You know how, because the Mariners and Padres spend Spring Training in the same complex, they’re supposed to be ‘natural’ rivals? You know how the Mariners try to convince us to hate the Padres as if they were the Red Sox to our Yankees? You know how that has never worked because Seattlites couldn’t care less about a lousy team in San Diego?
Well, I’m starting to hate the Padres.
I hate the Padres because the Mariners have lost to them four times this year in four games. The Padres have gone into each game with a worse record but have swept the season series.
I hate the Padres because they not only beat the Mariners tonight, they embarrassed them. The Padres, who had only won 24 games on the year (three of which came against the Mariners), beat the Mariners by a final score of 9-5, highlighted by a five-run fourth inning that sealed Seattle’s fate.
I hate the Padres because the good Mariners couldn’t hit off of them tonight. Kyle Seager, Casper Wells and Dustin Ackley combined to go 0-for-11 against the Padres’ pitchers tonight.
I hate the Padres because they made it look so easy in a home park known as one of the most pitcher-friendly parks in baseball. Petco has the same reputation as Safeco, but the Padres had no problems putting up nine runs on the board.
I was prepared, in case we lost, to place the blame squarely on Eric Wedge. He announced before the game that he was giving Michael Saunders and Jesus Montero, two of the hottest hitters on the team, an ‘extended break,’ which meant Ichiro and Miguel Olivo would be playing. It’s as if the baseball gods are just toying with me – Ichiro went 3-for-5 and Olivo hit a homerun and added a walk to boot.
Kevin Millwood was bad, but after the run of amazing starts he’s had lately and after his recent injury, I can’t be angry with him. He gave up five runs in five innings and now has an ERA of 4.02. He wasn’t expected to do much except for be a warm body in the rotation prior to the season, and he has exceeded those expectations.
There are losses where you see positives and ponder how the team can build on the successes it experienced in the game. And then there are losses like these. Losses to what appears to be an inferior team, but losses that really make you question the true hierarchy of talent in the major leagues.
I hate the Padres because they are worse than the Mariners, but they have also been better than the Mariners. Four times out of four.
Next game: vs. Padres | June 23 | 7:05 pm