The San Diego Padres finally broke out with a barrage of scoring last night, thanks in part to two home-runs off of the bat of second baseman Jedd Gyorko. It has been rough going for the Padres bats through the first 37 games of the season, but Friars fans are hoping that the return of Carlos Quentin, which most likely will be this week will help add a big bat to the lineup.
The injured Chase Headley will make his return to the Padres lineup after spending the last couple of weeks on the DL, due to a strained right calf. Although he was swinging a cold bat as well in the early going of the season, the return is huge for the Padres lineup. With Carlos Quentin also waiting in the wings, just a game or two from returning, the Friars are hoping to use a bit of their momentum from last night to propel them forward as they go on a six game road test against the Cincinnati Reds and the offensive powerhouse of the Colorado Rockies.
Carlos Quentin has been plagued by injuries the last couple of years, playing in just 168 games in the last two seasons, but when healthy he can provide a big bat that is desperately needed. In six games for the Triple-A club out of El Paso, Quentin has gone just 3-16, but hit a home run in his game last night. He will play his last couple of rehab games for Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore, starting on Sunday and chances are he will join the big league club sometime this week in Cincinnati.
The Diego Padres are hoping that the return of both Chase Headley and Carlos Quentin can help get the Friars back on track and start a slow and steady climb up the NL West rankings. Currently, the ball club is 16-21, and 7.5 games behind the league leading San Francisco Giants. For them to start their ascent, they are going to need both players to step in and make an immediate impact. At the moment, the team has struggled mightily at the plate and finds themselves near the bottom ranks of all major offensive categories.
It was important for the Padres break out of their offensive funk last night, beating a very good pitcher in Jose Fernandez and getting the two home runs from Gyorko, including a towering home run into the seats of the Western Metal Supply Co. Warehouse down the left field line. The Friars were able to put up five earned runs off of Fernandez who has looked dominate in the first quarter of the baseball season.
Momentum is a powerful thing, and if the Padres can ride their big win into the last two games of the series and maintain the momentum moving into Cincinnati, with the return of Headley and Carlos Quentin, then things should begin to look up for the Padres. The return of some big bats is much-needed, and as they make their way back into the lineup it is time for the Padres to find ways to get on base, so that the big bats have the opportunities to drive in some runs.
Commentary by Johnny Caito