In addition to being credited with a “W” in the Padres’ 8-3 victory over the Phillies last night, Chad Reineke displayed his ability to swing a bat by getting his first big league base hit and knocking in a run with two outs in the bottom of the fourth. His single, which made the score 3-2 Phillies, must have inspired the Padre offense because they ended up scoring five big ones in that inning.
Okay, if you look at the numbers, it wasn’t a great pitching performance. The 26-year-old rookie surrendered three runs on five hits and three walks over five innings of work. Although his pitch count was 102, thirty-five of them came in the first inning when he displayed an obvious case of the jitters and allowed two runs. And even though the Phillies have been struggling offensively, they’re still one of the best hitting clubs in baseball.
Jody Gerut continued to make a case for himself to be part of the 2009 Padre outfield by collecting three hits, including two doubles, and driving in two runs. Currently hitting a solid .293 with twelve home runs, Gerut could end up in either right or left field next year. I believe he’s done an excellent job in center this year and wouldn’t be opposed to seeing him there again in 2009. However, the Padres may be looking for someone with a little more speed to fill that position.
Three of the four Padre relievers who shut down the Phillies over the final four frames last night could very well be mainstays in the Padres’ 2009 bullpen. The club is discussing a deal with Heath Bell that would keep him around for a few more years. Clay Hensley and Mike Adams should be retained. If Wil Ledezma continues to improve, he might also be around next year. Likewise for Justin Hampson. It’s always nice to have two lefties in the pen. And, there’s no doubt in my mind that Trevor Hoffman should be brought back for at least one more season. That leaves one spot open for a pitcher who could double as a middle-inning relief pitcher and a spot starter. They have a guy capable of that right now; his name is Chow Seung Baek. As a starter, Baek is 0-6 at Petco Park with a very high ERA. I believe he’d be more valuable to the Padres as a reliever.
Speaking of Chow Seung Baek, he’ll get a chance to pick up his first Petco Park victory today in the rubber game of the three-game series. Local boy Cole Hamels gets the nod for the Phillies.