It took less than an inning for Joe Morgan to annoy the bejeezus out of me. Joe is at his infuriating best so far in the Padres-Cards series opener.
He spotted how the Padres used speed to get themselves out of a potential big inning in the third. With the Pods trailing 1-0, Dave Roberts at second and Ryan Klesko at second, the Padres continually tried to use Roberts' speed at second to set up the hit-and-run. Morgan rightly pointed out that the Cards smartly weren't covering third because of Roberts' speed in case of the strike'm out-tag'm out double play. Because of that, they were able to get a 5-3 double play grounder from Loretta. Of course, Joe would never phrase it that waythat speed hurt the Padres.
But in the bottom of the inning, with one out Eckstein and Edmonds had back-to-back bloopers, a single and then a double. Joe agreed when the Padres intentionally walked Pujols to load the bases. The next pitch bounced about a yard from the plate when Peavy slipped in his deliver, scoring Eckstein.
The Padres feigned pitching to Larry Walker, who struck out his first time up, but then gave him a pass on 3-1. Joe liked this call as well. Keep in mind that neither hit was hit hard at all off of Peavy, and the Padres are willing to put not one, but two men on base. How is that a good play?
Sanders hit a shot down the first base line that Mark Sweeney got some glove on but could not handle. Two runs scored and Walker went to third. Now, you have one of the men you walked coming around to score, and the other 90' away from home. They luckily got Grudzy to ground into a double play. It was bad enough (3 runs), but could very well have been worse. And those walks were a big part of it.