05/10/11 2:38 AM ET
Harang savors moment with mother
By Corey Brock / MLB.com
Since it was Mother's Day, several mothers of Padres players were on hand to throw out the first pitch of the game, including Robin Harang, Harang's mother.
But since Harang figured he would be taking his warmup tosses at the time when the first pitch occurred, he asked a teammate, catcher Kyle Phillips -- who like Aaron Harang is a San Diego native and knows Robin Harang -- to catch the ceremonial first pitch.
Jason Phillips, Kyle's older brother, was Harang's catcher at San Diego State, so the two families knew each other.
But Phillips never got the opportunity to catch the first pitch.
"I just happened to get done early," Harang said, "They hadn't thrown out first pitches yet, so I decided to go out and catch it. It just worked out that way. It wasn't something I was trying to do."
What was his mother's reaction?
"When I ran out there, it surprised her," said Harang, who got to pitch on Mother's Day for the first time in his career. "It choked her up a little bit."
Headley's discerning eye no surprise
MILWAUKEE -- Given his Minor League pedigree, it should come as no surprise that Padres third baseman Chase Headley finished a 4-3 loss to the Brewers on Monday tied for fifth in the National League with 21 walks.
"You can argue that he might have our best eye," Padres manager Bud Black said.
Headley is on pace for a new career high in walk percentage (16.3), up from 8.3 percent a year ago. He began he week having swung at 24.4 of pitches outside the strike zone, according to FanGraphs, down from 27.2 percent in 2010.
"There are a lot of things that go into it," Headley said. "I think I've done a good job of swinging at strikes and taking balls."
None of this is entirely new for Headley, who had a .399 on-base percentage in the Minor Leagues. In 2007 alone, while with Double-A San Antonio, Headley had a .437 on-base percentage on his way to becoming the Texas League Player of the Year.
"I think a lot of it has to do with where I'm hitting in the lineup," said Headley, who entered the day with six walks over his last four games. "It seems like I've led off [innings] a lot so if that's the case I'm going to take some pitches.
"I've also been in a position where the guys ahead of me have made quick outs. When that happens, I'm not going to swing early in the count."
Twelve of Headley's 21 walks have come with no runners on base and 11 of them have come on full-count pitches, including a walk he took in the 11th inning that forced in the winning run in a victory over the D-backs on Friday.
"That's been one of his traits throughout his career," Black said. "He's not afraid to get deep in the count. He doesn't get anxious. Generally speaking, he sees pitches."
Headley is hitting .245, though his walks have lifted his on-base percentage to .375, the highest of any regular position player on the 25-man roster.
"Baseball is about scoring runs, and to do that you have to get on base," Headley said. "I have always believed on-base percentage is one of the most important statistics there is in baseball."
Hundley traveling with Padres to lend expertise
MILWAUKEE -- It's not uncommon for players on the disabled list to occasionally go on a road trip with the Padres, so they can continue their treatment and rehabilitation with the training staff.
But in the case of catcher Nick Hundley -- on the 15-day disabled list since May 6 with a strained right oblique -- there's more to it than that.
"With Nick, it's good to have our catcher here to watch pitchers and talk to [San Diego pitching coach Darren Balsley]," Padres manager Bud Black said.
"And with [catchers Rob Johnson and Kyle Phillips] new to the National League, Nick is a great sounding board for those guys."
Since Hundley went on the disabled list, Johnson has made three starts behind the plate -- including Monday's game in Milwaukee. Phillips got his first start Saturday against the D-backs.
Second baseman Orlando Hudson, on the 15-day disabled list since May 4 with a strained right hamstring, is also on the trip because he can continue his treatment and is able now to play catch and hit in the cage.