Opening Day is just one game out of 162. Teams that won on Opening Day can end up with the worst record in baseball. Teams that lost on Opening Day could end up winning the World Series.
There isn’t much to make out of Opening Day because in the grand scheme of things, it is just one game. I know every win counts but will we really look at Opening Day and say if we would have won on Opening Day we would have made it to playoffs? Who knows.
Anyway, for those of you who put way too much stock in Opening Day ( I am one of those people) I constructed a list of bad and good things to take away from Opening Day.
Apr 1, 2013; New York, NY, USA; San Diego Padres starting pitcher Edinson Volquez (37) throws a pitch against the New York Mets during the second inning of a MLB opening day game at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Edinson Volquez is the same pitcher as last year– Volquez’s inconsistency from last year not only carried over into the World Baseball Classic but it made an appearance on Opening Day. The right-handed Dominican pitcher gave up six runs on six hits and coughed up three walks in just three innings pitched. Volquez’s failure to pitch past the third inning forced manager Bud Black to use the bullpen earlier than anticipated. When Volquez is on his game, he is stellar and clearly the best pitcher in the starting rotation,however, for the Padres to get a dominant performance from the 30-year-old they have to cave in to Volquez pitching in games like he did on Opening Day.
Padres need Chase Headley – There is a reason why Cody Ransom has struggled to stay at the Major League level, because he isn’t all that good. Or should I say he isn’t as good as Headley. Ransom, known more for his glove than his bat, committed a crucial error in the Padres 11-2 loss. It was a play Headley would have made cleanly. Should I get started on Ransom’s offense? I’ll just let his career slash line of .219/.307/.393 speak for itself. Even if Headley isn’t the same player as last year and reverts to the decent power, high on base percentage Headley we all know, it would still be an upgrade over Ransom.
Bullpen was shaky – Historically the Padres pride themselves on having one of the league’s best bullpens. On Opening Day the bullpen didn’t leave up to their reputation. I will cut them some slack though because Bud Black had to use the bullpen much earlier than anticipated. Nevertheless, when your name is called, you have to perform. The Padres’ bullpen combined to give up five earned runs and seven hits in five innings on Opening Day.
Carlos Quentin is essential for the lineup – A one legged Quentin is better than most of the Padres’ two legged lineup. Quentin always seems to find a way to get on base whether its walk or hit by pitch. Quentin is a legitimate threat in the lineup and opposing pitchers hate facing him. Quentin again showed his value when he rocketed a two-out RBI. It is tough to imagine how this lineup would have performed on Opening Day if Quentin was on the disabled list.
Yonder Alonso going yard -Alonso’s only hit on Opening Day went for a home run. This is a positive sign to see Alonso provide some power early in the year. I feel he is developing into a great hitter. In Spring Training, Alonso led the ball club in home runs with five, so it is nice to see that Alonso’s spring wasn’t an abberation but more like the real Alsonso. Alonso will serve as a great compliment for Headley and Quentin.
Jedd Gyorko’s first MLB hit– I am glad Gyorko got his first Major League hit on Opening Day because you don’t want this type of thing hanging around the youngster’s head. It is hard enough to produce at the Major League level, and even harder to get your first MLB knock. This is just the beginning to a great career.
What are some other positives and negatives we should take from Opening Day? Let us know in the comments section below.