To kick off the new season, the team will embark on a seven-game road journey. Joe Musgrove will take the mound for the Braves in tonight’s home opener.
How much do we know about the San Diego Padres at this point in the season?
The primary reason for this is that their offence has returned to form after a brief absence. The Padres’ pitching staff has mainly done its job aside from the 13 runs allowed on Tuesday, two of which were scored by right fielder Wil Myers. However, the vast majority of the team’s batters are struggling to find the plate (which is their job). The Padres have hit just four home runs and have a batting average of.196 when they have runners on base and the bases loaded.
As I wrote in my post about yesterday’s 2-1 loss to the Giants, the Padres played their fastest nine-inning game since 2019 and their third-fastest in the last six seasons.
An explanation of an unique occurrence (the player making $20 million being substituted for a pinch-hitter making $700,000 in the ninth inning) as well as a summary of an exciting month are included in my notebook from yesterday (for reliever Kyle Tyler, who has been with three teams in three weeks).
The Padres’ interim third base coach, Mike Shildt, and the San Francisco Giants’ first base coach, Antoan Richardson, had a conversation yesterday after Richardson’s reaction to something Shildt said Tuesday night.
It is unwritten
There was a brief pregame conversation between Gabe Kapler and Bob Melvin. Not nasty, but they didn’t make plans for supper either.
When it comes to how a team should act in particular situations, there appears to be a difference in opinion between the two.
Even at the age of 60, Melvin has accepted a number of the modern-day game’s nuances. Analytics? Gets them, then utilises them. What’s up with the bat flips? Fine. Personality is everything. Attempt a bunt in the sixth inning while your team is nine runs ahead of the rest of the field? Not good enough.
When it comes to the latter point, Kapler, 46, disagrees. As for Tuesday night, he defended Mauricio Dubon and declared that the Giants would strive to win every at-bat, no matter the score, even if they were leading 13-2.
Mauricio Dubon bunted for a hit with the Giants up nine.
The Padres weren’t happy and Gabe Kapler had a word with his young player pic.twitter.com/eozjyySQ7h
— SF Giants on NBCS (@NBCSGiants) April 13, 2022
As a result, a number of Padres were sceptical that Kapler followed Dubon to the bat rack in the sixth innings and didn’t chastise him.
Eric Hosmer, speaking before yesterday’s game, said, “I think it was pretty obvious that they were all on the same page on how they were going to support their teammate via media through that situation. They know what’s right and wrong, and I believe they’re just trying to defend a teammate.
Disagreement over the existence of so-called “unwritten rules” has generated a great deal of emotion, especially among those who want them completely removed. Those who still adhere to the old ways of doing things rely heavily on the concept of respecting their opponents.
There’s a fine line to walk here. A 3-0 pitch was no problem for Fernando Tatis Jr. of the Padres, who had his team up by seven runs. That was a good one, wasn’t it?
The Padres clubhouse was mute on the subject of whether Tatis’ infamous 2020 grand slam and Dubon’s performance on Tuesday were comparable. Perceived violations of unwritten rules can be differentiated by their subtleties. And one’s allegiance is frequently determined solely by who one is rooting for.
Melvin, on the other hand, was noncommittal in his assessment of the Giants.
“Are we sure there are only two schools of thought these days?” Yesterday morning, Melvin said the same thing. It’s impossible to be either right or wrong in this situation.
Both of them have a strong desire to succeed…. Traditionally defined boundaries have become a bit fuzzy. Nevertheless, I believe that you understand it as well as I do. In other words, there is no one right or wrong. Different points of view.”
By the way, it’s easy to point out the times when teams come back from huge deficits and say that it’s never OK to ease up. Heck, it almost happened twice on Wednesday — the Mets beat the Phillies 9-6 after leading 8-1, and the Red Sox led the Tigers 9-2 before winning 9-7 in extra innings in the series finale.
A nine-run lead, on the other hand, is only overturned every third season or so.
The Padres expected Steven Wilson to rise to the top of their lineup at some point during the course of the season. It’s been a pleasant surprise to see what he’s been able to do in his first three big-league appearances.
Wilson entered the game in the seventh inning and went on to pitch two perfect innings, striking out five of the six batters he faced. When he pitched well, Melvin was able to avoid using Pierce Johnson, who had already thrown three innings.
A “big outing for him to step up and realise he can give us more than one (inning) and keep us in a real tight game,” said Melvin.
Previously, the Padres had a one-run lead when he entered the game in the sixth inning, a tie game in the seventh inning, and a one-run deficit yesterday when he entered the game.
Wilson admitted to the press after the game that he “enjoys being in those roles.” A little extra adrenaline, a little extra juices, I love that. To be honest, I believe that my proximity to the Dominican Republic over the past two years has greatly aided my performance. Late in the game, I feel at ease. It was a great help. A lot of big-league players were lining up against me. “It’s just a new stadium.”
This was Wilson’s worst winter. He has a master’s in business analytics. An article by Jeff Sanders about him from a month ago is included below.
Work to do
CJ Abrams’ workload will increase as the Padres make their way to San Diego.
Game day schedules for batting practise and other pre-game preparations make extra work easier when the team is in town because the home team has priority in scheduling those events.
A.J. Preller, the president of baseball operations, said that long-term development of the 21-year-old shortstop was a priority along with helping the Padres win when Abrams was placed on the opening-day roster. In order for Abrams to continue to develop as a shortstop, he needs to be given a lot of time on the field and work with Ha-seong Kim.
The talent of Abrams far outweighs the experience he has. Abrams has played 81 professional games, including four starts in the major leagues.
While working with hitters and infielders as well as third basemen, Matt Williams explained that the goal is to put him in game situations whenever possible.
Abrams has impressed Williams with his professionalism. But Abrams hasn’t had to deal with a wide range of situations, and he hasn’t had to make the kinds of decisions he has in the past.
Putting him in those situations as much as possible will help make it second nature when he finally gets out there, according to Williams.
- Jake Cronenworth hit his 11th career triple yesterday. That’s most in the major leagues since the start of the 2020 season.
- With Luke Voit going 0-for-4 yesterday, Manny Machado is the only Padres player to have reached base via a hit or walk in every game. Jurickson Profar has a hit in every game he has batted.
- You will see CJ Abrams’ first name typed out differently, depending on where it appears. There is only one correct way. Said Abrams: “No periods. Never been any periods.”
- Remember, there are four different start times during the opening series. Today’s game is at 5:10 p.m., tomorrow at 6:40, Saturday at 1:05 and Sunday at 4:08. Saturday’s game will be televised nationally by FS1. Sunday is on ESPN.
OK, that’s all I have to say. It feels good to be back in my own bed. For a while now.
You’ll hear from me tomorrow.
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