Padres taking the right approach
Updated: August 14, 2010, 11:26 AM ETBy Buster Olney
A longtime National League scout watched the Padres recently, and as he spoke over the phone with admiration about the way they play, you could almost imagine those scenes from the movie "Miracle" when Kurt Russell, as hockey coach Herb Brooks, was shouting at the 1980 U.S. Hockey team, "Play your game! Play your game! Play your game!" "They have one really good hitter [Adrian Gonzalez] and everybody else tries to move runners," said the scout. "They're not a dynamic team. I don't know how much talent they really have. But they have their style and they stick to it, and nobody is caught up in ego and trying to do too much. They don't have the best players, but they might play the best, because they're just really consistent in their approach." They won again on Friday, beating the Giants and increasing their lead to 3½ games, and it was a baserunning play by Gonzalez that put them in position to do it: He stayed in a rundown long enough for Ryan Ludwick to reach third base, at a time when the score was tied at 2, and then Ludwick scored on a ground ball. Nothing flashy. Nothing explosive. Just executing one play at a time, with the functional offense backed by good defense and strong pitching.
For more on how the Padres are winning, a look at the divisional races and news and notes on injuries and deals, you must be an Insider.
We see that you are not an ESPN Insider. Upgrade today and gain access to our exclusive coverage.