It appears the National League West race could go down to the final day of the 2010 season. If last night was any indication, we could be in for a whale of a finish.
The San Diego Padres snatched back first place in the NL West last night with a 3-1 win over the rival Los Angeles Dodgers. Meanwhile, the San Francisco Giants inexplicably dropped a 2-0 decision to the Chicago Cubs and the Colorado Rockies fell to the Arizona Diamondbacks 8-4.
Those results moved the Padres to the top of the NL West by a half game over the Giants, and three over the Rockies.
The Padres got a great pitching performance out of Tim Stauffer, who tossed six innings while allowing three hits, one run and two walks while striking out five.
Heath Bell came on in the ninth inning to notch his 43rd save in 46 chances, and his 30th in a row.
San Diego trailed 1-0 early, but got three runs in the top of the third, a two-run home run from Miguel Tejada was the difference. It was the 300th home run of Tejada’s career.
Tejada, a completely overlooked piece the Padres added on July 29, has been fantastic with the Friars. Tejada has essentially become San Diego’s everyday shortstop, and despite most experts saying he couldn’t hack it there anymore, he has been sound defensively.
On the offensive side, he’s hit eight home runs, driven in 27 runs and hit .273 since coming to the Padres.
So a throwaway trade at the deadline for a mid-level prospect has netted the Padres a key cog for the lineup and more protection for Adrian Gonzalez in the middle of San Diego’s lineup.
Great move by first-year general manager Jed Hoyer.