Mike Madriaga 8:30 a.m., Feb. 23
Padres hang on to beat Diamondbacks
Prolific hitting held up some sketchy pitching and the San Diego Padres held off a late rally by the Arizona Diamondbacks
Friday night was back and forth between the Padres and the Arizona Diamondbacks until the Padres pulled away and then almost lost it. The Padres beat the Diamondbacks 7-6 on a warm, comfortable evening at Petco Park.
Unlike when the San Francisco Giants or the Los Angeles Dodgers come to town, the crowd consisted of mostly Padres fans. After taking a 7-3 lead into the ninth inning, the groans were audible when reliever Brad Brach allowed two base runners. Huston Street came in to save it, but not before offering up a pitch to Gerardo Parra that sailed over the center field wall for a 3-run homer.
Brach has been having problems all season, a stark contrast to the good year he had when called up last season. “I thought that Brad last year established himself as a major league reliever. It’s been a little bit of a tough go for Brad this year. I think it starts with the fundamental pitching, just the ball and strike ratio is not there. He’s pitching into bad counts and he’s falling behind, then he has to come in and that’s where you’re seeing a little bit of the hit,” Buddy said postgame.
Starter Jason Marquis issued five walks, something he’s been doing in a lot of games this season, but the veteran pitches out of a lot of trouble. “Tonight’s the best I’ve felt all year with my explosiveness with the ball coming out of my hand. Physically I feel the same but sometimes the timing of the delivery doesn’t allow you to attack the zone, and then it’s a matter of finding my release point with that delivery. Obviously, the walks hurt me a little bit tonight,” Marquis said.
And then there’s the unexpected power of Yonder Alonso. “That was definitely one of the concerns,” Alonso said about working toward realizing his power in the off-season. “How can I make myself a better hitter, not only getting on base but obviously if you get a ball that might just reach the warning track we’ll just try to fix it and make an adjustment and hopefully it goes over the fence the next year.”
Yonder fixed something all right. After hitting a total of 9 home runs all last season, he’s already tagged 4 this year including one on Friday evening. The Padres can use that power as they attempt to balance a horrible start against a team that now appears to be improving.
On the injury front, Cameron Maybin (wrist) is now without the splint on his wrist and is playing light catch. There is still no timetable for his return. Cory Luebke (Tommy John surgery) had a small setback in his throwing therapy, reporting soreness. He’s shut down for the moment, but the thought is that the setback is not serious. Carlos Quentin was a late scratch from the starting lineup with a knee issue that manager Buddy Black called “balky”. Quentin did pinch hit in Friday’s game, striking out in the eighth inning.
On Saturday, Clayton Richard (0-3, 7.94) will take the mound for the Padres and go up against Patrick Corbin (3-0, 1.91) for the Diamondbacks. Game starts at 5:40 PM PDST, on radio 1090 AM or Fox Sports San Diego.