Thursday, May 7, 2009

Padres-Diamondbacks: Missed Opportunities Abound in Loss to DBacks

The San Diego Padres had their chances, they had opportunities, but each of those chances and opportunities were missed in a disappointing 3-1 loss to Arizona on Wednesday night.

What's even more frustrating was the start that Jake Peavy put together last night, only making one mistake which Diamondback outfielder Juston Upton deposited into the left center field stands for a two run home run in the sixth inning.

Besides that, Jake was nothing short of dominant. The right hander struck out 12 in his seven innings of work, surpassing the 1,300 strikeout mark in the second inning after striking out Connor Jackson.

But, just like his last start against the Dodgers where Jake pitched eight shutout innings, his offense went AWOL, not putting up a single run in support. After winning two of his first three starts, Peavy is 0-3 in his last four starts with a no decision. Peavy could easily turn and point to his offense for not giving him anything to work with, not giving him a lead to work with, but that's not the way he opperates, Jake instead put the blame on himself.

"Bottom line, I have to be better," Peavy told the Associated Press. "If it means throwing a shutout, I’ll take full responsibility and need to do that. It’s just not possible to happen every time out.”

He may have took the blame for the loss, but Jake did say something that has become familiar to the press interviewing him after games like this. Although it wasn't a direct shot at the offense, you can read into this any way you like.

“I’ve pitched in these type of ballgames for years,” Peavy said. “You get a feel for a game, especially when one run or one pitch can beat you. Sure, there is some stress with every pitch you make, knowing that you probably shouldn’t let a run cross."

If Jake isn't willing to point a finger, we'll just point out all the missed opportunities to put runs on the board early, and often. Arizona tried to give the game away, committing four errors, two of which came on one inning.

In the second, Kevin Kouzmanoff would reach on an error by third baseman Mark Reynolds, moving to second on the throw. After Henry Blanco popped out, Luis Rodriguez would work a one out walk, which brought Jake Peavy to the plate. He attempted two straight bunts, both of which went foul and was unable to move the runners up. To add insult to injury, Peavy grounded into an inning ending double play.

In the fifth, after a lead single from Henry Blanco, Peavy would finally get a bunt down but would be safe at first thanks to a throwing error from Arizona catcher Miguel Montero trying to get the lead runner (Blanco) at second base.

Giles would then ground to first baseman Josh Whitesell, but Whitesell's throw pulled second baseman Augie Ojeda off the bag, loading the bases with just one out.

David Eckstein would then hit a fly ball to right field and it looked like the Padres were going to get on the board, but right fielder Justin Upton nailed Henry Blanco at the plate for a inning ending double play.

That would prove costly in the top half of the sixth. After Peavy struck out Felipe Lopez swinging, he would issue a walk to Ojeda, which brought up Justin Upton. Peavy left the first pitch too far in the zone and Upton got all of it, landing it a few rows deep in left center field, putting Arizona ahead, 2-0.

In the seventh, Blanco would work a one out walk an would be followed by a Luis Rodriguez single. Manager Bud Black decided that Peavy's night was done, going with Edgar Gonzalez as a pinch hitter with two on and one out. As the theme was most of the night, Gonzalez would ground into an inning ending double play, the third time of the night the Padres grounded into an inning ending double play.

Padres' reliever Duaner Sanchez would come into the game in the eighth inning and got Augie Ojeda to fly out for the first out of the inning, bringing up Justin Upton who had homered earlier in the night. Sanchez left a 1-1 pitch over the plate and letter high and Upton, again, got every bit of it, hammering a solo shot to dead center field, giving Arizona a 3-0 lead.

San Diego had one more chance in the ninth inning. Diamondback's closer Chad Qualls came into the game and promptly gave up back-to-back singles to Adrian Gonzalez and Jody Gerut and would then hit Kevin Kouzmanoff with a pitch, loading the bases with noone out. Surely, the Padres couldn't blow this opportunity, could they?

But, as was the theme all night long, Blanco would ground into the Padres' fourth double play of the game, scoring Adrian Gonzalez to put the Padres on the board, 3-1.

Luis Rodriguez would work a two out walk, bringing up Chase Headley for the first time with runners on the corners and two out, but Headley would strike out swinging to end the game.

The Padres will try to rebound tonight as they will wrap up a two game series with Arizona before they head out on the road with sets against the Houston Astros and Chicago Cubs.

Padres right hander Chris Young (2-1, 4.81) will try to get this team out of their current funk, a funk that has seen San Diego drop 13 of their last 16 games. For Arizona, they will go with their hot hand, right hander Dan Haren (3-3, 1.47). First pitch is scheduled for 12:35pm PST.

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