LHP David Wells (2-4, 3.78) and RHP Pedro Martinez (5-3, 4.40)
David Wells returns after his well documented accident. Considering the contract Wells signed is incentive laden in regards to appearances; that was probably one of the most expensive bottles of wine ever. Prior to his injury, Boomer had been pitching well enough to win, but coming out on the short end of the stick.
What can you say about Pedro Martinez? He has a reputation for being a head hunter. Many of us saw him bring a charging Don Zimmer to the ground. As a Padres fan, I am glad that the Dodgers traded him to Montreal for Delino DeShields. Oops.
RHP Brian Lawrence (7-3, 4.06) and Bronson Arroyo (2-3, 5.33)
BLaw has been pitching much better than he was in April. His last outing he got a no decision after allowing only 1 run over 7.1 IP. The team eventually got the winning run but a couple innings too late for BLaw to be a factor.
Arroyo was a 3rd round pick that has not quite reached expectation. Arroyo throws a fastball, change, curve, and slider. Batters have been killing Arroyo on the first pitch of the AB, hitting a whopping .395 on that “get ahead” pitch.
RHP Dennis Tankersley (0-2, 2.35) and RHP Curt Schilling (7-3, 3.07)
Tank was bitten by abysmal defense and lack of run support in his last start. When Terrence Long played a single into a triple without being charged with an error, Tankersley did not implode like he had done in the past. He minimized the damage. He still needs to cut down on the walks, but this guy looks like the guy that was considered a better prospect than Jake Peavy.
While there was not dancing in the streets when Schilling was shipped to Boston, there was a certain amount of relief that that the team would not have to face him 3, perhaps 4 times a year. Schilling has just killed the Padres. In the last 3 seasons, he has gone 8-2 against the Pads, with an ERA of 1.66.
Hitters to Watch
Phil Nevin has quietly been on a tear. Over the last 5 games he hit .389 with a 3-run homer to clinch the Brewers series and another bomb to center that narrowly missed going out as it bounced high off the fence on the fly. He even had more walks (3) than strikeouts (2), which is unusual for the free swinger.
Manny Ramirez may be lackadaisical in the field, a moron on the bases, and perhaps even a clubhouse cancer but he can flat mash.
I had long been an advocate of the Padres drafting Jered Weaver. However, I actually like the pick of Matt Bush. For me, it signals a change. The Padres selected three high school position players with their first three picks of the draft. This is a departure for a team that has been college heavy in their selections. The Padres now indicate they are again willing to develop high school talent. The Padres did not draft a high school pitcher until the 15th round (LHP Brandon Thomson, Gilbert HS (AZ)). Of course, Jake Peavy was drafted in the 15th round, so the young lefty may have some promise.
Congrats to Tampa Bay Lightning for winning the Stanley Cup. I lived in the Tampa Bay area for four years and as soon as I left the Bucs won the Super Bowl and now this. Coincidence? No way. Those of you still residing in Tampa Bay, send me your donations, I even accept PayPal, for your convenience.
Kim Lewis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org