September/October Evaluation (Plus a Rant)
2010 season came to an end for the San Diego Padres which means it’s time for a final evaluation of the year. Padres finished the season with a 90-72 record and this team turned out to be one of the biggest surprises in baseball this season. Without further ado, I present to you the top 5 greatest moments of September/October for the San Diego Padres.
5. Snapping the 10-game losing streak
What more I can say? Losing ten in a row hurts. In fact, it’s so excruciating watching your beloved team lose ten games straight. Especially when that team has been playing solid baseball. This entry shows my frustration and a long letter for the Padres. On September 6th, Padres finally broke the lengthy losing streak against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Petco Park. Winning this game got the Padres back on track and the energy this team originally had started to grow again.
4. Rookie Cory Luebke’s First Major League Win
Two days later, rookie Cory Luebke earned his first major league win against the Dodgers. He tossed six scoreless innings and struck out seven batters. He was pick number 63 in the 2007 Major League Baseball Draft and started his professional career with short-season Eugene Emeralds. He was soon promoted to Class-A Fort Wayne Tin Caps and later promoted again to Class-A Advanced Lake Elsinore Storm. In 2008, he spent his time with the Tin Caps and Storm. Last year, he was promoted up to Double-A San Antonio Missions.
This season, Cory Luebke was part of the September call up and made a great impression to the Padres staff and the fans. He made his major league start on September 3rd but suffered with a loss. On September 8th, he earned his first major league win as his second start. He is a young pitcher but his potential to be the very best in the major league is very eye-catching and remarkable. I can sense that he will have a bright future with the Padres.
3. Chris Denorfia’s Walk-Off Double Against the Aroldis Chapman
On September 25th, Padres beat the Cincinnati Reds in an exhilarating fashion. On the bottom of the ninth, Chris Denorfia was in a battle with Reds’ young phenom Aroldis Chapman. Chapman’s 100-105 MPH pitches blow me away every time. However, Chris Denorfia was able to win this incredible battle and drove in the winning run for the Padres. The energy at Petco Park was intense and the atmosphere was breathtaking. The look of Padres’ faces really showed that they wanted to win this game badly. This team earned a big win against the Reds and proved that anything can happen.
2. Unsung Hero: Tim Stauffer
Personally, the player who deserves plenty of recognition is pitcher Tim Stauffer. Because of the struggles with starting pitching in mid-August, Tim Stauffer filled in and settled very nicely. This meant that original starting pitcher Kevin Correia was pushed back to the bullpen. Stauffer had few opportunities to pitch for key games such as games against the Giants and he did nothing but a solid job. He definitely did the best he can and I have to applaud him for the hard work he gave it all for the Padres. I hope to see him grow even more and hopefully settle himself into a starting pitching rotation next season.
1. 90-72 Record for the 2010 Season
Although this record did not allow the Padres to secure a spot in postseason, I’m really proud of my team for making it this far. This brings up to the next part of my entry, which is a rant about reflecting the wonderful 2010 season.
Padres Rant: Reflecting the 2010 Season
When this season began, there were countless amount of doubters who projected this team was going to finish last place. The show began in April and the Padres were getting better and better. There were young talent and veteran players who stepped up their games to help out the young players. Contribution was made by everyone. It wasn’t just from one player with “My stats. My role.” kind of thing but everyone made some sort of benefaction. From young arms to veteran arms, this team had great chemistry. Acquisitions of Ryan Ludwick and Miguel Tejada during the mid-season also impacted this team in a great way. Padres played gritty and solid baseball and remained in first place for almost the whole year. There were ups and downs but I personally think the main down side was the ten-game losing streak. Besides that losing streak, this team played nothing but great baseball.
However, everything came down to game 162 against the rival San Francisco Giants. Padres were down by 3-0 on top of the ninth inning and I was getting nervous and nervous every time Giants’ closer Brian Wilson made his pitches. When the Padres got the last out and the Giants gathered and celebrated, I was in absolute shock and tears came down to my face. It was absolutely heartbreaking how the last game of the season determined the faith of the Padres. After playing great baseball since April, it was unbelievable how one game can change everything. Padres are not in the playoffs this season and I am extremely dismal but at the same time, I am very proud of my guys for giving their all this season.
There were plenty of surprises from the Padres. The bullpen was absolutely dominating and young star Mat Latos blew me away. Heath Bell continued to serve his role as a closer very well. The leadership quality from players such as David Eckstein, Jon Garland, Matt Stairs and Miguel Tejada are remarkable. Watching young talents from players such as Will Venable and Aaron Cunningham are still rememberable. This team is filled with group of guys who are very fun to watch. I am very proud of every single guys in the 2010 Padres roster. This season was a wild roller coaster ride and I’m glad I was in it for 162 games. This season will be very memorable, despite the fact that Padres came extremely close to postseason. I can’t wait to see what 2011 Padres has to offer. I really believe that the force is still strong with the Padres.