It’s tourney time, and with 48 players still in Big League camp there was bound to be some rooting interest in the Padres clubhouse. Of the players on the Padres 40-man roster and remaining Spring Training invitees, there are eight players who attended a school that made it to the 2012 NCAA Tournament: Cory Luebke (Ohio State), Clayton Richard (Michigan), Huston Street (Texas), John Baker (Cal), Brad Davis and Nick Vincent (Long Beach State), Alex Hinshaw (SDSU) and Jedd Gyorko (West Virginia). In addition, Bud Black will join Alex Hinshaw in pulling for the Aztecs tomorrow morning vs. NC State.
Baker’s Cal Bears were eliminated last night in the tournament’s “First Four” round vs. USF. Each of the other six teams earned spots in the tournament’s round of 64. While none of the players will face each other in the first round, there is the possibility of a West Virginia (Gyorko)/Ohio State (Luebke) matchup in the second round.
Six of the seven teams are slotted on the right side of the bracket, leaving Davis and Vincent (Long Beach State) an uphill battle to face one of their Padres teammates.
While the home squad was battling Yu Darvish and the media frenzy that accompanied him in Peoria, half of the Padres were in Goodyear to take on the Reds yesterday. Led by starter Cory Luebke, the Friars tossed a three-hit shutout, striking out 13 over the course of the afternoon.
Luebke paved the way, striking out four while allowing one hit and one walk over his 2.0 frames. Casey Kelly followed with 2.0 perfect innings and two strikeouts of his own. Relievers Andrew Cashner, Dale Thayer, Matt Palmer, Erik Hamren and Brad Brach shutout the Reds over the final 5.0 frames, striking out seven. Brach put on a show in the ninth, striking out the side to close out the game.
After yesterday’s games, the Padres have now struck out 39 in 43.0 innings of work, averaging 8.2 strikeouts per 9.0 innings pitched. San Diego’s relievers are averaging a strikeout per inning with 33 in their 33.0 innings this Spring.
Cory Luebke grabbed his sixth win of the season last night, working 7.0 innings of one-hit ball while striking out a career-high-tying nine Rockies. Ernesto Frieri finished off the game, striking out three over the final two frames to complete the one-hitter. The only hit by the Rockies came on a two-out homer by Mark Ellis in the sixth inning.
The Padres, one of two Major League teams who have yet to throw a no-hitter (also the Mets), have now recorded 25 one-hitters in franchise history. That total includes five over the past three seasons (three in 2009; one in 2010). Last night’s effort marked the eighth combined one-hitter by the Padres.
Cory Luebke takes this hill this afternoon in his first start of 2011. He is looking to help the Pads take two of three from the Braves and clinch the season series in the final matchup against Atlanta.
In Luebke’s last outing, he worked 3.1 innings of relief in Boston, earning a chance in the starting rotation. In 2010, Luebke made three starts in four appearances. As a starter, he went 1-1 with a 4.60 ERA (8 ER/15.2 IP). Since being selected by the Padres as the 63rd overall pick in the 2007 Draft, Luebke has made 84 minor league appearances, 74 as a starter. In his 19 minor league games (17 starts) during the 2010 campaign, he went 10-1 with a 2.68 ERA (34 ER/114.0 IP) between Double-A San Antonio and Triple-A Portland before earning a promotion to the Majors.
The Padres return home this weekend for a three-game set with the Braves that marks the third meeting between the two teams this season. The two clubs have split the six games they have played so far, with each team taking two of three on the road from each other.
Bud Black today announced his rotation for the series, with Cory Luebke making his first start of the 2011 season after 29 relief appearances. A starter throughout his minor league career, Luebke made three starts (in four appearances) for the Padres last season. As a starter, he went 1-1 with a 4.60 ERA, earning his first Major League win on 9/8/10 vs. LAD after 6.0 shutout innings of two-hit ball.
Here are the projected matchups for the series against the Braves:
RHP Tim Stauffer (2-5, 3.13) vs. RHP Derek Lowe (3-5, 4.10)
RHP Dustin Moseley (2-6, 3.02) vs. RHP Jair Jurrjens (9-3, 2.11)
LHP Cory Luebke (1-2, 3.23) vs. RHP Tim Hudson (6-6, 6.73)
With the 2011 First-Year Player Draft approaching (June 6-8), we asked Padres player what they remember about being drafted and the excitement of hearing their your named called.