In game one of Sunday’s doubleheader, the San Diego Padres took down the Phillies, 10-2.
I’ve been to countless early morning minor league games over the years, settling into my seat at 10-10:30 on a Wednesday morning (typically) pondering whether or not fried ballpark food and a craft beer are smart choices as I try to watch/video/take notes on players, surrounded by hundreds and hundreds of screaming elementary school kids that typically come with an early morning minor league game. Today’s first San Diego Padres game felt a lot like that, without the screaming kids.
Not only were we treated to early morning baseball, we were treated to a Padres win against a good Philadelphia team. With his defense working behind him and Carlos Asuaje producing at the plate, Tyson Ross picked up his sixth win of the season in a 10-2 victory.
Two biggest takeaways from game one.
Carlos Asuaje and Hunter Renfroe. No one looked more comfortable in game one than Carlos Asuaje. The second baseman went 2-4 with two doubles, two runs scored, and an RBI on a sac-fly that went to the left-field warning track. Both hits were deep drives into right field, one of them just a few feet away from being a home run.
Nick Pivetta entered today’s game allowing a .357 wOBA and a near 10% walk rate against left-handed hitters. Asuaje didn’t help those numbers. As Denni Lin’s tweet shows, Asuaje has been very dominant since his return from El Paso. Will this sort of production stick? The answer to that question is no, however, there’s no reason why Asuaje can’t have a future role with this team if he can remain consistent.
The other positive in game one came from Hunter Renfroe. Renfroe finished the day 3-5 at the plate with an RBI and run scored. He picked up his 15th double of the year in the process.
There are a number of outfielders who the Padres are trying to evaluate, that’s understandable. However, I believe a lot of people are impatiently wishing that Renfroe could be given regular playing time. The former first-round pick has shown improvements across the board but hasn’t been able to string together a few series worth of regular games.
Defensive miscues like the one he committed today in right field are expected but having his powerful bat in the lineup behind Wil Myers and Hosmer could be an exciting lineup to watch. There’s also the simple fact that you would think San Diego would give a first-round pick more chances to prove his worth. Hopefully, those chances come over the final two months of the season.
Eric Hosmer and Freddy Galvis also contributed two hits each and combined for three runs driven in. Tyson Ross finished with a line of 5 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 5 K. Finally, Matt Strahm went two innings in relief, striking out two and showing grit after getting out of a one-out, bases loaded jam in the bottom of the seventh. He continues to be a positive storyline for the San Diego Padres.
Also, Wil Myers hit a 450-foot bomb to centerfield, late in the game. It was the longest home run hit at Citizens Bank Park this season, according to Statcast.