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Couple of thoughts on yesterday's game. Good to see Johnson back in full effect; just like last year, it took a couple of starts for him to reach his full efficiency. But now he's apparently done so, I am optimistic we can look for him to be around the same level as he did there - over starts #4-9 last season [the half-dozen before his final abortive outing], he had a 2.02 ERA, with opponents batting just .186 against him. If he can get anywhere near that level consistently, our rotation will probably go from being the best in the NL to being the best in the majors.
Conor Jackson got hit by the Padres, something which the Padres post-game host, Bob Scanlan, strongly approved: "You've got to send a message, not just to Conor Jackson but to that entire Arizona Diamondback ball club. You want to swing hard like that? Do it against the Dodgers. Do it against the Giants. Go ahead and swing like that against the Colorado Rockies, but you aren't going to do it here against the San Diego Padres here in Petco Park." O RLY? It's nice to see the Padres still appear to enjoy Neanderthal baseball. We'll just continue to win: only 23 games played and we're 8.5 up on San Diego, whose record is now better only than Washington in the entire league. Yeah, I guess they haven't got much else to hang on to.
Still, if we're going to retaliate, Micah Owings is the man to do it - no qualms about pitching inside, and unlikely to take well to someone hitting a team-mate. However, the best retaliation would be to continue mowing down the feeble Padres line-up, and extend our lead over them even further. Be interesting to see if we put out a full-strength lineup today: yesterday's win was with just about every backup we can muster out there, with Ojeda, Burke and Montero all starting. The absence of Byrnes for a second straight day was surprising, but it appears he is suffering from leg problems:
He sat out and revealed that he has been bothered by what he termed "leg issues" since the beginning of Spring Training... The injury, which apparently involves both of his hamstrings, likely will not heal until he's able to take a prolonged rest -- and that won't happen until the end of the season. Byrnes said he accepts that he will have to play the rest of the season with discomfort.
We'll see how this works out: playing through pain is one thing, but if it leads to a dropoff in actual production, we might be better off DL-ing him and giving him the time he needs to recover. For the moment though, he should be back in there today, so we'll monitor the situation going forward.