Padres-Astros: Geer Roughed Up, Padres Swept by Astros

Todd KaufmannSenior Writer IMay 11, 2009

PEORIA, AZ - MARCH 07:  Starting pitcher Josh Geer #52 of the San Diego Padres pitches against the Oakland Athletics during the spring training game at Peoria Stadium on March 7, 2009 in Peoria, Arizona. The A's defeated the Padres 15-6.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The schedule was supposed to get easier, the Padres were facing a series against the 11-17 Houston Astros, the team was supposed to break through and show their real character.

Three days later, the Padres are looking back at yet another series sweep, except they were on the losing end of that sweep, losing the finale 12-5 on Sunday afternoon despite home runs from Adrian Gonzalez, Jody Gerut, and Chase Headley.

This wasn't a series the Padres had no chance in, they were in every single game with the exception of the finale. They dropped game one on Friday night, 2-0 but they had more than a few chances to jump ahead but the team's lack of offense doomed them once again.

They had a late lead in game two on Saturday night, but the bullpen couldn't hold the lead and the Padres lost, 5-4.

Then, on Sunday afternoon, it was Padres' starter Josh Geer that had his problems, giving up seven runs (five earned) on seven hits, walking three while not striking out a single batter. It didn't help that Geer didn't get help from short stop Chris Burke. Burke had two throwing errors in back-to-back innings, leading to four unearned Houston runs.

One of those errors, starting the second inning with the Astros already leading 3-0, came on a ground ball to short stop off the bat of pitcher Roy Oswalt. It should have been the first out of the inning but thanks to the first error from Burke, Oswalt was safe at first.

The next two batters, Kaz Matsui and Michael Bourne, flied out and grounded out respectively so it should have been the end of the inning with no damage done.

Instead, Geer walked both Hunter Pence and Carlos Lee to load the bases, then gave up a two run single to Miguel Tejada, scoring Oswalt and Pence to push the Astros' lead to 5-0. It was Tejada's third and fourth RBI of the game, having hit a two run homer in the first inning off Geer.

So, after coming into the three game set against Houston at 13-16 and looking to feel better about themselves as a team with an off day coming after the conclusion of the series. Instead, they drop all three games, fall to 13-19, and they're left wondering if they'll ever pull themselves out of this hole.

It doesn't get any easier from here, as the Padres travel to Chicago on Tuesday to start the first of a three game set against the Chicago Cubs. This series won't be without it's share of drama as well.

You might remember all of the trade rumors that had Jake Peavy on his way to the Cubs this past December, but trade talks broke down and Peavy remained with the Padres. With the Padres reeling, those rumors may start to surface again, especially with San Diego in Chicago for those three games.

The Padres will start Peavy (2-4, 4.27) on Tuesday against Rich Harden (3-1, 4.83). On Wednesday, the Padres will have Chris Young (2-1, 4.76) on the hill against Cubs' left-hander Ted Lilly (4-2, 3.11).

In the series finale, the Padres will have former Cub Chad Gaudin (0-2, 4.08) against Randy Wells (0-0, 0.00) who will be making his second start for the Cubs.

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