Padres MLN: Little pitch, little hit

Peoria, AZ- Things got off to a rough start and cascaded from there, as three starters were shelled during their time on the mound. On the plus side, the relief corps looked solid.

  • For much of the afternoon, Brian Giles matched the rest of the lineup with his two hits in four at-bats. He singled up the gut in his first at-bat, lined out, hit an opposite field blooper for a base hit and grounded out.

    The rest of the offense was stagnant for much of the day. Seth Johnston and Sean Kazmar accounted for the only other hits until late in the contest.

    Chad Huffman singled up the middle for the first RBI of the game. His hit brought in Jeremy Hunt who launched a ball to deep left center and ended up lumbering around the bags for a triple.

    Johnston's second hit of the game accounted for the second and final run for the Triple-A squad, scoring Matt Stocco.

    Kazmar, incidentally, hit three balls hard before striking out in his final at-bat.

  • Will Inman and his funky delivery began the afternoon affair at the Peoria Sports Complex. Unfortunately, he never made it out of the top of the first.

    While he flashed an above average curveball, at times, it was not enough to overcome falling behind in the counts.

    The right-hander allowed three singles and two walks over two-thirds of an inning, as two runs crossed the dish. Steve Garrison replaced him with the bases loaded.

    The left-handed Garrison stranded all three runners by inducing a fly out. That, however, was the extend of his success.

    Garrison gave up four extra base hits before leaving the game. In successive at-bats, he yielded a ringing double off the wall and then a home run to right-centerfield. He also surrendered a solo homer, as four runs came across during his limited time on the mound.

    Manny Ayala had a tough go of things in his first inning of work – so much so that they rolled the inning before he got to three outs. The right-hander gave up three straight singles to open his inning before getting a fly out that scored one. Three more singles followed before the inning was rolled with the bases juiced.

  • Mike Megrew needed just eight pitches to make it through his first inning of work, striking out one. He worked a second inning, using 17 pitches and whiffing the final batter he saw, although he did allow a lone single. He was the lone pitcher to work a 1-2-3 inning.

    Mike Adams gave up an inning-opening base hit before getting a fly out and a double play grounder.

    Jon Ellis finished the game off for the Padres Triple-A squad. The right-hander struck out two and walked one in an efficient inning.

    "The walk I was trying to work my slider a little bit," said Ellis. "It is early in the spring and I am trying to get a feel for it. I am sure it will be there once I get my arm in shape. The changeup is coming along well, the sinker is pretty good - got the ground ball on that – and got one strikeout on the changeup and the last guy I just said, ‘I have two outs, I am going to throw some fastballs and if he hits it, he hits it.'"

  • On the other side of the field, Cedric Hunter collected two RBIs, one on a sacrifice fly and another on a single – but the team went down to the Kansas City Royals 9-3.

    The game had an eerily similar feeling to the game on the other side of the field, although the Royals twice rolled the inning with men on base, less than two outs, and zero runs having touched home.

    While they did put the runners back on base in the following inning, it killed some of the momentum the Padres Double-A squad had built.

  • At the morning workout, Bob Skube gave praise to Angel Mercado when he said, "That a way to keep the hips back."

    That prompted Gary Jones to chime in, "This guy has been raking. You don't need to tell him nothing."

    Mercado is easily the best looking hitter early in camp.

  • New roving catching instructor Duffy Dyer is impressed with the catching prospects as a whole. While he acknowledged some are raw, he believes there is a lot of talent at the position.

    One thing that may come as a surprise is how much help many catchers need calling a game.

    "You would be surprised how many colleges don't let the catchers call a game," he said. "'Call a game?'"

    Each of the catchers in the Padres organization call their own games. It is the only way they learn. Afterwards, Dyer – along with the pitching coaches – talk about how the catcher could improve upon his game calling techniques.

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