San Diego Padres: What We Liked About Opening Day

SAN DIEGO, CA - MARCH 29: Clayton Richard
SAN DIEGO, CA - MARCH 29: Clayton Richard /

Opening Day didn’t go quite as planned for the San Diego Padres, however, there were still a few positive takeaways.

In what started out as a lightning-fast game, the San Diego Padres fell to the Milwaukee Brewers by a score of 2-1. The Friars recorded just three hits through the first eight innings, before an RBI-single by Freddy Galvis sent the game into extra-innings. Unfortunately, the Padres were unsuccessful in their comeback attempt as Jeremy Jeffress closed the door on today’s Opening Day game.

San Diego had every chance to steal this one away from the Brewers, most notably in the bottom of the 11th inning. With bases loaded and just one out on the board, Chase Headley entered the batter’s box. In true Headley fashion, he responded to the clutch situation with an inning-ending double play.

A Ji-Man Choi double followed by an Orlando Arcia single put the Brewers up 2-1, giving RHP Adam Cimber the loss in his major league debut.

San Diego hitters struck out 15 times on the afternoon, including three times in the bottom of the 12th with the game on the line. They added just six hits, one of which was a bunt hit by Freddy Galvis.

Despite the loss, here are a few positive takeaways.

Clayton Richard pitched very well for the San Diego Padres.

Clayton Richard wasn’t outstanding (nor did he do anything extraordinary), but he set up his offense perfectly to win this game. Richard cruised through seven innings (83 pitches), allowing six hits, one earned run, and one walk while striking out four hitters. He induced 10 ground ball outs, including double plays to end the first and second innings.

We’ve wondered whether a good defense would help Richard this season. Today was only one game, but the early returns look positive. He should have all the trust in the world in his defense after witnessing this unbelievable play by Galvis.

(Credit to Carlos Asuaje for completing the throw to first base to get the second out.)

Richard worked well throughout the entire contest against a good Milwaukee lineup. He did give up a few hard hits and struggled to hit his spots on numerous occasions, but some of that can be cleaned up as he goes through the season. I’ll give credit where credit is due, I think Richard will hold his own this season.

Freddy Galvis will be fun to watch all season long for the San Diego Padres.

We all know Freddy Galvis is a short-term rental for Andy Green and the Padres. With Fernando Tatis, Jr and Luis Urias waiting in the wings for their 2018 call-ups, Galvis’ tenure with the Padres will be short, but oh so sweet.

More from Friars on Base

While the debut of Eric Hosmer fell flat (0-4, BB, 2 K), the debut of Freddy Galvis created numerous exciting moments in an otherwise lackluster Opening Day contest.

Outside of the defensive web-gem shown above, Galvis went 2-4 at the plate with a walk and run driven in. His first hit, a bunt single, seemed to catch the Milwaukee defense off-guard. Galvis then stunned the defense with a drive through the infield to score Matt Sczur, sending the game into extra-innings.

Galvis is a workhorse who, like Richard, catches a lot of flack from Padres’ fans. Let’s not kid ourselves, though, this San Diego team isn’t a playoff team. Sit back and enjoy watching a really good player in Freddy Galvis. There aren’t a lot of players who can play the game the way he does.

Next: Scouting The Milwaukee Pitching Staff

The Padres return to the field tomorrow night at 7 pm PT. You won’t want to miss this game, as rookie sensation Joey Lucchesi will take the mound for his major league debut against an old friend of the Friars, Jhoulys Chacin.