San Diego Padres: Christian Villanueva Takes Center Stage

SAN DIEGO, CA - APRIL 3: Christian Villanueva
SAN DIEGO, CA - APRIL 3: Christian Villanueva /

The San Diego Padres won their first game of the season on Tuesday night, taking down the Colorado Rockies 8-4.

Coming into tonight’s San Diego Padres game, all of the focus and attention was placed on the return of Tyson Ross. After a productive spring training, how would he respond in his first regular season start? Ross pitched very well, earning the win in his debut, however, the focus quickly shifted to everyone’s newest favorite Friar, Christian Villanueva.

Let’s forget about what Villanueva can’t do for a moment. We get it. Tonight is all about what Christian Villanueva did right.

Whether you missed tonight’s game or just want to see these again, take a look.

Not one, not two, but three home runs tonight for the young third baseman.

Villanueva’s home runs traveled distances of 403, 404, and 391 feet. According to Baseball Savant, all three were barrelled and sent out of Petco Park at 105.2 mph, 105.6 mph, and 107.1 mph. He becomes just the seventh player in San Diego history to hit three home runs in a single game.

Once touted as one of the top third base prospects in baseball, Villanueva has yet to find his stride at the major league level. Coming out of spring training, the Padres had to either keep him on the 25-man roster or risk losing him by trying to sneak him through waivers. Andy Green and company made the right choice by giving this young man a roster spot.

The Padres have used a third base by committee through the first five games of the season with Villanueva, Cory Spangenberg, and Chase Headley all getting starts. Tonight’s game won’t change this committee-style approach, however, for one night, Christian Villanueva sits on top of the world.

Next: Padres Hoping Manuel Margot Breaks Out Soon

With their win tonight, the Padres became the final team in Major League Baseball to win their first game. They will look to make it two in a row tomorrow night in game three of a four game set against the Rockies.