What a first half it was for the San Diego Padres. This team, that nobody expected anything from, is 2 games ahead of the Rockies and Dodgers for first place. In this post, I am going to show you some key players that have helped the Friars to first place after the first half of the 2010 regular season.
1. MAT LATOS
Mat has been a star so far this season. 10-4, ERA of 2.45, WHIP of 0.97, and a opponents batting average of .193. You can’t do much better than that in the first half of the season. It’s been reported that the Padres are gonna rest this young stud for a few starts after the break, which is fine with me. You don’t want to overuse and risk injury in a young starting pitcher, especially with the stuff he has. All of this said, he has been a key factor in the 51-37 Padres.
(photo courtesy of friarhood.com)
2. Padres Bullpen
The Padres bullpen is by far the best in the league. I’m not bragging, they have all the stats to prove it. A 2.91 ERA, 296 K’s, and holding teams to a combined .217 average all point to the Padres bullpen. They also have fantastic 7-8-9 inning guys, with Gregorson, Adams, and Bell respectively. They are known now, to Padres nation, as GAB. Also, Ryan Webb and Tim Stauffer, who just recovered from appendix removal have stepped in when members of the GAB need a break. Lefty Joe Thatcher has retired some good left handed batters with a nice curveball and a sneaky fastball.
3. Catching Crew
Not only has Yorvit Torreabla and Nick Hundley done an awesome job with the pitching staff, they also have made a big difference with the bats as well. Nick Hundley is more of the power guy, while Yorvit Torreabla will hit singles and doubles. It is a great combination to have, and you know, whether it’s Yorvit or Nick, that you’ll have a good man behind the plate and a good hitter up there when it’s time to swing the lumber.
(photo’s courtesy of sdnn.com and kaybee.mlblogs.com)
4. Adrian Gonzalez
What else can be said about this guy? He is a beast. 18 homers, 56 RBI’s, a .301 batting average, a gold glove at first base, he can do it all. Absolutely incredible.
(photo courtesy of si.com)
5. David Eckstein
David Eckstein is, as me and Padres announcer Mark Grant like to call him, our “Little Mascot”. He always does the little things (and the big things) right. Runner on second and nobody out? No problem, he can go opposite field and move the runner over to 3rd base. Need a walk off homer? No problem. He proved he can do that in April vs. the Giants. Hyun Young of Perpetual Padres Saga made a sign that said “Fear the Scrappy.” Fear him indeed. He is an awesome member of the Padres, a great leader who always does the little things correctly.
(photo courtesy of zimbio.com)
The San Diego Padres also have a few players that I didn’t mention that make a big impact on this team. Chase Headley had a solid first half, batting .270. Aaron Cunningham has come up from the minors and made a huge impact. Clayton Richard, Jon Garland, Wade LeBlanc, and Kevin Correia have all been solid in the rotation. I am really, really excited to watch this team in the second half of the 2010 campaign. I think we can keep proving doubters wrong and keep winning. It will be an exciting second half of the season, there is no doubt about that.
The Home run derby is today, who do you guys think will win it? I think that Hanley Ramirez will take home the HR derby title. I think he’ll win it because more of his home runs are line drive home runs, not fly ball homers. That’ll benefit him in the derby. We can only wait and see who comes out with the 2010 home run derby.