The first week of baseball is in the books, and while the Padres started historically bad, they certainly showed enough in the final three games for some optimism headed into a week where they play the Phillies four times before coming home for a set against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The top three starters in the rotation are still looking for their first win collectively, and Opening Day starter Tyson Ross is already headed to the disabled list. Apart from that, Robbie Erlin pitched well in relief after being recalled and Matt Kemp showed how he can impact a team when fully healthy and playing well.
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The first three games the Padres were completely shut down by the Dodgers, outscored 25-0 and becoming the first team in MLB history to remain scoreless their first three games. Not the side of history they wanted to start on. When they headed to Colorado they did what they could to work on evening that run differential, outscoring the Rockies 32-15 over the 3 game set. The Padres were able to take 2 of 3 in the Mile High City. Trevor Story of the Rockies had one of the most impressive Opening Weeks a rookie or veteran could ask for, hitting 7 home runs in 6 games and 12 RBI with a 1.468 OPS.
Matt Kemp hit .360 with 4 HR and 10 RBI and only 6 strike outs and hopes to keep that momentum going into Philly before bringing it home. He had another stellar second half last season, so providing more consistency could make a dramatic difference for the Padres season. Jon Jay collected 8 hits his first week in a Padres uniform and stole a base. Wil Myers, Corey Spangenberg and Melvin Upton Jr.also stole bases, showing off a side of the Padres they hope to emphasize this year along with more contact and not relying on home runs.
So that is what went right.
On the negative side, Ross to the DL is a big blow along with Yangervis Solarte who strained his hamstring. He was off to another strong start offensively for the team and now the team will fill third base with utility men, starting with Adam Rosales on Sunday. James Shields is 0-2 and though it was Colorado, of his four runs allowed on Sunday 3 were from home runs after allowing 3 runs in his first start of the week. While the contact approach paid dividends for the Padres in Colorado, the opening series shut out will also linger in fans minds for how this 2016 started.
Brandon Maurer allowed 2 runs Sunday pushing the Rockies lead to 3, and Luis Perdomo has looked pretty bad in his 3 appearances so far this season as he has allowed 7 runs already. Colin Rea walked 5 in his first start but now with the Ross injury they need him to hold down that #4 spot in the rotation.
It is imperative that the Padres “beat up” on the weaker teams like Colorado and Philadelphia so winning 3 of 4 is important and also doing what they can about Arizona back in front of the home crowd. The Padres send Andrew Cashner to the mound on Monday hoping to rebound from his horrible first start of the season, where he allowed 5 runs in just 4 innings last Wednesday.