While Cameron Maybin’s solid performance was fun to watch, the Padres still suffered an “L” on their Opening Day vs. the rival Dodgers. Still, there are 161 more of these things to go, and plenty of intriguing action to watch as the “new-look” Padres begin to evolve and grow over the coming season. Because CF will likely be dedicated today/tomorrow with Opening Day coverage, I thought it would be a good chance to talk about San Diego’s AAA-Affiliate in Tucson and how their Opening game went against the Giants AAA-Affiliate from Fresno.
Hot-shot Pitching prospect Joe Wieland looked good out there at times during his Triple-A debut where he scattered 8 Hits over 5.2 Innings with 7 K’s. Still, in the innings which Fresno scored, Wieland simply could not close the door with 2 Outs. After giving up a run in the top of the 1st, Wieland threw 4 scoreless frames until the 6th when Fresno finally broke the game open. With 2 Outs and runners on 2nd and 3rd, Wieland gave up a single and the Grizzlies took a 3-0 lead in the Top of the 6th. Wieland was pulled for offseason acquisition Cory Burns who eventually struck out the next batter and finished the inning. Burns had himself a nice outing and pitched 1.1 Innings of scoreless ball in relief to keep the game competitive, and the T-Pads within striking distance. Alex Hinshaw pitched a scoreless 8th where he struck out the side, but more impressively did it in only 11 pitches!
Despite being in the game and only down 1-0 until the 6th and 3-0 afterwards, Tucson’s Offense could not seem to muster enough support against 2011 All-Star Ryan Vogelsong (who is working his way back from a back injury) and the rest of the Grizzlies Pitchers. The T-Pads only managed to get 10 runners on base in a game where they only put up 6 hits. After a terrific Spring, Matt Clark struggled on an 0-4 night where he struck out 2 times but reached on an Error. Former Padre Blake Tekotte went 2-5 with two singles, had a stolen base, and made a double play in the top of the 9th, and newcomer Yasmani Grandal went 1-3 with a Double to lead the Offense. Sadly, the T-Pads could not get any timely hitting when guys were actually on base as nobody crossed the plate the entire night as the T-Pads lost 3-0.
Hopefully the T-Pads can regroup and get their Offense on track in the coming days. Hitting against a guy like Vogelsong on Day 1 is a tall order, but he only pitched 4 Innings in his outing. Still, it should be fun to watch this group of players develop, because many like Wieland, Grandal, Tekotte, Clark, and tomorrow’s starter Casey Kelly could be up in the big leagues this season.