Breven’s Sports Blog: Padres Working Towards Recovery

Padres shortstop Tatis Jr. crouching down

The San Diego Padres look to improve their offensive game despite a minor setback early on in the season.

The hometown team, who entered the week at 30-29 and are only two games back of the second wild-card spot, are looking to heat up in the final stretch before the All-Star Break.

Today, we are going to dive into a couple of Padres topics.

Injuries

For the past five weeks, the Padres have been playing without their shortstop phenom and No. 2 prospect across MLB, Fernando Tatis Jr. Fortunately, their backup shortstop – Manny Machado – has played great since his departure.

Before the team’s top prospect went down, the combination between Machado and Tatis Jr. filling the left side of the infield saw a glimpse into what the next 10-plus years could look like for baseball in San Diego.

That glimpse would turn to a pause after the Padres lost to the Nationals, 7-6 in 10 innings on April 28. Tatis Jr. went down after overstretching for a ball at second base and pulled a hamstring

With hamstring injuries, the timing is uncertain as to when a player will return, but it all depends on the muscle itself. Some take a couple of days; some take a month or two.

However, some good news came this past weekend for Tatis Jr. and the Padres.

Tatis Jr. began his rehab assignment this past Monday in Double-A Amarillo (Texas) in hopes to return to the team by the end of the homestand or early next week.

In that game he would go 1-for-3 with two walks. That hit would be an infield single that he legged out. Despite having a throwing error, he would steal a base for the Amarillo Sod Poodles in their 8-5 loss against the Frisco RoughRiders.

As a result of baseball’s No. 2 prospect going down, Machado moved over to shortstop and the backups at third base have not been as consistent.

The Padres have used a duo between San Diego State Alum Ty France and San Diego-product via Valhalla High School Greg Garcia to fill the gap to cover the hot corner. Although France and Garcia have seen playing time at the hot corner, the consistency has not been there.

Tatis Jr. posted a batting average of .300, hit six home runs and also had six stolen bases, with most of those coming in the leadoff spot before he got injured.

Not only does this affect the hot corner, but it also has an effect on the leadoff spot. Since Tatis Jr. went down, the combination of Wil Myers, Garcia, and Ian Kinsler plays a key hitting role in the top spot. Garcia secure the most time in the leadoff spot, but the same theme of inconsistency transpires.

Besides Tatis Jr. working back from his injury, others are also starting their rehabilitation assignments. Both outfielders Jose Pirela and Franchy Cordero started their rehab assignments last week in Triple-A El Paso and are close to making a comeback.

Also, catcher Francisco Mejia and outfielder Alex Dickerson completed their rehab assignments last week and have been activated, playing in El Paso.

The most notable player completing his rehabilitation assignments is pitcher Dinelson Lamet who is coming off Tommy John surgery a couple days before Opening Day last season. Lamet is on schedule of the rehab process, which is usually around 12-16 months and, if all goes well, is on pace to rejoin the Padres at the end of the month.

Offense

Despite the injury to Tatis Jr., the Padres have been able to hit the ball well. Although the Padres are 14-15 since he went down, the bats have been staying alive.

First baseman Eric Hosmer has stepped up over the past month. After hitting under .200 in the season’s first few weeks, he has brought his batting average up to .300 last week that includes posting a 10-game hitting streak, which ended Sunday.

In the month of May, Hosmer went 36-for-105 with a .343 batting average, scored 17 times, and had 15 RBIs.

The Padres are ninth in all of baseball (and fourth in the National League) with 89 home runs (as of June 4). Outfielders Hunter Renfroe and Franmil Reyes, who have each recorded 17 home runs so far, have kept the offense alive.

Everyday, there has been at least one player to keep the offense going.

As the calendar gets into the heart of June, the next couple of weeks will determine whether or not the Padres will be playoff contenders as well as buyers or sellers (or stand pat) as the Trade Deadline looms in July. The Padres could even look at getting a starting pitcher such as free agent Dallas Keuchel or Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Trevor Bauer to bolster a young rotation.

Written by: Breven Honda
Featured Image from: The San Diego Union-Tribune

The Seals Head to Playoffs After Loss to Buffalo

In the San Diego Seals‘ regular season finale against the Buffalo Bandits, the Seals lost 18-7, resulting in the Seals entering the playoffs as the #2 seed.

In the team’s regular season finale against the Buffalo Bandits, the San Diego Seals lost 18-7. A packed Pechanga Arena full of enthused lacrosse fans went home feeling down, but with the NLL playoffs beginning on Monday, May 6 there is room for optimism.

The Seals are set to play the Calgary Roughnecks in the western division semifinals game at 7:30 p.m on Monday at Pechanga. The Seals clinched the number two seed in the playoffs and home-field advantage on April 19.

Like the NBA, teams from the Eastern and Western conference make the postseason. Unlike the NBA, where eight teams from each conference make the playoffs, only four teams from each conference make the playoffs in box lacrosse.

On Saturday night, the Seals had an opportunity to clinch the number one seed out West. They had to beat the Bandits and the Colorado Mammoth had to beat the Saskatchewan Rush. Neither happened.

The season finale resulted in a dismal 11 point loss for the Seals. The team was held to a season low one goal in the first period and could not sustain any momentum.

San Diego cut the lead to 5-4 midway through the second quarter, but the Bandits quickly figured it out and expanded their lead 9-4 going into the break. The Seals were outshot 30 to 22 after two quarters.

Head Coach and general manager Patrick Merrill took note of his team’s lackluster play.

“In order to win games in this league you have to mentally prepare, you have to be motivated to play with a lot of heart and if you don’t these things happen.”

For the Bandits, Shawn Evans finished with six assists and two goals while his teammates Jordan Durston and Chase Fraser ended up each accomplishing the hat trick. Both finished with three goals.

San Diego found it difficult to get solid scoring opportunities in the game, turning the ball over and committing multiple shot clock violations. The Seals also committed five penalties and Buffalo took advantage of San Diego’s mistakes, going 3-3 on power plays.

Seals’ forward and captain Dan Dawson said this game will not linger on the team’s mind.

“We got to forget about this one. There was not one facet of the game where they didn’t control,” Dawson said. “When they control the game like that we can’t even compete with them.”

Dawson finished with 29 goals on the season he scored two and assisted on one against the Bandits on Saturday.

Even in a ruckus environment the Bandits found their offense early as Forwards Josh Byrne, Durston and Evans combined for five goals and four assists in the first half.

Merill has taken notice of the strong home crowd/fan base.

“It’s been a great ride so far [Playing in San Diego]” Merill said, “I wish we would’ve gave them a better game here tonight, but we plan to give them a better game next week [Against Calgary].”

The Seals are apart of the Nation Lacrosse League (NLL). The NLL has been around for 32 years and is the world’s only professional box lacrosse league. The Seals are an expansion team of the league, the NLL has 13 total teams.

The NLL ranks third in average attendance for professional indoor sports, behind the NHL and NBA.

The NLL rosters are made up of 21 players, six players including the goalie can be on the field during play. The game is made up of four 15 minute quarters, a 30 second shot clock, and a sudden death overtime. Body checks are allowed, but penalties are called for: high sticking, boarding, face masking, fighting, spearing, elbowing, holding, illegal cross-checking, slashing, and tripping.

Written by: Daniel Farr

San Diego Strike Force Falls to Arizona in 52-14 Loss

The San Diego Strike Force watched an early lead dwindle away against the Arizona Rattlers, eventually losing Monday night 52-14.

The Arizona Rattlers’ running back Rolan Genesy Jr finished with three touchdowns and averaged over six yards per rushing attempt but only ended with 75 yards on 12 carries. San Diego Strike Force’s offensive coordinator Taylor Genuser spoke highly of the opposing offensive coaches.

“[Head] Coach Kevin Guy is one of the best in the business; he does a great job of game planning. That’s a play caller I aspire to be like, and his preparation was better than mine.”

Taylor Genuser

The Strike Force wasn’t able to find much offense against the Rattlers, finishing with 127 passing yards and -18 rushing yards.

“I need to do a better job of mixing up our looks and do a better job of getting the defense out of position and not feeling so comfortable. I am going to put it [the loss] on me, not our players or our effort.”

Taylor Genuser

The Rattlers held a one-point lead after the first quarter and a 10 point lead at the half. It wasn’t until the third quarter, which the game became lopsided. Right after the second half kick off, the Rattlers got on the board via a Gensey Jr. touchdown and a safety. For the Strike Force, the offense gained very little momentum in the second half. The Strike Force’s quarterback Jihad Vercher finished the game with one touchdown and three interceptions while completing 50% of his passes. All of his interceptions came in the second half.

“I need to minimize the mistakes. I let my guys down today as far as my decision making I need to go back to the drawing board and get it right for my guys. We have to play as one. We have to come together, fix our mistakes today, and come out a lot harder against Tucson.”

Jihad Vercher

The Indoor Football League (IFL) began to play in 2009, but 2019 marks the inaugural season for the San Diego Strike Force.

The team plays at the Pechanga Sports Arena. The league has noticeably different rules than the NFL. Some differences include the field only being 50 yards in length, teams are made up of only 21 players, only eight players take the field for each team at a time, and out of bounds is the walls. Any time a player makes contact with the walls or goes over the wall, the play is dead. For the complete list of rules visit here.  The team has six games left, three of them at home.

Coming up for the Strike Force team is an away game against the Tucson Sugar Skulls on May 4. The team will return home May 9 to face the Sugar Skulls once more.

Written by: Daniel Farr

The Best Parts of Seeing Mt. Joy at the Music Box

Mt. Joy

The Four Best Things We Saw at the San Diego Music Box’s Mt. Joy Concert!

I have never shown someone Mt. Joy’s music and had them dislike it. I would even be as bold to say that mostly everyone who I’ve shown them to has started listening to them and grown their own obsession. The first time I saw the Mt. Joy perform live, I had never heard their music before. My friends had insisted we stopped by their performance on the way to see a different artist at the Life is Beautiful festival in Las Vegas. After that show I could not stop listening to them! To this day, I distinctly remember specific songs from their live performance that gave me a truly intimate connection with their music. Since that festival in September, I somehow have managed to fit at least one song from Mt. Joy’s first self-titled album into my music shuffle everyday. 7 months later, and Mt. Joy made their final tour stop over at the San Diego Music Box . Here’s the best 4 things I saw at that show:

1. New Music

The band premiered 2 new songs “Bug Eyes” and “Ruins.” I am not always the most excited when artists debut new songs at shows but these songs brought me to tears. Lead singer Matt Quinn’s vocals silenced the room as everyone peered onto the stage in complete admiration. I didn’t know if the band’s new music would live up to their debut album which I cherished so deeply but after they performed these songs, I know now that whatever is coming is going to be incredible. The songs mirrored the themes of the first album, topics on loss, life and nature.

2. The Encore

The band left the stage after performing one of their greatest hits, “Silver Lining.” Afterwards, the crowd didn’t budge as they begged for an encore. When the band stepped back onto the tiny stage they played another new track and then concluded with a fan favorite, “Julia.” The song is smooth, melodic and hypnotizing. A simple story of a man too nervous to order food from a beautiful waitress.

“Don’t say you love the old me” Quinn poured out. The song then switched into a cover of the song “Ain’t No Sunshine” by Bill Withers before returning again to “Julia.”

3. The song “cardinal

While listening to this song on any streaming service, the beginning feels nearly recognizable from the whistling melody which introduces the track. Although I anticipated to see this song live, I wasn’t sure if the whistles would be apart of the performance but sure enough, Quinn whistled to the tune as perfectly as the recording. The song builds upon itself and then breaks back into a peaceful melody much like some of the band’s other songs.

4. The live music

Lead singer Matt Quinn’s vocals were more powerful and raw than anything I have heard before. The show was filled with guitar solos and keyboard solos. Performances like these remind me why I love going to live shows. Often, I’ll see a band perform live, and while the performances are still incredible, the music doesn’t sound as great live, but with Mt. Joy that was not the case. Each song live relayed the authenticity of the songs and the stories that were told in each. The songs on the album vary from many different music styles. “Dirty Love” sounds like an upbeat ukulele tune whereas “St. George” feels like a slow ballad. The band’s ability to perfect playing these differing songs live show the full range of talent Mt.Joy encompasses.

Written by: Kelly Kerrigan