Peace through victory - the American way.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Padres Game 1 Fiasco

When I wrote last week that the Padres look like a team of destiny, today's game is not what I had in mind. The game was a typical Padres loss. No clutch hitting.

It didn't help matters that Mark Bellhorn was sent up to pinch hit with the bases loaded and 1 out in the 7th inning. Fine, the pitcher was leftie Tyler Johnson and Bruch Bochy clearly was going with the lefty-righty matchup. But here's a question. What is Bellhorn doing on the post-season roster? Whose decision was that? He's batting under .200 and has struggled miserably for the last month of the season. Here's another question. Why not break convention and send up a lefty against the lefty? Especially when the lefty available to pinch hit was Ryan Klesko. Klesko has been pinch hitting since he came off the DL and he has looked great. He's also a proven hitter who can drive the ball and he doesn't strike out as much as Bellhorn does. Klesko batting would have increased the odds for a productive out.

The Bellhorn at bat was the crucial at bat of the game and deserved a proven hitter who is on his game, not somebody who has struggled for more than a month now. Instead, Bochy sends up Bellhorn and saves Klesko for the 9th with nobody on when the game was all but over. The fact is, Tony LaRussa outmanaged Bochy.

Here's another fact. Chris Carpenter outpitched Jake Peavy. Padres fans like to believe that Jake is our team's superstar pitcher. Today should cast a lot of doubt on that belief. Peavy may not be a number 1 starter and he probably shouldn't be the go-to guy for pressure games in post-season.

Next game will have David Wells starting. He's another guy who doesn't deserve to be on the post-season roster for any game in which he has to bat or run the bases. He'll probably pitch well enough but his fielding, hitting, or baserunning will hurt the team at least once on Thursday. There's a real possibility the Padres will head to St. Louis two games down and only then will the team's most reliable pitchers, Woody Williams and Chris Young, take the mound.

-tdr

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