FriarBall: Still unrest at third?

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Still unrest at third?

If Kevin Kouzmanoff was brought in to be the solid-hitting third baseman the Friars so sorely lacked last year, then why in Tuesday's game against the Cubs was he pinch-hit for with runners on second and third, for a guy whose season batting average was even worse than the .147 he was hitting coming into the game?

Nothing against Geoff Blum but if Kouzmanoff is the future of the franchise, shouldn't he be given an opportunity to perform in those types of situations, especially if he still has less than 100 MLB at bats in his career?

The Padres were already struggling coming into Tuesday's game and when they could score only three runs despite having 16 runners on base in the first nine innings, I could see why Bud Black would be trying to find offense wherever he could. But to use Blum in that situation just seemed like the wrong time.

I am also disheartened by the fact that the Padres threw away a huge opportunity to score in the 10th when Russell Branyan tried to score on a shallow ball hit to center field, but when you are struggling at the plate as a squad, I guess the logic is to be more aggressive and hope your guys can make some plays on the base paths. I guess if it had worked it would have been a genius move but because it didn't we are now wondering what the thought process was on that decision.

Fortunately for Black, Blum eventually came through as the Padres beat the Cubs 4-3 in 14 innings and split the two game series. Now, we'll see if David Wells can get in the win column against the Arizona Diamondbacks at home Wednesday to open another two-game set.

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