Petco Park is known as being pitcher-friendly, but Lance Berkman has made it his home away from home.
07/02/2010 12:29 PM ET
Berkman always has fun in San Diego
Astros first baseman enjoys success at PETCO Park
Berkman entered Thursday's game as the leader in batting average (.381), on-base percentage (.480) and slugging percentage (.825) among players with at least 75 plate appearances at the Padres' home ballpark.
"You get a lot more base hits," Berkman told the Houston Chronicle. "At our park you can't get hardly any RBI singles because of where the outfielders stand."
"There's a lot of room in the gaps, plus it's a real quick infield. If you hit a ball on the ground, you've got a great chance to get a base hit. So I've really liked hitting here."
Haren making his case for Silver Slugger: Dan Haren's bid for the Silver Slugger Award that goes to pitchers is all but wrapped up. Haren is hitting .435 with 20 hits, a Diamondbacks franchise record for a pitcher. In 46 at-bats, Haren has struck out just six times.
"They should just pack it up and send it to Danny now. It's his," Miguel Montero told the The Arizona Republic.
"It's ridiculous," Brandon Webb said. "I expect him to get a hit every time up now. One's not enough. It's like he's got to get two a game at least. It's amazing."
Uggla welcomes success against southpaws: Dan Uggla is batting .333 with a .450 on-base percentage and a .727 slugging percentage in 80 plate appearances versus lefties.
"It's definitely nice to finally have made the adjustment because left-handers have dominated me the past few years," Uggla told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. "I started to make an adjustment last year on them and I've had more success. It's definitely more fun to go up there with some confidence when a left-hander is on the mound."
"You go up a lot of times feeling like you don't have a chance," Uggla said. "You go up there now with a different mindset. For whatever reason, I've had more success this year, and I'm not going to try and figure out why, just go with it."
Bedard ready to make return from shoulder surgery: A strong rehab start at Triple-A Tacoma has Erik Bedard ready to make his 2010 debut with the Mariners. Bedard, who has not pitched in the Majors since July 2009, is battling back from labrum surgery.
"I feel pretty good," Bedard told the Seattle Times. "I worked on the changeup. That's what they wanted me to work on and throw strikes with it, so it's pretty good."
"I've bounced back from a couple of different surgeries before, so I didn't really have any worries about it," Bedard said.
Gomes most concerned with standings: Jonny Gomes doesn't pay much attention to stats when they go up or when they go down.
"It's those numbers that go up and down that I don't worry about, but everyone else pays attention to," Gomes told MLB.com. "I'm still grinding out a hit a day. Everyone looks at it as it was such a hot month I had, and they were thinking I was going to keep on hitting .400. I don't worry about stuff like that when you're in first place."
Chris Perez ready for the call as setup man or closer: Chris Perez has converted 7-of-10 save chances for the Indians. To him, working the ninth inning is not much different than working the eighth.
"It was good to take care of business," Perez told MLB.com. "To me, [pitching in the ninth] is the same as the eighth. Sometimes the eighth is harder. I joked that they only used me because it was the bottom of the order. But it felt good that they had the confidence in me to send me out there. It helps us out in the long run."
Hafner chalking up more line drives: Travis Hafner has made some adjustments in his swing to become a line-drive hitter.
"I'm trying to be shorter to the ball," Hafner told MLB.com. "That lets you see the ball longer and get the barrel of the bat on the ball more consistently."
Boggs takes simple approach in relief: With every outing for the Cardinals, Mitchell Boggs says he is learning to be a successful reliever.
"The thing I've learned about the bullpen is yesterday doesn't matter, and tomorrow is not guaranteed," Boggs told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "If you don't throw strikes, if you don't get ahead, you make it extremely tough on yourself."
Travis Wood not getting caught up in debut: Travis Wood took a shutout into the eighth inning against the Cubs on Thursday in his first big league start. Just another day at the office for him.
"It's just another game," Wood told MLB.com. "The mound is still the same distance from home. It's just a different hitter and different atmosphere."
Garrett Jones still grateful one year after debut: It was one year ago on Thursday that Garrett Jones made his debut with the Pirates, and he says he's grateful for having gotten the chance.
"I just was happy to get the second chance and get the opportunity to get up here and have a chance to play," Jones told MLB.com. "I just was thrown in the lineup and got an opportunity to play every day, and as a player, that's all you can ask for. I was just happy for that opportunity, was just trying to make the most of it and not worrying about the future too much. Just trying to take it game to game and play my best and just see what happens."
Lincecum readies for life without Molina: Tim Lincecum will miss Bengie Molina, who helped him win successive Cy Young Awards.
"I don't think I was ready to cry or anything," Lincecum told the San Francisco Chronicle of Molina's departure. "It's just tough to watch him go."
Bullpen session another step for Harden: Rich Harden's 58-pitch bullpen session on Thursday gave him reason to be optimistic. Harden has been on the disabled list since June 12 with a left gluteal muscle strain.
"I'm feeling good," Harden told MLB.com. "I'm getting to where I wanted to be. I'm getting on top of the ball and staying through it. It's coming out of my hand the way it should."
Harden is not expected to return before the All-Star break.
Hamstring, shoulder benefit as Jurrjens returns: Jair Jurrjens believes that missing two months with a hamstring injury benefitted his arm, too.
"It gave me a chance to get my shoulder strength back," Jurrjens told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "Since the injury in Spring Training, I backed off doing my shoulder program. Before I went to get injured with my hamstring, my shoulder was getting a little bit weak from not doing strengthening. Those two months helped me to get back on my program."
-- Red Line Editorial