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San Diego Padres' Sweep of the Giants: Five Observations

Todd KaufmannSenior Writer IApril 22, 2010

PHOENIX - APRIL 05:  Starting pitcher Jon Garland #27 of the San Diego Padres during the Opening Day major league baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on April 5, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona.   The Diamondbacks defeated the Padres 6-3.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Prior to the start of a three-game set between the San Diego Padres and San Francisco Giants, it was the Giants that looked like the best team in the National League West.

They came into the series with an 8-4 record and sole possession of first place in the division, not to mention arguably the best starting rotation in baseball.

The Padres were coming off a three-game sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks, but still had a 6-8 record. However, they had gotten good pitching performances from their starters, leaving them feeling good about a series against the division leader.

Three days later, the Padres have completed a three-game sweep of the division-leading Giants and now are all alone atop the NL West.

On Monday night, it was an unlikely hero that stole the show when David Eckstein hit a walk-off home run in the 10th inning to give the Padres a 3-2 victory. This came after Heath Bell had blown the save in the ninth, giving up a game-tying home run to Juan Uribe.

On Tuesday, it wasn't pretty, but the Padres got it done with another one-run victory. This time it was a 1-0 win that saw the Padres get just one hit the entire game. It was a sacrifice fly by Scott Hairston that plated Chase Headley and ended up being the difference.

Wednesday, however, was a more convincing win. The Padres got a solo home run from Adrian Gonzalez in the second inning and a two-run blast from catcher Nick Hundley and hung on for a 5-2 win and a sweep of the Giants. The sweep put the Padres on a six-game win streak.

Here are five observations from this three-game set between the Padres and Giants.

Matt Cain just can't beat the Padres no matter what he does

Cain has had the worst luck when it comes to facing the Padres. Not that he's pitched horribly at all, but it's been the lack of support offensively that has left him on the short end of things at the end of the day.

Monday night was no different. Cain went six innings, giving up two runs on seven hits and striking out four, and received a no-decision. But what else is new?

Tuesday was ugly for the Padres, but a win is a win

Normally when a opposing pitcher throws as well as Giants left-hander Jonathan Sanchez did, that team ends up with a win. Unfortunately for Sanchez, the offense took the day off and couldn't get anything done to help him out.

Sanchez went seven innings, giving up one run on one hit, and struck out 10 Padre batters. He still took the loss. This is probably the most frustrating kind of game to lose if you're a pitcher.

Mat Latos showed his potential

Young Padres right-hander Mat Latos might make people forget all about Jake Peavy if he pitches like he did on Tuesday against the Giants.

Latos shut out the Giants through seven innings and gave up just four hits, getting his first win of the 2010 season. That is the kind of pitcher the Padres knew he could be.

Padres able to win with Adrian Gonzalez getting just two hits the entire series

Through the first two games of the series, Padres first baseman Adrian Gonzalez was 0-for-6, but San Diego showed that they could get it done without his big bat. A walk-off home run from Eckstein on Monday, a sac fly on Tuesday, and a two-run home run from Hundley paced San Diego in the series.

There are different guys coming up big and getting the job done when the situation calls for it. Sacrifice flies, sac bunts, big hits, and good pitching are exactly what the Padres knew they could get before the season even started.

Now they're showing that they can win without getting all the production from their All-Star first baseman.

Jon Garland bounces back from two rough outings

After two tough starts for Padres starter Jon Garland, he bounced back nicely against the Giants with seven strong innings of work on Wednesday.

He had given up 10 runs (six earned) in his first 10 innings of work. The Padres are hoping this is a sign of things to come for Garland.

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