A full recap of the first week of regular season action for the San Diego Padres, a week filled with both thrilling and disappointing moments.
It’s finally here!
The 2017 baseball season has arrived and the San Diego Padres have begun the journey of discovery that we hope will lead us down the path to a winning tradition for this organization,
The first week of the season had some great surprises as well as a couple of stinker games, but overall yielded a .500 record for the team. Not a bad start for a team many pundits project will lose greater than a 100 games this season. And we aren’t in last place either, the Giants are.
Opening Day 2017 brings excitement and dread for many Padres fans. It seems that Major League Baseball can only think of one team for the Padres to begin the season with. The Los Angeles Dodgers have been our season opening opponent for four of the last six seasons. The Dodgers and Padres have split these games but last year’s 15-0 drubbing remains fresh in our memories and the rivals to the north again racked up double digits this year.
San Diego Padres
Making his Padre debut, Jhoulys Chacin lacked all command of his breaking pitches and lasted only 3 1/3 innings before being removed. Following was Christian Bethancourt, who didn’t fare any better, and we ended up with a 14-3 route. Hey, at least they scored.
Clayton Richard arguably pitched his best game as a Padre in game 2. He went 8 innings, allowing no runs on 5 hits and striking out 5. He induced 12 ground ball outs and the Padres supported him with 4 double plays. It was a clinic on pitching down in the zone with pinpoint command.
That was the high point of the series as the Padres lost the last two games by scores of 3-1 and 10-2. Local boy Trevor Cahill was impressive in the 3-1 loss, allowing 2 earned runs with 7 strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings but Dodger starter Rich Hill allowed only Hunter Renfroe‘s first homer of the year and the Padres were otherwise stymied.
Jered Weaver’s debut as a Padre is one he and all Padres fans would probably rather forget. His command and control were both lacking and the Dodgers racked up 5 hits with 2 BB and 2 HR over 5 innings pitched. Yasiel Puig hit both home runs. The Padres offense consisted of Will Myers’ 2 run homer in the 6th inning, his first of the season.
Then our boys came home to the Opening Day festivities of Petco Park. Home cooking and sleeping in their own beds appear to agree with them, as they came out swinging.
Starter Luis Perdomo started well with 5 innings of 1-run ball and then the wheels fell off for him and the San Francisco Giants scored 4 runs (grand slam) in the 6th inning. But that only tied the score as Manny Margot homered in his first two at bats to ignite the sold out crowd into Margot mania.
Yangervis Solarte went 3 for 5 with 4 RBI and the game winning double in the 7th inning that prompted the trademark alligator clap while standing on 2nd base. The final score of 7-6 sent the crowd home happy after watching a thrilling and exciting first home game to the 2017 season.
The second game against the Giants was a well pitched win for Chacin, who found his command of his breaking pitches for 6 2/3 innings of shutout ball. The Padres took advantage of early control issues by Madison Bumgarner to score two early inning runs off doubles by Margot (2) and Renfroe. Margot has an early season line of .304/.360 .696 with 3 doubles, 2 home runs and 4 RBI. Keeping pace with the 22 year old rookie is Solarte who has 2 doubles a home run and 7 RBI giving him a .304/.360/.522 early hitting line.
Let’s hope they continue this competition throughout the season.
Wil Myers and Renfroe both have 2 doubles and a HR, which we would normally be celebrating during the first week of the season, but Margot and Solarte have been so on fire that the other hitters in the lineup have paled in comparison.
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Also, let’s not forget the stellar bullpen work of Brandon Maurer, Brad Hand and Miguel Diaz. Each has been overpowering with Hand allowing one hit over 3 innings and the other two completely shutting down the opposition over 2 IP and 2 1/3 IP, respectively. Diaz is a joy to watch with his 98 mph 2 seam fastball that froze Dodger outfielder Joc Pederson in place at the plate and became a twitter phenomenon.
Long reliever Jarred Cosart lasted only 2/3 of an inning in his season debut, allowing 2 hits and 3 BB. Catcher turned reliever Christian Bethancourt has had a rude awakening after his successful spring training performances with 3 hits and 6 BB for 7 runs in 1 1/3 innings of throwing.
I am taking a positive from this first week with Manny Margot and Hunter Renfroe starting their rookie seasons with notable performances. The starting pitching has been inconsistent, as expected, but Clayton Richard, Trevor Cahill and Luis Perdomo showed well to begin and Jhoulys Chacin showed improvement in his second start.
Hopefully they can carry enough positive momentum offensively to offset inconsistent pitching performances and provide us with more exciting baseball in the coming weeks.