Walter Mencken 6:15 p.m., Feb. 28
Brewers tap Padres
Padres bats fail to flail as the Milwaukee Brewers shut down the Friars
The Padres pounded out fifteen hits on Tuesday and left so much unexploded ordnance on the field that could have been used on Wednesday against Brewers starter Kyle Lohse. All that Lohse did was shut down the Padres 3-1 and bring a very modest two-game Friars winning streak to an end.
The Padres only run came in the top of the third inning and put them briefly on top. Nick Hundley has been seeing some sweetly located pitches lately and hasn’t failed to capitalize on anything left over the plate (you have to love the poor guy at the table who appeared bothered by having to momentarily abandon his bratwurst and beer):
It was Hundley’s eighth home run of the season and gave Padres fans a short-lived thrill. The Brewers came back in the bottom of the third inning, putting up a pair of runs on a double by Carlos Gomez and led 2-1.
The Brewers scored again thanks in part to a throwing error by Chase Headley in the bottom of the seventh inning. As it turned out, the insurance run was unnecessary. Stingy Brewers pitching held the Padres to five hits and a walk, with nine strike outs.
But the story of the game was the success of Kyle Lohse against Padres hitting. Padres starter Sean O’Sullivan wasn’t bad, giving up only three runs (two unearned) on seven hits and three walks in 6 1/3 innings.
Meanwhile, the division-leading Los Angeles Dodgers just keep winning. The Padres trail the Dodgers by nine full games now, and with that huge payroll up in Los Angeles, there doesn’t seem to be any club in the division that can keep up with their ability to acquire free agents to fuel their drive at making the playoffs.
Closing the gap in 2013 seems improbable at this point. Perhaps the Padres should worry about ensuring that the gap in 2014 isn’t going to be as much of an issue.
Kyle Blanks (heel, Achilles tendon) is eligible to come off of the 15-day disabled list on Saturday, but according to Corey Brock of mlb.com, Blanks isn’t going to be ready. Kyle is on the road with the team and drilling and taking batting practice, but the heel still bothers him. Injuries have been an issue with Blanks throughout his career, and it would be refreshing to see what he can do over a completely healthy season, if that ever happens.
The finale of the four-game series against the Brewers is on Thursday. Padres starter Edinson Volquez (7-8, 5.73) will face Yovani Gallardo (8-8, 4.58) of the Brewers, with game time at an early 11:10 AM PDST, which is just fine because after all, San Diego is a breakfast town. Catch it on radio 1090 AM or watch it on Fox Sports San Diego.