Padres are learning if you don’t make plays, you don’t win games

(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

The old adage ‘defense wins championships’ must be foreign to the San Diego Padres. Through the first week of the season, the team leads all of Major League Baseball with eight errors .

"“We’ve got a chance to be a really good defensive team,” Padres manager Jayce Tingler told “Unfortunately, we didn’t see it on this homestand. There’s some things that we can clean up.”"

San Diego hits the road for its first road trip of the 2021 calendar Friday, taking on the Texas Rangers at their new ballpark in Arlington. A 4-3 start to the season probably isn’t exactly what we’d all envisioned, especially with all seven of those games being played at home, but the good news is there is clear and definite room for improvement.

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While we await updates on the Fernando Tatis Jr. front, the Padres will get a huge boost defensively in the form of the reigning NL Gold Gold Glove recipient in center field, Trent Grisham, who is expected to make his season debut in the series opener against Texas.

Padres need to do little things better

A lineup without both Tatis Jr. and Grisham is one that takes a major step backward on the defensive side of things. But it’s on the supporting cast to step up and do the little things right – namely, make the plays they’re supposed to make. It’s that simple.

"“It would be concerning if we don’t clean it up,” Tingler said. “This can’t be a trend. We’ll get it fixed.”"

The pieces are all in place for this to be one of the best defensive teams in the league. Even without Tatis Jr. in the lineup, you’ve got a four-time Gold Glover at first in Eric Hosmer and a two-time recipient across the diamond in Manny Machado. That’s enough to anchor the infield – at least for the time being.

San Diego’s outfield has a lot of moving parts with Tommy Pham, Jurickson Profar, Brian O’Grady, Jorge Mateo and Wil Myers all factoring into the mix. Of that group, only Myers is what I’d call a ‘sure thing’ when you fill out the lineup card. Adding Grisham back in on a regular basis in center will (hopefully) provide a true captain out there defensively.

Next. Opportunities abound in the wake of Tatis Jr.'s injury. dark

Look, it’s a week. And, boy, it was every bit of that, too with the Tatis injury coming in like a haymaker within the first few days of the season. The Padres kept their heads above water, but it’ll take this group doing more of the little things better if they want to live up to the hype surrounding them