Aces/Padres Eyewitness Report

Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium, back in its days as Tucson Electric Park - [Frijose, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported via Wikimedia Commons]

Let me just start by saying that, somehow, by the time the game started, the sun had set and the temperature was actually quite wonderful/tolerable. Jinnah and I got a LivingSocial deal where $8 bought you a nice seat, a hot dog, and a 16oz soda. Given that we were rooting for the Aces, we sat in row 8 in section 110 on the 1st base line, which was 3 rows up from the visitors' dugout. (Well, we were mostly rooting for the Aces. When Kalian Sams, Padres RF and a former Mariners prospect jinnah knew from the Single-A Everett Aquasox, came up, she decided she'd root for him. And the Aces. But also him.)

Wind was blowing out to RF, which definitely aided Mike Jacobs' HR in the 1st, but didn't help the Padres' HR in the 6th, which was legitimate to left center. Tyler Skaggs looked okay but not great -- the curve wasn't curving as much as we'd hope. Some of that may be the altitude and dryness, but Skaggs certainly didn't look like an ace. Sean O'Sullivan (now there's an Irish name if I ever heard one!), the Padres' starter, nearly had a HR off Skaggs late, but the wind died down right around the time of his deep fly ball to RF. Honestly, I was surprised when I found out Skaggs only walked two. It didn't seem like he had great command.

David Pauley was awful. Skaggs left with a 2 run lead but two on, but Pauley quickly rendered that moot. Given the 9th inning rally off the Padres' closer, Pauley was really the difference here.

Tony Campana is indeed fast, but perhaps not as fast as he thinks. He got thrown out by the LF trying to turn a hard-hit ball down the LF foul line into a double, and the ball beat him by probably 5 ft. The ball was hit too hard, or the LF was just in the "wrong" place, or both. Given his speed, he seemed less rangy in CF than I expected, and took a few poor angles on balls.

Chris Owings, on the other hand, looks like a keeper. He drew a walk, which I had heard doesn't happen, and didn't K, meaning his strikeout to walk ratio in the games I've seen him in is undefined/infinity. He was shooting hard line drives left and right, and got unlucky on his only out, on a hard-hit grounder that could've easily gone through to CF. On defense, he didn't show fantastic range but moved really well to his left and certainly showed willingness to put his body on the line. I think he can stay at SS, but he'll likely never be a star defensively. In this game, anyway, he definitely didn't look like the strikeout/homerun guy we've seen in his past numbers.

Matt Davidson hit a single but didn't really impress.

As good as Didi Gregorius has been, Owings definitely made me think we could've done without him. Our other top prospects, Skaggs and Davidson, didn't do much to impress. As jinnah noted on Twitter (after my phone died), Matt Gorgen, the warm body we got for Chad Qualls, came in to pitch the 8th and had no trouble, thanks to his defense.

A fun night, all in all. The Tucson Padres had a giveaway wherein they gave away, oddly, Tucson Sidewinders shirts commemorating the 'Winders' AAA championship in 2006. I say "oddly" because, of course, the Tucson Sidewinders are now the Reno Aces. Jinnah speculated that they may have found a store room full of old Sidewinders shirts and decided to use them to get some ticket buys.

Looking forward to tomorrow night's game and fireworks with Jim, Clefo, and whoever else decides to come.

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