A weblog covering the San Diego Padres.

Saturday, June 05, 2004

Have A Brew On The Brewers

Well, tonight's game, a 4-0 Padre win, was a relaxing one. Ismael Valdez pitched effortlessly, working a complete game shutout. He allowed just four hits and wasted few pitches and less time. He allowed only four Brewer hits, and it was the second solid pitching night for the Padres.

In fact, that might make the ESPN.com list for best pitching outings, look at the line:


Mind you, the Brewer offense is near the league bottom, but this was nice to see.

Valdez is now 5-2 with a 4.33 ERA. Just when I thought he was losing it he pulls this off.

As for the Padre offense... it did better. Jay Payton had a nice game, creatively lining some singles, and Sean Burroughs was back from his stomach virus to extend his hitting streak to 15 games. All ten hits were singles, so they still don't have that pop, but it's nice to see some balls getting out of the infield.

It was still frustrating to watch, because there were a lot of first and second pitch swings against a young pitcher. Those are games to take advantage and work counts and chase a guy into the bullpen. It's the veterans whose arms aren't hot commodities and can throw 110-120 if needed (a guy like Valdez, for example) where working the count is less a significant part of strategy.

Valdez also had a two-out, bases loaded walk to get an RBI in one of the most unusual acts of stupidity I've seen this year (stupidity by the Brewers pitcher).

Nevin and Payton recorded two hits, Khalil Greene had a hit and two walks. There were some lucky hits in the game, but it was nice to be on the receiving end this time.

Tomorrow the series concludes at 2 PM PST on Channel 4.
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I mistakenly said the Lakers game was on today. It is on Sunday. My apologies.
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Smarty Jones was oh so close to winning the Belmont Stakes and the Triple Crown today, but fell just a little short. I have to say, that is one heck of a long track. I was surprised to see other owners and racers so deferential, as they felt Smarty had really done something for horseracing.

Hopefully the sport will pick up in popularity, I personally enjoy it a lot, and cannot wait for the Del Mar season to begin. I've attended six straight Opening Day's there, and hope this year will be my seventh.

Back to Smarty. I was disappointed to see him lose today, but it was a heck of a finish and he was in it until the last. It reminded me of most of the recent Belmont's, as the favorite except for maybe one race, has been very close to the finish.

My personal favorite horse of recent lore is War Emblem, the horse who stumbled out of the game and never quite recovered. His Derby win was breathtaking and was better suited to shorter, sprint type races. Charismatic probably should have been a Triple Crown winner but broke his leg just yards from the finish line, an injury that most likely cost him a win as he was neck and neck for the lead just a few trots from the finish.


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