First some administrative items. We have a shortstop for the Juan Eichelberger All-Stars, and he is Yuniesky Betancourt. Remember, this is all about the NAME, not the PLAYER. Because if it was about the player, Betancourt'd be DFA'd today. We also have a back-up catcher: Humberto Quintero. I love this name; it sounds like the nom-de-plume of a Roman Emperor.
Back to the Padres. They won 2 of 3 from a bad Astro team over the weekend, which made me smile. They could have swept, but Mujica decided to test the 'Minute Maid Park is a Band Box' theory (and he was proven wrong), and Jerry Hairston AIR-MAILED a throw to first in the ninth (which led to an unearned tying run). Life goes on.
I have one complaint about this series, only one complaint really, and that is why was Jon Garland lifted after 7 innings and 83 pitches on Saturday night? At the time he left, Garland had allowed 3 baserunners (2 hits and a walk), had retired the heart of the Houston order in the seventh, and had retired 7 of the last 8 hitters (he walked Keppinger to start the seventh, then retired him on a double play off the bat of Carlos Lee) he faced.
Eighty-three pitches is the fewest Garland has thrown in a game this season. Why take him out? Adams came in and gave up a run in the eighth, which further irked me. Thankfully Bell slammed the door in the ninth.
I don't understand the 'setup man/closer' mentality when the starter is rolling along. You never know when you might need to tax the bullpen in the future, so if you can rest everybody behind a dominating performance by the starter, I think you should. Sadly the Padres had to go with an emergency starter on Sunday (Correia missed his start due to a family tragedy), which meant they needed all hands on deck.
Granted, Adams/Bell pitching on Saturday didn't figure into why the team lost on Sunday (see Mujica and Hairston, who we discussed above), but the next time it might not work out that way. It just seemed foolish to me.
Padres start a 3-game set in San Francisco tonight. First place is on the line. I hope we can still say that when the Padres/Giants hook up in August - that'd be really cool.