Tag Archives: San Diego padres

The Red Sox Strike Back

You didn’t really think that the Boston Red Sox would just sit there and let another offseason pass by with little activity from their front office especially after what happened last year right?

The trade for former Padres first baseman and former #1 draft pick Adrian Gonzalez comes off as nothing more than a formality, especially since its been talked about since the 09 season.

Adrian Gonzalez and the Boston Red Sox, together at last.

The Red Sox coveted Gonzalez as a power hitting left handed bat in their lineup who could replace the numbers left behind by former slugger Manny Ramirez, and who could also be of great use in Yankee Stadium when he visits due to that infamous short porch in right field. The deal itself helps to improve an offense that needs improvement desperately.

Sure it wasn’t the Red Sox fault that Dustin Pedroia, and Kevin Youkilis were both out for the majority of last season, but it was their fault for the approach that they took before the season began. Theo Epstein and company decided that they were going to try the old defense and pitching approach when adding righty John Lackey from Anaheim and obtaining Adrian Beltre, Mike Cameron and Marco Scutaro to play defense behind what they thought was a stout pitching staff.

Yeah… about that.

With Josh Beckett and Daisuke Matzusaka both missing most of the year with injuries and a less than stellar bullpen, the plan backfired. Scutaro and Cameron were busts, and with the injuries to their two best offensive players the Sox were out of the division race by June even with an August push. Their inability to score and produce runs without Youk and Pedroia was seen when Darnell McDonald and J.D. Drew were asked to come through with key hits in key situations. Yep that J.D. Drew. Now with Gonzalez in the fold the Sox have the most potent lineup in baseball next to the Yankees and Phillies. Potentially their lineup could have Jacoby Ellsbury in the leadoff slot (if he’s still there before the beginning of the season) followed by Pedroia, Youk, Gonzalez and David Ortiz who showed signs of the old Big Papi last year in the five hole.

It would be hard to argue against that being the best lineup in the business no matter who you put behind them (including Drew).

The question now is will that be enough for Boston or do they want to add another piece to the puzzle like a Carl Crawford? They missed out on Jayson Werth who signed a ridiculous contract with the Washington Nationals of all team and really do need to address their need of offensive outfield production. Also will they just let Beltre walk away after the great season he had at Fenway? Beltre’s bat and glove did great work for the sox last year and letting him walk would be a huge mistake even if Youkilis can play third base.

Whatever they do decide to do the Gonzalez deal is a great start. After watching last year go down the tubes in a heartbeat the Red Sox are making sure it won’t happen again and are strengthening their team for the future with 28 year-old left-handed bat of Gonzalez. You knew the Sox wouldn’t be down for too long and you know they’re not done yet. It’ll be interesting to see how and if their favorite rivals the Yankees respond.

 


The Rockies Time Of Year

So It’s September, football is starting, the leaves are changing… And the Rockies are making their annual playoff push.

It happened in 2007 when the Rockies winning ways landed them a spot in the Series versus Boston, it happened last year during another playoff push sans Matt Holliday, and it’s happening again this year thanks to a 10 game winning streak that has pushed the Rockies to within a game and a half of first place in the NL West.

How have they done it? How do all great runs happen? Timely hitting, great pitching and a little luck. The pitching has come from this year’s Cy Young leader Ubaldo Jimenez. Jimenez has been the man ever since he no-hit the Braves in the spring and has cruised to a sub 3 ERA and a NL high 18 wins. Also Matt Belisle has been a strong man out of the bullpen with a 2.75 ERA.

Just another September in Colorado.

Of course this is Colorado, so offense is still the main attraction. With Ruan Spilborghs and Troy Tulowitzki coming up with clutch hits time and time again they have offset a dismal year from the always steady Todd Helton. However, the man has been Carlos Gonzalez who has had the breakout year of breakout years.

(there’s something about that number 5 in left field ther, just ask Holliday.)

Gonzalez is one of the three triple crown, MVP candidates in the NL, leading the league with a .337 batting average, 4th in home runs and 3rd in RBI. Gonzalez’s breakout year desperately filled a void in the lineup left by Holliday a year ago and has added a great component to an already
potent lineup.

Lastly luck always a big role in the Rockies late runs… And it seems to invoke the San Diego Padres in some way.

In 2007 the Padres led the NL wildcard, but faltered late down the stretch which coincided with the Rockies run of 20 straight wins and included that breathtaking playoff game that ended with a Holliday faceplant.

This year the Rockies winning ways come during the Padres 10 game losing streak which watched them go from ten up on the Rockies in August to a game and a half lead today, which includes a three game sweep by Colorado earlier this month in San Diego. The Padres must love watching Colorado play in rocktober.

You can also thank the unknown players for giving Colorado a boost. Besides Belisle, players like Jason Giambi (Yankee great) have come up with clutch game winning hits to put the Rocks over the edge.

The question is can the Rockies do it again?

Three times in four years seems like a lot to ask out of one team, but the Rockies have turned this into an art form. It’s as if Colorado flips the on switch on August 31st and it runs deep into October.

This week’s series against San Diego will be their latest test.

The Padres haven’t been able to score runs at all in their last 15 games… Heck all season! However, in the offense friendly confines of Coord Field Adrian Gonzalez and company may be able to get it going.

If the Rockies can Take two from the Padres at Coors that would leave them a Hal game back with less than 20 games to go with 10 games left against non playoff competition while San Diego still has series left against St. Louis and Cincinnati.

Colorado could essentially put themselves in the drivers seat with a great series in the next 3 days.

If it happens again we shouldn’t be surprised. This is Colorado’s time of year. Leaves changing colors, weather turning colder, and the Rockies getting on a role and making a late postseason push. You may be amazed. Me? I’m used to it. I’m surprised they haven’t won 15 straight by now.