Padres MLN: Buschmann, Bush feel refreshed

Lake Elsinore, CA-- Matt Antonelli was back in action as the designated hitter. The day off on Monday was a welcome respite, even though they had a strong outing on Sunday. The running game of Rancho Cucamonga was neutralized in numerous ways on Tuesday.

  • Matt Antonelli was back in the lineup on Tuesday at designated hitter. The plan was to bring him back slowly and not stress the injured groin by putting the demand of playing second base upon him.

    Antonelli rode a bike to stay warm and should be back at second base before the week is out.

    He batted in the two-hole on Tuesday – the first time this season he has not batted leadoff – and went 1-for-4 with a walk and a run scored.

  • Manny Ayala pitched a gem on Sunday to get Lake Elsinore back in the win column. They came into the game with a 2-8 record and the win came in front of a day off – just when the team started what could be a roll.

    But some welcomed the break.

    "I think it did (help us), especially after the way we started on the road for seven days," Matt Buschmann said. "It kind of let everyone catch their breath and mentally evaluate what they have done and understand why we are doing certain things."

    It was a catch-22 of sorts. The day off was welcome after the 3-8 start – especially considering Tuesday's opponent was a chance to make up ground against first place Rancho Cucamonga.

    But they did win the last outing.

    "Everyone in the league had one," manager Carlos Lezcano said of the day off. "It is always nice to have a day off to get away, recharge the batteries and come back rested."

    The team entered Tuesday hitting just .220 – the worst batting average in the California League. The team ERA of 4.24 sat sixth.

    Six regulars entered the game with batting averages under .200. Four pitchers had an ERA over 6.00. Maybe the day off was a blessing in disguise to gain a clean slate.

    "The day off made me feel better," Matt Bush said. "All the aches and pains go away. I feel loose again. It is good to get a day away from the game and not really think about it too much. It feels like a fresh start after a day off."

    Bush went 2-for-4 on the day with a triple, a run scored and an RBI.

  • The Quakes swiped 12 bases off the Storm during the opening series of the season – consisting of just four games.

    They lead the California League with 20 steals, with two players in the top five individually.

    "I know I have to keep my head up because I know they are going to run a lot," said Bush. "I have to get to the bag early."

    "They are going to run, they are going to bunt – they are that kind of team," Lezcano said. "We have to guard against that.

    "We will try not to get off our game. You can't be too fast to the plate because it will affect your performance. There are other ways to do that other than being fast to the plate. Obviously, if the guy is slow, he will have to be a little faster but you get a guy who is 1.3 or 1.4 (seconds) to the plate and all of a sudden he is 1.1 – you will be walking the world. There is other stuff we can do: holding the ball, throwing over, pitch outs – to cut down on their aggressiveness."

    They have found a friend in Jose Lobaton – the thieves have taken eight of the 12 off the Venezuelan catcher.

    "I worked hard in the Venezuelan League on my defense," Lobaton said through a translator. "That was my focus."

    Lobaton has thrown out 5-of-15 baserunners this season.

    In game one of the series, the Storm kept the Quakes running game at bay. Jon Link, in fact, picked Hainley Statia off second base, catching him leaning. Only Jordan Renz attempted a steal but it was on a pitch that was fouled off.

  • MadFriars Top Stories