Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Padres-DBacks: Padres, DBacks Split Four Game Set

The last time we saw Jake Peavy, he was battling the flu and only lasted one inning in a 10-5 loss to Philadelphia on June 2nd. The Padres gave their ace an extra day to recover from not only that but to also give his ankle an extra day to heal.

It looked like the extra time did Peavy well as he struck out eight Arizona hitters through seven innings of work, giving up two earned runs in a 6-3 Padres' victory. With the win, Jake Peavy (6-6) tied Randy Jones for second place all time on the franchise's win list (92), just eight wins back of the all time leader Eric Show.

The problem for San Diego has been the lack of protection in front and behind first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. Teams have started to figure this out and have been pitching around Adrian, knowing that the guys around him aren't going to hurt them. But, on Monday night, Kevin Kouzmanoff made Arizona pay twice for walking Adrian in front of him. Kouz had a two-run single in the fourth and a two-run double in the seventh, accounting for four of the team's six runs.

After the team's 18-inning affair on Sunday afternoon, having to use shortstop Josh Wilson as a pitcher in the 18th inning, having run out of pitchers. With that in mind, the Padres recalled Edwin Moreno and Wade LeBlanc from Triple-A Portland, optioned left hander Joe Thatcher to Portland and activated right hander Mike Adams from the 60-day disabled list, well before anyone thought he'd be ready.

After Peavy's seven innings, reliever Greg Burke pitched a perfect eighth inning and Heath Bell came into the game in the ninth to close it out for his Major League leading 17th save in 18 chances.

Before the Padres can focus on the first of a two game set against the NL West leading Los Angeles Dodgers, the Padres and their front office will turn their focus to the Amateur Draft that gets underway at 2:45pm PST this afternoon.

According to reports, the Padres, having the third pick in this year's draft, have two players on their radar and both players have ties to the University of North Carolina. The first of those is Donavan Tate, a high school third baseman who has committed to playing football and baseball for the Tar Heels. The other is current Tar Heel first baseman Dustin Ackley, who the Seattle Mariners have a strong interest in with pick number two. If the Mariners pass on Ackley, look for San Diego to jump on him.

Then, at 7:10pm PST, the Padres will start their first of two against the Dodgers. Right hander Chris Young (4-4, 4.46) will take the mound for San Diego while the Dodgers will counter with their right hander Chad Billingsley (7-3, 2.59).

This is a great chance for the Padres to gain at least a little ground on the Dodgers, though there's only so much they can gain in two games, but every little bit helps. Manager Bud Black has not announced who will start for San Diego on Wednesday as Chad Gaudin was called upon on Sunday to pitch two innings of relief and may not be made available for the start tomorrow night. The Padres could go with Josh Geer or even left hander Wade LeBlanc who was just called up from Triple-A Portland prior to Monday night's game.

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