If it wasn’t for hard luck, San Diego Padres starter Dustin Moseley would have no luck at all.
The right-hander is 0-2 with a 2.08 ERA and sporting a grand run support total of zero. That’s right, in Moseley’s two starts this season, the Padres have yet to score a run. They’re not just going scoreless, they’re barely threatening. San Diego has just 10 hits in those two games and didn’t really threaten on Saturday against the Los Angeles Dodgers until there were two outs in the ninth.
In spring training, it looked like Moseley was set for the bullpen with Wade LeBlanc taking the final spot in the rotation. LeBlanc’s poor starts toward the end of camp earned him a ticket to Triple-A Tucson and gave the gig to Moseley.
So far, it’s looked like the right decision. LeBlanc was touched up for nine runs (eight earned) in just 4.1 innings in his Tucson debut. Meanwhile, Moseley has been San Diego’s best starter early in the season. In his first start, he threw an outstanding seven innings against the Cardinals, holding St. Louis to just one run on four hits.
Then on Saturday against the Dodgers, both Moseley’s offense and defense let him down. After L.A. picked up a quick run in the top of the first, he weaved through danger until the fifth. With two outs, he gave up a solo home run to Andre Ethier followed by an infield single from Matt Kemp. However, the damage would have been limited there were it not for some shaky outfield defense from Chris Denorfia, who played Juan Uribe‘s deep fly ball into a two-base error, allowing Kemp to score from first.
The silver lining in all of this for Moseley is that he’s earning himself a greater chance to stay in the rotation. The upside for the Padres is they may have found themselves a fifth starter – that’s very good news with staff ace Mat Latos set to make his season debut on Monday against the Cincinnati Reds.
But the dark cloud around that silver lining is Moseley’s early season fate may be the same one that befalls most of San Diego’s starters this year. Padres’ fans are starting to realize that their offense really is as bad as they’d feared when Adrian Gonzalez left. Of the teams currently with the five worst batting averages in the majors – Cardinals, Red Sox, Padres, Twins and Rays – San Diego’s the one most would argue will stay there all season, especially considering their pitching-heavy NL West schedule.
Here’s to enjoying silver linings.
Booth Review – The Dodgers-Padres series brings together two Hall of Fame broadcasters in Vin Scully and Dick Enberg, who handles TV duties on San Diego’s Channel 4. Beyond that, those two have a shared NFL history as well. Enberg called the 1982 AFC Championship game between the San Diego Chargers and the Cincinnati Bengals, better known as the Freezer Bowl for wind chills that got as low as -59 °F. Later that day, Scully called the NFC Championship game between the Dallas Cowboys and the San Francisco 49ers. That game famously featured The Catch, Dwight Clark’s game-winning grab from Joe Montana.
Help Wanted — The Angels are in desperate need of help at the bottom of their rotation. Jered Weaver, Dan Haren and Ervin Santana have been as expected in the top three slots. Meanwhile Scott Kazmir gave up five runs in 1.2 innings in his only start this year and is now on the disabled list with back problems. Matt Palmer was called up from Salt Lake City to take Kazmir’s spot in the rotation on Saturday and didn’t do much to impress (4.2 IP, 5 R, 4 ER, 10 H). The Angels had been able to avoid dealing with the fifth spot in the rotation because of early off-days. But Joel Pineiro‘s shoulder isn’t ready yet, so Mike Scioscia has to decide who will get those innings. Chances are it will be Trevor Bell, but there’s a chance rookie prospect Tyler Chatwood could get the call from Triple-A.