What appeared to be a golden opportunity for the San Diego Padres to win some baseball games, quickly crumbled like a weakly built sand castle during high tide in America’s Finest City. Coming off of three straight losses to the Colorado Rockies and the Minnesota Twins, the Friars looked ahead to two of the biggest bottom feeders in MLB. Unfortunately, a stretch of seven games against the Chicago Cubs and the Arizona Diamondbacks did not go as planned, as the Padres emerged as winners in just three of them.
Wins could not have been served up on a silver platter more-so than they were at the end of May, as the Padres faced off against the Cubs and Diamondbacks. Combined, the teams moved into the week with a combined record of 44-56, yet the Friars were unable to take advantage. It is becoming a long and frustrating tale of a team who is continually failing to put the ball in play and score some runs. If manager, Bud Black was on the hot seat prior to the seven game stretch, he must be starting to feel the burn at the far end of the bench.
Although the Friars did see their bats come alive near the end of the month, the bats remained cold throughout the majority of May. The team hit a combined .235, and finished second to last in MLB in OBP at .292. The only two players with significant amount of at-bats during the month, who looked remotely like MLB hitters were Seth Smith, who batted .354, and Cameron Maybin, who hit .319. Carlos Quentin, who returned to the lineup from the DL also put up decent numbers in his limited, but productive 22 at bats, putting together eight hits and clubbing two home runs.
Fortunately, for the Padres their pitching remains one of the best staffs in baseball, and has given the Padres the opportunity to win some close games. If it was not for the impressive pitching performances by Tyson Ross, Ian Kennedy and the Friars stiff bullpen, the team would be scraping the proverbial bottom of the barrel.
San Diego Padres Pitcher of the Month: Tyson Ross Tyson Ross was a beast on the mound for the Padres during the month of May. Unquestionably, he was the Friars most consistent pitcher, posting a solid 2.18 ERA in 33.0 solid innings pitched. In his five starts during the month, he allowed just 26 total hits, struck out 33 batters, and held opponents to a .215 batting average.
San Diego Padres Player of the Month: Seth Smith Seth Smith went on a tear during the month, earning himself NL Player of the Week for his hot hitting. While he cooled down considerably, going just 3-22 in the last seven days, he still managed to rack up 28 hits on the month, and post a .345 average. When all the other bats were cold, his bat was the one bright spot in the lineup. However, in the last week which has seen other players heating up a bit at the bat, Smith has tailed off into the deep freeze. If the Padres look to pull things together, they will need Smith, who is chugging along as one of their hottest hitting cylinders to step up as the season moves into June.
Commentary by Johnny Caito