The Padres open today at home against the LA Dodgers, reeling from a 1-5 road trip. Overall, the Padre offense sputtered, and the pitching faltered. We are missing last years 3 and 5 hitters, and some of our young pitchers have been hurt. Regardless, I’m sure the pride and psyche are a bit damaged right now. Haven’t been too many positives to point out. Chris Denorfia and Carlos Quentin look good. Mark Kotsay is hot. Jedd Gyorko has poise for a rookie.
Opening on the road is hard, especially in the beginning of the season with big home opener crowds. From ESPN, the 2012 average home winning percentage was 53.1% which takes into consideration teams with losing records(and presumably smaller crowds). When looking only at the 10 playoff teams from last year, the average home winning percentage jumps to 61%. For those of us would have participated in races and sporting events, or theater know first hand the impact of the crowd. Its tough to explain, but it is a truth that we know inside ourselves, the energy from the crowd helps. Perhaps it helps when the home crowd boos the umpires at blown calls, and cheers when borderline plays are ruled in our favor. Perhaps it is the grounds crew that tailor the infield to fit the personality of the team, either by watering the dirt or grass in a certain way. Perhaps it is that the opposing dugout is smaller, and players are forced to sit too close and feel uncomfortable. The Padres need to come home.
The Padres need to collect themselves, and play to the park they know. Tough start to the season, but here’s to hoping that the Padres can find that spark to turn it around. I’ll be down near the first base line today, having a brewskie and cheering the Padres on like a crazy dude. After projecting 87 wins, I guess that makes me crazy, so might as well play the part. Go Padres.