The Padres certainly put up a fight before going down, losing an opportunity to sweep the Rockies in Colorado.
Yes, I made a joke.
The game started out so innocently, with Franchy Cordero making his 2018 debut after Manuel Margot went to the disabled list with badly bruised ribs, after taking a pitch to the torso the night before. Luis Perdomo took the hill for the Padres, coming off of a strong start in Houston. For what was a brief start, Perdomo looked good, pitching two innings without allowing a run and striking out two.
Then the third inning started. You could feel the tension building, with the Rockies having beaned five Padre hitters already this season and coming close to a few more.
Nolan Arenado led off the bottom of the third and Perdomo slung a fastball, just missing Arenado’s back who bent forward to get out of the way. Neither Perdomo nor Arenado hesitated, almost like they knew this was coming. Arenado flung off his helmet and sprinted towards the mound. Perdomo, for a moment, stood with his shoulders square, like a bullfighter staring down his fierce four-legged competitor. Perdomo then threw his glove at Arenado and danced out of the way of his rage.
The benches cleared and chaos ensued for a few moments and a few punches were thrown, the first fight of baseball season had begun, catching the attention of the nation.
Benches clear, punches thrown in Padres-Rockies game with Nolan Arenado and Luis Perdomo in the center of it. pic.twitter.com/6cItcDc8Td
— MLB (@MLB) April 11, 2018
Benches clear in Colorado!
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 11, 2018
– Luis Perdomo throws behind Nolan Arenado
– Nolan Arenado charges the mound
– Perdomo throws his glove at Arenado
– Arenado throws a punch
– Benches clear pic.twitter.com/DhwkxkLBYD
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) April 11, 2018
It’s not everyday the Padres get headline news in main sports media.
Gerardo Parra landed a punch to AJ Ellis' face. He got the heave-ho. So did Ellis and Perdomo. Nolan Arenado and German Marquez also ejected. At least…
— Nick Groke (@nickgroke) April 11, 2018
I personally enjoyed watching Padres coach Mark McGwire, who looks like he could still throw down, getting in between Arenado and his guys. He did that last season during that little scuffle between manager Andy Green and Dodgers manager Dave Roberts.
When the dust had quite literally settled, the Padres were forced to make a pitching change, and that fell to Buddy Baumann. That inning did not go well as he allowed five of the six batters he faced to reach base, although he didn’t have help from a throwing error by Cory Spangenberg and then a fielding error by Cordero with the bases loaded, making it 4-0 Rockies.
Adam Cimber came in to play fireman, but it was too late as Pat Valaika, in for the ejected Arenado, singled home Tony Wolters after his three-run single of sorts, making it 5-0. After that, Cimber was solid, finishing his day with three innings, one earned run, and four strikeouts in long relief.
In the top of the sixth, Franchy Cordero led off with a solo homer to center, his first of the year in just his third at bat in the big leagues this season. He finished his first day 1-4 with a homer and two strikeouts.
The Padres weren’t done in that inning as Eric Hosmer doubled, Jose Pirela singled, and Carlos Asuaje walked to load the bases. Hunter Renfroe then hit a weak enough grounder to third base to where he would beat out the double play and allow Hosmer to score, making it 5-2. On a passed ball, Pirela came sliding home as well, cutting the lead to 5-3.
After an Ian Desmond sac fly, the Rockies were on top 6-3 heading into the top of the eighth. Hosmer came up against the tough lefty reliever Jack McGee. He launched a 1-0 fastball over the left-center field fence for his first home run as a Padre, cutting the lead back to two.
Phil Maton came in for Cimber and pitched 2 2/3 innings of perfect relief, striking out five, maintaining his 0.00 ERA.
The Padres had one last gasp in the top of the ninth against closer Wade Davis, but it didn’t amount to much, as he set the Padres down 1-2-3 for his fifth save of the year.
The Friars drop the finale, but still win the series two games to one, and it always feels good to win a road series. The Padres now head back home for a weekend series with the Giants, starting Thursday at 7:10 pm.