left a runner in the tenth with one out, two runners in the eleventh with no one out, two on again in the twelfth with one out (then, bases loaded with two outs), and Jedd Gyorko laced a double to lead off the thirteenth inning that amounted to nothing. That’s when the Reds got to reliever Tim Stauffer in the bottom of the inning, ultimately scoring on a sacrifice fly by Joey Votto to end the game.
The Padres were a pitiful 1 for 17 with runners in scoring position. The Reds? 0 for 2. It does the Padres very little good to pound out 11 hits and earn 6 walks when the opposition can win with only 5 hits and 4 free passes.
Sunday, it wasn’t a case of the bull pen melting down, nor a case of starting pitching being ineffective, Ian Kennedy was great and Stauffer is going to give up a run now and then. It was a story about so many missed opportunities for the offense to put the game away.
Seventeen of them, to be precise.
Awaiting word on which Padres pitcher goes down and which gets recalled from AAA Tucson, because you don’t go into Colorado with a tired bull pen. The last thing the Padres needed on Sunday was extra innings, and five relievers were used. However, with no notification from the club at this point, I suppose it’s conceivable that the Friars and manager Buddy Black will attempt to try and manage with what they have at the moment.
Monday, Edinson Volquez (8-9, 5.44) will toss for the Padres against Jhoulys Chacin (10-6, 3.30) of the Colorado Rockies. Volquez – even when effective – hasn’t been stellar keeping his pitch count down, so this could spell trouble for the Padres unless he reverses that trend this evening. You can catch the game at 5:40 PM PDST on radio 1090 AM or else watch the festivities on Fox Sports San Diego. Unless you have Time Warner Cable, where you can’t even watch CBS because they are apparently a bunch of heartless bastards over there.