San Diego Padres: Early Impressions of Padres’ Play
A complete analysis of the first week of San Diego Padres action in Los Angeles, from the good moments, to the bad, and to the ugly.
Let’s just forget game one of the 2017 season. With Clayton Kershaw on the mound, it would have taken a miracle for the Padres to pull off a victory. The following three games had a little of everything, from the high of a sterling pitching performance to an unraveling of our “hybrid” player, from 3 hits in 4 at-bats for a rookie outfielder to sloppy play by the “face of the franchise.”
While all this action played out in Dodger Stadium in the first four days of the newly hatched season, bad news trickled in on other fronts. The Padres announced that Christian Friedrich, part of the 2016 rotation, has a tender elbow. Even worse, Anderson Espinoza, one of the most prized pitching prospects in all of
While all this action played out in Dodger Stadium in the first four days of the newly hatched season, bad news trickled in on other fronts. The Padres announced that Friedrich, part of the 2016 rotation, has a tender elbow.
Even worse, Espinoza, one of the most prized pitching prospects in all of baseball, has forearm tightness and will start the season on the disabled list instead of pitching for Lake Elsinore. Espinoza came to the Padres as part of the controversial trade of starter Drew Pomeranz to the Boston Red Sox in July of last year.
In game two, old friend Clayton Richard pitched a masterpiece of 8-inning shutout baseball. The only lefty in the starting rotation, Richard held the Dodgers to five hits. The infield defense does seem to have improved by moving Ryan Schimpf to third and Yangervis Solarte to second. The team made three inning-ending double plays behind Richard.
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It’s no secret that the Dodgers do not fare well against left-handers, but the Padres have only one with which to befuddle their hitters. On Wednesday, Trevor Cahill did not pitch badly as L.A. won 3 to 1. Wil Myers however misplayed a catchable ball at first, allowing the very slow Adrian Gonzalez to score from 2nd. Then he got picked off right before Hunter Renfroe hit a home run. Take away those sloppy plays, and the Padres tie the score.
Thursday’s getaway game had few positive moments beyond Renfroe’s three hits in four at bats. Backup catcher Hector Sanchez exited the game after taking a foul ball off his facemask and feeling woozy. Jered Weaver proved you can’t groove mid 80’s fast balls to Yasiel Puig; Christian Bethancourt proved that transitioning from catcher to pitcher and elsewhere on the diamond doesn’t happen overnight by walking four batters in a row, and Jarred Cosart proved that he also needs to throw strikes.
Next: Series Preview: Padres vs. Giants
After the opening season against the Dodgers, the Padres play most of their games against division rivals. By the end of the month, San Diego’s place in the divisional universe should be apparent.