The Padres are just (1-3) out of the gate, this first week of the baseball season.
All the things we thought might happen, have so far, against the Dodgers and Giants, some good, some not so good, some expected, some not expected.
They are hitting, no doubt. They are a team that can hit the ball out of the park with the likes of Matt Kemp, Justin Upton and Derek Norris at the plate. We hoped that would be the case.
Yonder Alonso is healthy and is hitting, and that is a real plus. What is not, is the continued struggles of 2nd baseman Jed Gyorko, coming off last year’s sophomore slump season, and the surprise sub-200-average of Wil Myers.
And there was an edginess to it all last night. A Craig Kimbrel first pitch fastball was up and in to Angel Pagan; and that led to words; stares-glares, and an umpires warning to both benches, and it wasn’t even a bean ball. Just a little hate out there for the renewal of this rivalry.
What everyone feared would be part of this new-look Padres team, is right there infront of us. Lots of strikeouts, nearly 10-per game so far. And last night alone, they rapped into four double plays, left 10-on base, and stranded six at third.
And then there is the defense. Some flyballs that turn into adventures in the outfield, near collisions, and then last night’s drop that cost them the Giants game. Communication is a bit of an issue right now.
The stunner, and it is a small sample size, is the shakiness of the bullpen. Nick Vincent has given up runs in each of his three outings. Joaquin Benoit has given up a homer and has put men on base too.
The Friars don’t need another pitching injury, but they have one, in Ian Kennedy, limping off the mound last night early with a hamstring. The insurance policy Odri Despaigne now moves into the rotation, after a sparking 4.1-no hit innings last night.
The Padres have played 3-exciting games against the Dodgers and Giants this first week. The crowd for the home opener was electric at Petco. For the first time in a long time, there wasn’t very much orange (Giant fan) in the building with a crowd of (45,150). And the fans were into it. They booed the Giants, booed the umpires who were struggling with balls and strikes, even booed the home team with all the double play balls.
These battles vs the Dodgers and Giants have almost had a playoff-atmosphere tinge to it. The Stadium is roaring right now, much like it has for Chargers home games when the team was really good just a few years back.
This is an interesting weekend ahead of us. Three more large crowds expected. What the town needs is a little winning streak to make sure this group of fans, wearing Padres blue, and throwback brown, keep coming back.
A little bit of everything in week one of the season, just not many wins, yet.