Sunday, May 30, 2010

Veteran knack

* Jon Garland's competitive style recalls Woody Williams. Garland refuses to "give in" to dangerous hitters. If he misses his target, it's usually outside of the strikezone. Unlike Williams, Garland has a good sinkerball. He went eight games without allowing a home run until giving up one in the first inning today.

* Garland is skillful at using sliders and cut fastballs. Tidbit -- the Padres' catcher gives him the same signal for either of those pitches, then Garland decides which one to throw. If he wants more break, he'll go to the slider.

* For the second consecutive Sunday, the Padres landed a crucial single in front of an outfielder who was playing too deep. Nationals left fielder Josh Willingham set up 290 feet from Tony Gwynn Jr., a left-handed slap hitter. As a result, he was unable to catch Gwynn's floater to left field, giving the Padres a tie-breaking run in the fifth inning today. Gwynn Jr. is not a threat to hit a deep flyball to left field.

* Nationals PR man John Dever used to work for the Padres and saw a lot of Ken Caminiti here. Dever refers to Nats third baseman Ryan Zimmerman as "Ziminiti" because he makes highlight plays like Caminiti used to make. Today, Zimmerman fielded and slugged like the MVP Caminiti of 1996.

* Today the Nats were trying to win their first series in San Diego since 2001, when the franchise was in Montreal.

* Scouts say there's nothing flukey about Mat Latos' strong start. Latos has the fastball and slider to become a No. 2 starter, maybe better if his changeup and curveball come along.

* Adam Dunn is the rare slugger who enjoys playing in San Diego. "I love this ballpark," Dunn told me on Saturday. When he was with the Reds, Dunn had some big games at Petco Park. Friday night, he hit a 400-foot drive that caromed off the wall in Death Valley for a double. "I didn't think it was going to be a homer," he said. "I didn't even know that it hit the wall."

* Hate to say it because I think their job is more difficult than generally thought, but the umpires aren't having a great year. Can't recall seeing so many backdoor breaking balls that appear outside yet are called strikes. Must be a tough pitch for umps to read, but it's grossly unfair to the hitter. The hitter is tasked with trying to hit a pitch that starts outside of the strikezone and never gets to the outside corner yet is called a strike. Padres pitchers seem to be getting a few of those calls, including a few by Bob Davidson today. UPDATE:Davidson dealt Adrian Gonzalez one of those calls, too.

No comments:

Post a Comment