Lopez is not the answer for Padres, Good Defense Is

Wednesday April 29, 2009

The Padres brought up left handed reliever Arturo Lopez in the hopes that he could stop the bleeding in the bullpen when it comes to left handed batters.

Going into today’s game the Padres Bullpen is allowing a BAA of .292 to left handed batters.

No such luck. Lopez walked the first two batters he faced, gave up a hard hit 2 run single and then hit a batter before being lifted for Luis Perdomo without getting an out.

Now do not get me wrong. The loss cannot be pinned on Lopez today.

That dishonor goes to Edgar Gonzalez.

Edgar Gonzalez blew a routine play that would have been the 1st out in the 6th and the inning would have ended on a fly ball that was instead a sac fly that scored the 2nd run of the inning.

If Edgar does his job on that ground ball for the 1st out of the inning, Tulowitzki is at 2nd for Ianneta’s single up the middle and has to be held at 3rd, Cook either swings away or sacrifices the runners to 2nd and 3rd with 2 out and Fowler’s fly ball is the 3rd out of the inning. Lopez does not come into the game in the 6th and the Padres go into the 9th ahead 5-3.

The difference in the game was Defense, not pitching.

Now I know there are going to be alot of people who are whining about the Padres pitching after tonight’s game, but their distress and venom is misplaced.

Some will be complaining about the Padres lack of offense against Rockies Starter Aaron Cook despite the fact that the Padres scored 3 runs off Cook and 5 runs in the game. Their misgivings are also misplaced.

They should be complaining about a Padres defense that is average at best and well below average when Edgar Gonzalez is on the field. What galls me the most about this game is the thought that the middle infielder they let get away, Travis Denker, is a very good to great defensive player.

Ladies and Gentlemen, pitching and defense wins championships. ESPECIALLY when you play 81 games in the leagues best pitchers park.

It is time the Padres started to think about how many runs the players they put on the field can prevent, and less about how many runs players with poor defensive skills like Edgar Gonzalez are going to add with their mediocre bats.

So, Arturo Lopez is not the answer to what ails the Padres bullpen, Good Defense Is.

I have had my say, now what do you think?

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