You know, I don't mean to take anything away from Yoslan Herrera, who got his first big-league win today, or Jason Bay, Xavier Nady, and Nate McLouth, who all homered, but I have to say, this one was all about the Padres. The Bucs scored nine runs, yes, but they came against three pitchers who all have ERAs over 5.50. It's not easy to rack up an ERA that high in PETCO, but these three pitchers have all done it.
There's something weirdly admirable about how quickly Kevin Towers and the Padres embraced the "Is It Still Baseball Season?" portion of their year. Sure, injuries did force it on them to some degree. Heck, Albert Pujols just about laid waste to the entire team in one trip around the bases. Still, it's been amazing to watch the procession of minor-league nobodies the Padres have trotted out this season, surely hoping to catch fire with one of them, however slim they must realize their chances are when your minor-league talent is as bad as theirs is.
Luke Carlin and Nick Hundley have done much of the catching; Edgar Gonzalez (who, against all odds, has been very good) has played a bunch of second base. There are also outfielders: Justin Huber (who I actually kind of like), Paul McAnulty and Jody Gerut. And I haven't even mentioned Craig Stansberry (yes, him) or Callix Crabbe or Luis Rodriguez or Colt Morton!
The pitching has been a similar parade of nobodies: Wil Ledezma, Cha Seung Baek, Bryan Corey, Justin Germano, Glendon Rusch, Justin Hampson and others. True, the Pirates have played lots of these kinds of players too, but with the Padres you can look at the box score in any given night and expect to see around eight of them. A copule of these guys (Huber, maybe McAnulty) have little flickers of upside; most have none at all. For a team that was supposed to be competitive this year, the Padres' transformation has been remarkable.