Padres: Three takeaways from opening series vs. Diamondbacks

Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

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The Padres outscored the Diamondbacks 20-11, taking three-of-four in the first series of the 2022 campaign.

Bob Melvin began his tenure as Padres manager on a nearly perfect note, taking all but one game in Arizona. Here are three takeaways from the series win.

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.”

While not as clean, Joe Musgrove gave the Padres 6.0 innings while striking out eight batters. He allowed a pair of runs, both to Diamondbacks’ outfielder David Peralta.

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.

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.

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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.

1 thought on “Padres: Three takeaways from opening series vs. Diamondbacks

  1. 4 games is a very small sample, but here are some more takeaways:

    The first 3 starters are good, the rest are TBD.

    The pen is shaky, especially if they have to complete more than 2 innings, which is most games.

    It’s hard to complain about being 3 and 1, but this clearly should have been a 4 – 0 sweep, and losses like this will come back to haunt them.

    Nola looks good, or at least better than last year, but Alfaro looks really good as a hitter and should hit more.

    CJ needs A LOT more seasoning in the minors, and Kim looks much more confident at the plate.

    The Padres are going to Padre (lose games they should win; lack a killer instinct).

    A few hits does not change the fact that Hosmer still stinks and, if he plays, should bat 8th or 9th, not 5th or 6th.

    Maybe Preller (Mr. buy-high-and-sell-low) could, for once, sell high … on Profar.

    The real test starts tonight.

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