Chatting With The Enemy - Atlanta Braves at San Diego Padres

Petco Park is beautiful.

For this week's series against the San Diego Padres, I recently exchanged questions with the Padres SB Nation site, Gaslamp Ball. One of their managers, jbox, answered these questions for me. My half of the Q&A can be found here. 

TC: The Padres haven't hit much in 2011, but Cameron Maybin looks like the player we all thought he'd turn out to be in Florida. Talk about what he's meant to the club and their future plans for him.

GB: The Padres needed a young, athletic player that can coverground in Petco
Park's spacious outfield and Maybin seems to be just the right guy. He's shown
flashes of power too which is critical for the Padres line up. He brings a lot
of good energy to the club and it's fun watching him round the bases with his
right arm swinging more than the third base coach's.

TC: Mat Latos was really impressive last season, but he's struggled this year.
What seems to be his issue?

GB: Latos has really just been inconsistent. He'll show flashes of his former
success and then he'll leave pitches over the plate that end up hurting him.
For the most part it seems to be control issues that come from an inconsistent
delivery.

The rest of the Q&A after the jump...

TC: The Padres bullpen has been great this year (as usual). Is there any weakness
to the 'pen that teams have exploited this year?

GB: When the Padres have had the lead the bullpen combo of Luke Gregerson, Mike
Adams and Heath Bell have been fantastic. It's when the Padres are losing or
tied when they are the most vulnerable. The Padres starting pitching has been
pretty solid in this young season, so it'll be interesting to see how the
bullpen's long relief corps performs because they haven't really been tested
yet.

TC: I noticed the other day on Gaslamp Ball that fans were not happy with the
defense thus far. Has it really been that bad and do you see it improving?

GB: The defense has been awful recently. In the past week, we've seen Ryan
Ludwick dropping a game deciding ball. Cameron Maybin dove for a ball in center
and missed it by 5 feet. Chris Denorfia has taken some bad routes to the ball.
Orlando Hudson blew a couple double plays that could have kept the Padres from
losing in Chicago. Nick Hundley let a fly ball drop that Brad Hawpe should have
called for. It's been really difficult to watch since defense and pitching was
the key to the Padres success last year.

TC: For my money, Petco Park is in the top-3 for nicest ballparks in America.
Tell us a few things that Braves fans might not know about the stadium and what
there is to do.

GB: Yeah it's a nice ballpark, but it's a shame that they didn't make it more
San Diego or Mission themed. We would have liked to see Mission bells, stained
glass and themed architecture. It does have nice new amenities though and the
Western Metal Supply Building located in left field adds a connection to the
city's past. Here's an old post where we talked about the ballpark's must see
features: http://www.gaslampball.com/2009/5/8/869801/gaslamp-balls-guide-to-petco-park

A big thanks to jbox and the good guys at GaslampBall.com for the Q&A.

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