“Do You Really Believe This”
Off day..travel day…for a Padres team that may be the surprise of the National League, at least two weeks into the season.
When the schedule came out, then you saw the list of names San Diego had put into their starting rotation…tell me.
You didn’t think this team would be (5-5) did you? More like (1-9) maybe, considering they got the Dodgers and Giants to start the year, and then this junket into hitter hell Colorado.
Now add in the fact they are without 3-starting pitchers, on the DL, Luis Perdomo, Trevor Cahill, and Christian Friedrich, and you would have forecasted doom and gloom.
Instead we got some masterful pitching, some gritty pitching, and some wins out of pitchers you would not expect to step up.
Clayton Richard, reinventing himself to become a sidearm pitcher, after 3-different surgeries, including one on his collarbone, throws 8-shutout innings at Dodgers Stadium. Wow !.
Jhoulys Chacin comes up with (5.2) shutout innings against the Giants, after a poor first start. Surprising !
Jared Cosart, relegated to the bullpen by a sloppy spring, pitches a strong emergency start in Colorado, 5-plus innings. Steps up !
Zach Lee, a failed first round pick with the Dodgers, who then went (0-9) with a 6.18-ERA in Tacoma last year, goes into the 6th inning with a shutout in Colorado too. Stunning !
Is this real or imagined? How are they doing this? Can this keep up?
As Andy Green lectured me, when he found out I predicted his team would go (60-102) this year…’we earned these wins-they’re not going to take them away from us’.
So be it, so far, so good, though I am not really sure all these guys can keep pitching this way start after start.
Wil Myers is establishing credentials as a real star. Hunter Renfroe is hitting. So is Yanger Solarte. Manny Margot has really suprised out of the gate. Add in a Ryan Schimpf longball, and the batting order has produced most every game.
But it’s a pleasant surprise out of the gate. Credit Green and pitching coach Darren Balsey for nursing these guys into the rotation, giving them scouting reports, and not extending them too much. The bullpen so far, with the exception of overwhelmed Christian Bethancourt, has held up its end of the bargain.
So far, so good.
But as a Boston Marathon runner would tell you, it’s not necessarily how you start the race, or what you are doing at the 3-mile mark, but what you do at Heartbreak Hill, or and the end.
For baseball is a long marathon. The Padres will need lots of pitching too.
But (5-5) heading to Atlanta is alot better than (1-9), where I thought they might be.