Apr 5, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; San Diego Padres manager Bud Black (L) talks with relief pitcher Joaquin Benoit (R) on the pitching mound after Benoit was taken out of the game during the eighth inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
It’s no secret that the San Diego Padres have stumbled out of the gate here in 2014. It is especially disappointing after a dramatic come-from-behind win at home against the Dodgers on ESPN Opening Night, giving us hope. But let me see if I can give some words of comfort to the Friar Faithful.
Last year started as a disaster, we all remember the Padres starting 2-10. Though I can’t tell you the Friars fought back to make the playoffs, they did finish strong, in a 3rd place tie with the Giants. Also, the Padres are not the only ones to start slow this year. They are not yet like the Diamondbacks, who, thanks to the early start in Australia, started 1-7. The Reds and Orioles also started 1-4. The Yankees struggled to win a game against arguably the worst team in baseball, the Houston Astros. What I am trying to say is, all is not lost. This is a very small sample size. The Padres still have 156 games left. This is a long, long season. That’s why I love baseball. You have numerous chances to climb back and redeem yourself. It’s not always a “must win” or “do-or-die” situation every game like college football. Everyone just needs to take a deep breath. The Padres will win lots of games. Today’s 4-2 win over the Marlins was very encouraging. They have a good core group of guys. Keep in mind, 3 key players are on the DL for the time being, players who, when healthy, can turn the Padres into contenders: Josh Johnson, Carlos Quentin, and Cameron Maybin.
I know San Diego doesn’t have a Mike Trout, Robinson Cano, Miguel Cabrera or Clayton Kershaw, guys that can single-handedly take over a game and more. But the Padres do have a good group of veterans that know how to win. Joaquin Benoit and Seth Smith have both played in the World Series, and plenty others have playoff experience. Also, Everth Cabrera has started off well. This has happened before. Teams with much worse starts have gone on to have spectacular seasons. So fear not Padres fans! Keep the faith and keep filling the seats at Petco Park. I am right there with you. We have just seen the opening credits of this movie. It is impossible to predict the outcome at this point.