Gonzalez sets Padres' iron-man mark
Slugger passes Garvey, has longest active streak in MLB
WASHINGTON -- A day after tying Steve Garvey for the franchise record for appearing in the most consecutive games, Padres first baseman Adrian Gonzalez found himself in a unfamiliar position on Sunday.
Sitting on the bench.
Gonzalez was not in the starting lineup for the series finale against the Nationals, who won, 3-2, in 10 innings. He entered the game in the bottom of the sixth inning, however, replacing Oscar Salazar at first base. And with that, he passed Garvey to set the team's all-time mark at 306 games, which is also the longest active streak in the Majors.
"It's nice, although I don't see that much into it," Gonzalez said of the streak. "God has given me health. It's all God. I've been fortunate just to be able to play every day.
And if Gonzalez hadn't gotten in Sunday's game?
"I'd be happy to share the record with Steve Garvey, to have my name next to his," Gonzalez said before the game. "I'm a big fan of Garvey and what he did to help the Padres, his role in the 1984 season. He's a big part of Padres history. I've had a chance to meet him. He's a great guy.
"Sharing the record with him would be cool ... I just like playing. I want to play every day, but I've never thought about playing every day to get a record. I just want to play to help the team."
San Diego manager Bud Black was more than happy to give Gonzalez a bit of a breather. After going 0-for-1 on Sunday, he is hitting .246 overall and .160 in July. To be sure, it's been a long season, one that included a trip to his second All-Star Game earlier this month.
"I think it's a great feat, a feat of endurance, of ability, not only mentally but physically," Black said. "For me, it's like a pitcher who doesn't miss a start ... for years. This is something that proves something to me. When a guy plays every day, I appreciate it."
Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.