Smart and selfless spells fun to watch, which describes today's Padres performance. The No. 3 hitter, Orlando Hudson, attempts to drive the ball when he should, then bunts two runners over. The No. 5 hitter, Ryan Ludwick, sees the ball well in every at-bat against Cardinals starter Jake Westbrook but doesn't let his swing to grow overly long. He draws a key walk and lines three hits, the last for a wall-banging double (off a middle reliever). Nick Hundley again looks at home in the No. 8 spot and launches an extra-base hit. Buoyed by the team's steady offense, pitcher Clayton Richard gives himself a run with a safety squeeze bunt. Adrian Gonzalez-like, Chase Headley bashes an opposite-field home run to left-center.
A second gold star in two games goes to Cameron Maybin. Part of the scouting book on him is that he's often overly concerned with getting jammed by fastballs. After making him overly protective of inside heat, Westbrook strikes him out with a pitch well outside. School's still in, though. Maybin reads intent in his next chance when Jason Motte repeatedly tests him inside. Adjusting, Maybin rips a double down the left-field line.