Walter Mencken 9:27 a.m., Feb. 27
Padres complete sweep of Marlins
The Miami Marlins only managed one run in the three-game series as the Padres swept and find themselves only two games below even on the season
Yes, of course, the Miami Marlins are not the Miami Heat. The Marlins are a bad team at the moment, post-fire-sale kindling for other clubs to burn, a Jeffery Loria special that happened by Petco Park for a few games against the Padres.
On the other hand, when you get an opportunity to sweep any Major League Baseball team, you try and execute it, and the Padres were successful doing that on Wednesday afternoon. With offense at a premium, the Padres scored only one run and made it stand up, beating the Marlins 1-0.
With the win and with the sweep of the Marlins, the Padres went 5-1 on the home stand. “We saw the starting pitching step up,” manager Buddy Black said about the key to the successful stretch. “Against the Diamondbacks, some great 2-out clutch hitting, but this series [with the Marlins], Jason [Marquis], [Eric] Stults, [Andrew Cashner], all pitched well.”
Jason Marquis had his best start of 2013 on Wednesday. “I thought the sinker had tremendous action,” Buddy Black said. “He kept it down below the zone. Any sinker-ball pitcher has the best action from the top of the knee down below the zone. He was pounding that all day long.”
Marquis concurred. “I’ve been working real hard to get my mechanics right,” he said. “The last couple weeks of spring training, the first four starts, it was more of a battle out there to make pitches and get guys out. It’s easier now that I’ve figured a few things out. I’ve got the life back on my ball, the north-south movement on my ball back.”
When thrown properly, the sinker often appears to a batter as a two-seam fastball (the grip is similar, index and middle finger along the seams at their narrowest point) but often breaks downward as much as half of a foot. This is mostly due to the pronation of the wrist at the release point of the pitch, and when successful, the hitter swings over the pitch causing a swing and a miss or a ground ball.
The only run of the game came on a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the sixth inning. Yonder Alonso hit a fly ball and Venable tagged and scored. Jason Marquis went eight innings and Huston Street pitched the ninth for the save.
The boys are in Tampa right now, and after an off-day Thursday, they’ll face the Rays of Tampa Bay in a three-game series starting Friday. We’ll take advantage of the off-day in order to get some laundry done, but between loads we’ll examine exactly how the club lifted itself from a 5-15 start to the 16-18 position they currently find themselves in. And perhaps there will be a piece on a certain young prospect who is slated to see his first major league start this Saturday. Stay tuned.
(Note: The photo is priceless. Jason Marquis’ son pitching to dad, with Yonder Alonso catching, before a game. The kid already has a great release point and his arm appears well-slotted. Somebody call Randy Smith, Vice President of Player Development and international scouting for the Padres, so he can keep an eye on the progression of this young man.)
More like this:
- Nationals down Padres who are swept again — July 8, 2013
- Padres bull pen fails again as Marlins win — July 1, 2013
- Padres beat Marlins again thanks to Stults and Venable — May 8, 2013
- Richard Good, but Padres Offense Again Not Supportive — May 6, 2012
- Extra Innings Don't Go Padres Way, Marlins Win In 12 — May 5, 2012