The Padres outscored the Diamondbacks 20-11, taking three-of-four in the first series of the 2022 campaign.
1. Starting pitching leads the way
Yu Darvish did nearly everything right except getting the win in Thursday’s heartbreaking 4-2 loss to the Diamondbacks. Despite dancing around four walks, Darvish shoved over 6.0 innings of work. He struck out three without allowing any hits, throwing 51 of his 92 pitches for strikes.
Sean Manaea matched Darvish and then some, tossing 7.0 innings of no-hit ball before exiting. The 30-year-old dealt with little traffic on bases, yielding just one walk while striking out seven batters.
“I’ve seen him have some good games,” Melvin said of Manaea’s debut. “This ranks right up there with them.”
No no-hitters. But with six hitless from Yu Darvish last night and seven from Sean Manaea tonight, the 2022 Padres are the first team in recorded history to open a season with their first two starting pitchers not allowing a hit.
— AJ Cassavell (@AJCassavell) April 9, 2022
Nabil Crismatt stepped in admirably for Blake Snell, who was scratched just before his start on Sunday. The right-hander tossed 3.0 innings of one-hit ball while dancing around three walks and striking out four.
In all, the Padres’ starting staff went 22.0 IP, 6H, 2ER, 8BB, and 22K over the four-game series.
2. Jurickson Profar silences the doubters
For all of the discussion leading into the season surrounding the question mark in left field, Jurickson Profar answered the bell in the opening series. The 29-year-old hit .400 (4-for-10), including a two-run shot on Friday and a grand slam on Sunday. Profar also took three walks and only struck out twice.
Sunday’s slam marked Profar’s second career grand slam.
Slam Diego Season 3 just dropped. pic.twitter.com/YGTUQrl9Vy
— San Diego Padres (@Padres) April 10, 2022
In his first season after signing a three-year extension with the team, he hit just .227 in 2021. There’s obviously a long way to go this year, but it’s good to see Profar get off to a good start.
3. Taylor Rogers is as good as advertised
The Padres were one Taylor Rogers appearance short of a four-game sweep. After Darvish exited Thursday’s contest with a no-hitter intact, the bullpen could not preserve the win. Taylor Rogers was unavailable to pitch on Opening Day after being acquired from the Minnesota Twins hours earlier.
The 31-year-old made back-to-back appearances on Friday and Saturday, notching saves in both contests. Rogers needed just nine pitches to retire the side on Friday, striking out one batter in the process. He was just as efficient the following night, needing ten pitches to close out the game.
With Emilio Pagan included as part of the trade package to Minnesota, the Padres needed some early-season clarity regarding their closer. Rogers was given the role, and he’s proven to be more than reliable early on.
The Padres (3-1) will have a big early-season test against the San Francisco Giants (2-1), with Game 1 starting at 6:45 pm PT on Monday.