Padres are currently leading the NL West by 1.5 games with a 40-29 record, mostly thanks to their pitching.
Well don’t look now, because Adrian Gonzalez has suddenly caught fire.
Season slash at June 1: .263/.384/.446
Season slash as of today: .310/.409/.552
He’s currently second in the NL in B-R’s WAR, 3.9, behind Ubaldo’s 4.4.
It also seems their pitching has adjusted and Garland and Richards are both performing at reasonable levels for Petco Park. The team pitching as a whole has one of the lowest FB percentages and one of the highest GB percentages and a remarkably reasonable 8.7% HR/FB ratio. And then behind them is the best defense in baseball according to UZR/150.
Right now, the Padres are performing BELOW their pythag win-loss.
Yep, Padres are for real.
Edit — Padres have one of the highest UZR/150s in baseball partially because of David Eckstein’s remarkable 16.2 UZR/150 at 2B this year. Eckstein has never been a favorable defensive player at short stop, but the transition to second base could be a main reason for the switch–Eckstein’s biggest defensive flaw has always been his throwing arm, which isn’t strong. It’s hard to say if Eckstein’s enjoying a really good 1/3rd defensive season because (a) he’s done so well in a small sample size, (b) he’s become better at a middle-infield position by different training, like Derek Jeter in 2009, or (c) the switch from SS to 2B was beneficial for him and took him a year to learn it. UZR doesn’t have the complex history other stats do (it was first recorded in 2002, as opposed to home runs, which were recorded all the way back in 1871), so we’re just gonna have to take a “wait and see” approach on this one. If it’s any consolation, his UZR/150 has actually gone DOWN the last half month or so.
The other reasons for the team’s total defense performance are Tony Gwynn and Scott Hairston, both of whom are terrific outfield defenders, and Chase Headley and Adrian Gonzalez. Every position player right now has a positive UZR, and it could be because the coaches are telling them to improve range rather than stick to balls they can only field cleanly.
From around Dodger blogs, MSTI doesn’t think it’s going to be the easiest flight home.
MOKM takes a break to look at the farm.
True Blue LA reviews week 11 and just how painfully bad it ended yesterday. Gotta hate that Kuroda put forth such a great performance yesterday and was screwed by a defensive miscue and no offense.
Dodger Thoughts’ Jon Weisman posts his power rankings of Dodger players from the week that was.
Argyled Plaschke has been quiet for a few days, but he still has up this AWESOME footage of Three-Fingers Brown.
Vin Scully is my Homeboy went to the Fenway series and has pictures.