Walter Mencken 6:15 p.m., Feb. 28
Red Sox complete sweep of Padres
The Padres surrendered to the Red Sox on Independence Day, losing their sixth straight game
It was a combination of symptoms for two teams moving in opposite directions, with one club enjoying effective pitching and a prolific offense, while the other displays neither. Such was the case on Thursday as the Boston Red Sox enjoyed a 8-2 victory over the San Diego Padres on the Fourth of July.
These are symptoms, perhaps, of one team that is diseased and one that isn’t. Or maybe the Padres aren’t as good as they were a couple of weeks ago and the Red Sox are much better than expected.
Injuries certainly factor in to the Padres demise. Logan Forsythe got off to a hot start replacing the injured Jedd Gyorko, but has since fallen back and cooled off. Pedro Ciriaco is a serviceable utility player, but he’s no Everth Cabrera.
Jesus Guzman went three-for-three on Thursday, but is still batting only .238 and lacks both the glove and the consistent bat of Yonder Alonso. Alexi Amarista is trying to fill in playing center field, and while Cameron Maybin’s bat wasn’t clicking he certainly helped close gaps in center field.
Starter Eric Stults got roughed up, but just about any left-handed pitcher in Fenway Park will testify to having endured the green monster in left field which is easily peppered off of right-handed power bats from the opposition. However, Tyson Ross and Burch Smith in relief – both righties – suffered the same fate.
Much to their credit, the Red Sox stroked a total of 18 hits off of Padres pitching, cementing their statistical superiority for offense in all of Major League Baseball. Eight of Boston’s nine starters had multiple hits.
The loss for the Padres puts them in a last-place tie with the San Francisco Giants in the National League West. The fortunate circumstance for the Friars is that they are in the worst division in baseball, with only the Arizona Diamondbacks playing above .500 and the rest of the division not too far behind.
Aside from pitching woes, the big question is when the Padres offense is going to get healthy. There still isn’t a set course for Jedd Gyorko or Yonder Alonso returning from the disabled list. And Kyle Blanks and Will Venable are playing through nagging injuries.
Chase Headley continues to struggle at the plate and is now hitting .218 on the season, a very far cry from where he was at last season when he won a Silver Slugger award. In fact, there isn’t anyone in the current lineup who is dazzling at the plate, save for Everth Cabrera, who is on the disabled list and nursing a sore hamstring.
Statistically, the Padres are slightly less than mediocre, but such statistics don’t always tell the full story. On this ten-game road trip, the Padres have only won one game with seven in the books and three to be played. That isn’t simply less than mediocre, it’s awful.
Everth Cabrera will join the club in the Nation’s Capital on Friday. No word on Logan Forsythe and it’s a good bet that nothing about the progress of Yonder Alonso will be revealed until Monday. Will Venable didn’t seem to be overly affected by his hamstring issue on Thursday (2 for 4 with a walk), while we’ll have to see with Kyle Blanks (heel) in the upcoming series, but if he’s capable then we’ll see him in the lineup on Friday.
Friday, the Padres will visit the Washington Nationals for three games. The Padres will march Andrew Cashner (5-3, 3.31) out to the mound to face Gio Gonzalez (5-3, 3.09) of the Nationals. Game time is at 4:05 PM and heard on radio 1090 AM and televised on Fox Sports San Diego.
More like this:
- Padres help Red Sox to early fireworks — July 4, 2013
- Padres punked by Red Sox and continue to tread water — July 3, 2013
- Padres nail Giants in thirteen innings and are within a game of first place — June 18, 2013
- Padres whollop Dodgers as bats come to life — April 17, 2013
- Padres beat Reds as Gyorko yanks another home run, 7-5 — Feb. 26, 2013