Zach Davies made his long-awaited debut for the Padres last night, and he was outstanding against the San Francisco Giants.
With one of the more underrated moves in the offseason, the Padres bolstered their starting rotation, trading for Zach Davies. The former Milwaukee Brewer was included in the Trent Grisham trade, and he is in every sense of the word, a pitcher. Davies is similar to Cubs ace Kyle Hendricks in that he doesn’t have overpowering stuff.
Rather, Davies uses deception and off-speed pitches to fool the opposition. The 27-year-old made 31 starts last year, posting a 3.55 ERA, including a respectable 4.26 ERA at the hitter-friendly Miller Park. Now calling Petco Park home, Davies should see a significant boost in a pitcher-friendly park.
On Tuesday, he made his highly-anticipated debut against the San Francisco Giants. It marked the first road series for the Padres in this 60-game sprint, having taken three-of-four at home against the Diamondbacks. Davies needed 81 pitches to get through five innings, allowing five hits, two earned runs, and fanning five batters.
Davies was responsible for an unearned run in the bottom half of the first inning when a bobbled ball by left fielder Tommy Pham led to the Giants’ first run of the game. He came back out in the sixth inning, but gave up back-to-back doubles, thus ending his night. Matt Strahm followed him, who proceeded to hit Pablo Sandoval and allowed a forced RBI groundout and single.
Fernando Tatis Jr. and Wil Myers provided the fireworks, with the former hitting an opposite-field bomb in the top half of the third inning. The following inning, Myers hit one out to straight center.
But back to Davies.
With 54 of his 81 pitches counting for strikes, he was efficient in his first start in a Padres uniform. Interestingly enough, he’s being utilized as the team’s fifth starter through the first week. And I could think of several worse candidates to be your fifth starter.
Davies did an excellent job of mixing up his pitches:
- Changeup – 28 pitches
- Sinker – 27 pitches
- Cutter – 20 pitches
- Curveball – 6 pitches
And how about the job that Drew Pomeranz did in the ninth inning? Chris Paddack takes the mound on Wednesday.