San Diego Padres: Few Bright Spots in Opening Day Drubbing

jgoehring
April 3, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; San Diego Padres second baseman Ryan Schimpf (11) catches a fly ball as shortstop Erick Aybar (8) stands by against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the fifth inning during the opening day game at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
April 3, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; San Diego Padres second baseman Ryan Schimpf (11) catches a fly ball as shortstop Erick Aybar (8) stands by against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the fifth inning during the opening day game at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /
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Much like a year ago, the San Diego Padres were blown out in the season opener on Monday, this time by a final of 14-3. There is not a whole lot for fans to feel good about following this one, but it isn’t time to panic.

The excitement of Opening Day was real for San Diego Padres fans, as the club was on national TV, the lineup was revamped, and they got to go up against one of the game’s best right off the bat. Furthermore, San Diego even got on the board first right off the bat thanks to a Yangervis Solarte single which drove in Wil Myers.

Everything was going according to plan, all the way up until the third inning. The Dodgers put a crooked five spot on the board in the third, and followed it up with a three-run fourth. From that point on, Opening Day got ugly, and it got ugly in a hurry.

When the smoke cleared and the Padres hobbled off the field defeated, the scoreboard read 14-3. There were few positive takeaways from this one.

As poorly as San Diego hit, what was most concerning was the performance from the pitching staff.

Opening Day starter Jhoulys Chacin exited after just three and 1/3, surrendering nine earned runs. At this point, the game was virtually decided given the fact that Clayton Kershaw was on the mound for the Dodgers. But to make matters worse, highly touted experiment Christian Bethancourt took the mound, seizing an opportunity right away to enter a lopsided game. Unfortunately, he was unable to get out of the fifth injuring his knee after being slid into and finishing with three earned runs in an inning and a third.

To see Chacin struggle like this is alarming. Sure, the Dodgers have a potent lineup, but Chacin is San Diego’s Opening Day starter, and must have accomplished something to put himself ahead of Clayton Richard in the minds of the coaching staff.

This is a problem because unlike the lineup, there is really no remedy for poor pitching. And the Padres, in reality, have a poor pitching staff. They lack a reliable arm in the rotation and have only proven inconsistent veterans on the roster. While these pitchers may be serviceable and may have been attained at a very reasonable price, the club is still searching for a hurler they can count on.

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The offense really didn’t show up on Monday, but this isn’t reason for Padres fans to panic in the slightest. Ryan Schimpf did hit a home run, and they were facing Kershaw, so it’s reasonable to give the group a pass on this one. Since they were so far behind after the fourth inning, it isn’t worth over analyzing. San Diego’s lineup has potential to score a lot of runs this season, so fans shouldn’t panic based on this performance.

In fact, overall, San Diego fans shouldn’t feel much different about their club than they did entering the contest. Without a doubt the loss stings, and is even somewhat embarrassing being broadcast around the world in its entirety.

Next: Fanfest and the 25 man Roster

The Padres are back in action Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium for the second of the opening four game set. San Diego will send 33-year-old left-hander Richard to the mound, who will oppose Kenta Maeda. The game will begin at 7:10 PM PT, and fans can catch all of the action on Fox Sports San Diego.

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