San Diego Sports For April
April has been a busy month for sports in San Diego. The Padres started their season off, the Chargers were let back into the locker rooms, and the Aztec’s Men’s Basketball team was honored with an official day in San Diego called Aztec Basketball Day.
The Padres started off their first game with a big slap in the face to the high and mighty St. Louis Cardinals. Padres new center fielder Cameron Maybin faced an 0-2 pitch count with two outs in the bottom of the 9th. The Padres were down 3-2 and historically have been horrible when playing in St. Louis. The pitch came in and Maybin smacked it. The ball soared into the outfield carrying the hopes of the friar faithful over the center field wall at Busch Stadium. It was the tying home run that rallied the team and gave San Diego a reason to believe. Maybin would later drive a single that gave us the go-ahead run.
Heath Bell took the ball in the bottom of the inning and secured the Padres first win of the season. After taking 2 out of 3 in St. Louis the Padres came home to San Diego to open the season.
The Aztecs had their day of honor. As most San Diego sports fans know, the Aztec’s Men’s basketball team had the best season in their program’s history. The went 34-3, were the Mountain West Champions for the second straight year, and earn the program’s first two NCAA tournament wins.
On April 4th mayor Jerry Sanders and the San Diego County Supervisors met with the team and the Aztec Faithful “The Show” to honor the historic season. Jerry Sanders as well as the county supervisor’s declared April 4th as Aztec’s Men;s Basketball team day. The players were all there interacting and receiving congratulations from their supporters. I had to get my picture with the legendary “godfather” coach Steve Fisher.Since than Kawhi Leonard has declared for the NBA draft and is expected to go in the first round…we will see if there is basketball season next year.
The Padres 2011 home opener was an occasion to behold. The sun was out, the Giants were in town, and you could smell baseball in the air. As a young bachelor we bought a twelve pack, found a planter in the parking lot to tail gate and soak in some suds.
As we finished our beers we got the official fly over from the military and when we started walking towards the stadium we heard the ominous chime of Hell’s Bells. Legendary Padre, Trevor Hoffman was back in the San Diego dugout and the friar faithful were pumped. The Padres won the opener on the arm of San Diego native Aaron Harang.
The Padres put up 3 runs in the third inning and never looked back. Heath Bell attacked the mound int the ninth and shut down the defending champs.Everything was great except I lost my camera in the excitement. They split the series when San Francisco got the win on the opening night at Petco Park.
The Padres faced the Dodgers at home in the next series and hit a wall. Tony Gwynn Jr. came back to haunt the Padres by scoring pivotal runs that ended up securing the first two wins of the series for L.A.
The third game was the opening military day at Petco Park and I showed up in uniform…my padres costume. 6 The usual characters were out in right field. The Padres faithful were ready for a win and they delivered. With three home runs and a few extra base hits the Padres showed that they may actually have some pop in their bats this season. My hope was restored ten fold when a regular fan came up to me during the game and returned the camera I had lost at the opener. Cincinnati was the next opponent and they pulled off two demoralizing victories over the Padres. San Diego’s pitching is on the level of the best in the league but their lack of offense is losing these games. The Padres won their last game to hopefully carry some momentum on the road.
Whoa was I wrong…The Padres than went on the road and split four games in Houston. Next they traveled up to a cold Chicago where they were able to salvage one win. The offense looked bad as a team-wide flu outbreak lead to a team-wide slump at the plate.
When the team got back to San Diego it only got worse. The Phillies swept the Padres in a four-game series. The Phillie’s hitting looked like they were hitting at home while the Padres bats began to look anemic. As the end of the month began to draw nearer the Atlanta Braves came to town. The Padres stepped up to the plate and earned the first game of the series after they grinded it out and smacked a big fly in the 13th inning for the walk-off home run. 7 They lost the next two and from the looks of things the Padres bandwagon is now dropping like flies. As for me, I am locked in and ready to take it to the Dodgers up in L.A. Lets start May off by winning especially in extra innings.
The Draft is here as the lock out has been lifted but no agreements have been reached. The Chargers are on the clock with a series of high picks including the 18th pick in the first round. Like I said before, AJ Smith should be on the look out for and pick up a game changer. A player that brings the heat on defense for the entire four quarters not just a sack every fifth game. Time will tell and we will get to you with RollinSD’s break down of the Chargers 2011 draft next week.
April has been great in San Diego. The weather has been pretty good and at least we are on the playing field. If getting fans to show up is half the battle for San Diego teams, then they ought to start winning because that is exactly what this town wants, plain and simple.