MILWAUKEE -- It might come as a surprise that since 2012, Padres reliever Nick Vincent has the second-lowest earned-run average (1.57) among pitchers with at least 45 innings.
But San Diego pitching coach Darren Balsley was not stunned by this in the least.
"He's not flying under our radar at all," Balsley said.
Vincent entered Wednesday's game against the Brewers with a 1.37 ERA in 19 2/3 innings this season. Combine that with his 1.71 ERA in 26 1/3 innings last season, and only Braves reliever Craig Kimbrel has a lower ERA (1.17).
"He has got a legitimate Major League pitch in his cutter, and he's at the point where we can trust him," Balsley said. "His cutter is good. His challenge now is when and if he needs to use his other pitches."
Vincent has allowed runs in just two of his 18 appearances since being recalled from Triple-A Tucson on June 11.
Balsley said Vincent's cut-fastball might look like a slider to some because of its lateral movement, but it is, indeed, a cutter.
Vincent has been sidelined by injuries in Spring Training in each of the last two seasons, which has slowed his progress and kept him from joining the Padres until midseason. In 2012, he severely sprained his left ankle stepping on a ball. This spring, he sustained inflamed tendons in his right forearm.
Blanks unlikely to come off DL right away
MILWAUKEE -- First baseman/outfielder Kyle Blanks is eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list Saturday, though he almost certainly will not.
Blanks, who landed on the DL on July 12 with Achilles' tendinitis in his left heel, has been able to take part in some drills and has done some hitting but is still feeling pain.
He is on this 10-day road swing, where he can continue his rehabilitation and also get in on-field work, which has included some short sprints.
But as much as he would like to get back in the lineup, Blanks is being cautious so that he does not re-aggravate the injury by returning too soon.
"It's starting to feel a little better," Blanks said. "But for me, it needs to feel good. Time [off] helps, but there's that time-sensitive nature of missing time. When it first happened, I didn't think much of it. But then it got pretty bad. I want to make sure I'm ready to return."
Blanks missed his ninth consecutive game Wednesday and has not played in a game since July 11. He would most likely need a Minor League rehabilitation assignment before returning to the big league roster.
Blanks was hitting .256 with eight home runs and 34 RBIs at the time of his injury, though he had nine hits in his last 54 at-bats (.167).
Thirty years later, Black reflects on pine tar incident
MILWAUKEE -- Wednesday marked the 30th anniversary of the infamous pine tar incident that occurred during a game between the Royals and Yankees in New York.
That was the game, of course, when the Royals' George Brett lost it after his home run was disallowed after the Yankees complained that Brett's batt had an illegal amount of pine tar on the handle.
The starting pitcher that day for the Royals? Current Padres manager Bud Black, who was in the training room getting his arm wrapped in ice when Brett bolted from the dugout after umpire Tim McClelland ruled Brett out. Brett had to be restrained after the ruling.
The Royals played under protest, a protest that was eventually upheld. The game resumed Aug. 18 and finished with a Kansas City win.
"There were a lot of side stories to that story," Black said Wednesday.
One of Black's favorites was when the game resumed on that day in August in an almost-empty stadium, where the final four outs of the game were played, with the Royals winning, 5-4.
Based on the events that followed, Black essentially went from loss to no-decision to loss to no-decision. His pitching line that day saw him allow four runs on seven hits in six innings with no walks and two strikeouts. He also allowed a home run to Dave Winfield.
"That was so weird to go back to an empty ballpark to play four outs," Black said.
Because Brett had been ejected from the July game, he was not at Yankee Stadium for the completion. He and several teammates waited at LaGuardia Airport for the rest of the team to return to the plane after about an hour, Black said, before the team went on to Baltimore to open a series.
• After missing Tuesday's game with a sore right wrist, left fielder Carlos Quentin was back in the starting lineup Wednesday.
"It was good to give Q a day [off] after four straight days," Padres manager Bud Black said. Quentin entered the game with the fifth-highest road batting average (.333) in the league.
• Outfielder Chris Denorfia will be inducted into the inaugural class of the Wheaton College Athletics Yowell Hall of Fame on Oct. 4. He was an American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) All-America selection in 2002 and earned three New England Intercollegiate Baseball Association (NEIBA) All-New England nods and two ECAC New England All-Star selections. He was the NEWMAC Player of the Year in 2002, his last season at Wheaton, a Division III school in Norton, Mass.