April 5 2012, Petco Park
The Padres were set for inevitable doom for this opening day encounter as Clayton Kershaw was facing the Friars on opening day for the first time in his career. Edinson Volquez received the call to the mound by Bud Black for the game to face the reigning Cy Young award winner. The game was quiet in the first few innings, the first run of the clash coming in the fourth inning of the game for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Shaky pitching by Volquez was the cause of the runs allowed by San Diego as two bases loaded walks allowed the Boys in Blue to get out of the top of the fourth with a 2-0 lead. Clayton Kershaw did have a solid performance pitching three shutout innings but was replace after the three innings due to flu-like symptoms. Don Mattingly’s side picked up another run in the top of the fifth inning where an error cost Buddy Black’s team another run, making it a 3-0 score. The Padres retaliated in the bottom of the sixth inning, getting a RBI double from Jesus Guzman that drove in Will Venable, making it a 3-1 encounter.
Matt Kemp made sure any chances of a comeback were extinguished in the top of the eighth inning, getting a two-run home run off Brad Brach. Extending the Dodgers lead to four runs, making it 5-1 at Petco Park for the away team. A final glimmer of hope surged for the Friars in the bottom of the eighth inning where Cameron Maybin got himself a two-run home run off Kenley Jansen driving in Jeremy Hermida. This made it a 5-3 game and gave the home team some hope at Petco park, that hope was quickly wiped out in the bottom of the ninth. Don Mattingly turned to Javy Guerra to close out the game, Guerra was fantastic retiring the Padres one-two-three and ending the game giving the Dodgers a 5-3 victory.
March 30, 2014, Petco Park
2014 marked the first of three straight opening day games against the Los Angeles Dodgers. The pitching duel turned out to be a great one with Andrew Cashner on the mound for Buddy Black and Hyun-Jin Ryu on the mound for Don Mattingly. The score remained level at 0-0 for the first four innings of the game at Petco Park, the first run of the game coming in the top of the fifth for the away team. A RBI single by Carl Crawford drove in Dee Gordon for the first run of the encounter making it 1-0 after the top of the fifth inning.
The score remained the same until the bottom of the eighth inning. Andrew Cashner had pitched a marvelous game, going six innings, only allowing a run on four hits. His counterpart Ryu had also been solid throwing seven shutout innings, only allowing three hits. Brian Wilson came in to pitch for the Dodgers in the bottom of the eighth inning and that struck disaster for The Boys in Blue. Seth Smith opened the inning by taking Wilson deep on a solo shot that tied it up at a run a piece. Yasmani Grandal and Everth Cabrera then reached base on a walk and an error. Grandal then stole third and a defensive indifference allowed Cabrera to take second. There were runners on third and second for Chris Denorfia who came up big delivering a single which allowed both Grandal and Cabrera to score. The inning ended with the Padres going into the ninth inning with a 3-1 lead. In the top of the ninth inning, Huston street then came in and retired Andre Ethier, Juan Uribe and A.J. Ellis one-two-three to end the game and give the Padres the opening day win against the arch-rivals.
April 6, 2015, Dodger Stadium
Opening day in 2015 was an exciting time for the San Diego Padres, a new core of players was brought into the team. This featured Wil Myers, Matt Kemp, Justin Upton, Craig Kimbrel, Will Middlebrooks and the opening day starter, James Shields. The Los Angeles Dodgers counted with trusty staff ace, Clayton Kershaw on the mound in front of the sold-out crowd at Dodger Stadium. The Friars had a promising start to the game, Matt Kemp driving in Wil Myers to make it 1-0 for the Padres after the top of the first inning. The slim lead lasted up until the bottom of the fourth inning. Adrian Gonzalez started it off with a solo home run off James Shields. Howie Kendrick kept it going with a triple, then Carl Crawford hit a double to drive in Kendrick and give the Dodgers a 2-1 lead heading into the fifth inning.
The lead would not last for The Boys in Blue as the Padres would score some runs in the top of the fifth inning. Clint Barmes started off the rally with a double. After that James Shields and Wil Myers struck out back-to-back, but Derek Norris kept it alive with a single with two outs. With runners on third and second, Matt Kemp struck again driving in both Norris and Barmes, making it three RBIs on the day against his former team. The Padres came out of the top of the fifth with a slight one run lead, that would prove not to be of much value. James Shields ended the match with a solid outing for his first start in a Padres uniform, throwing six innings, allowing two runs and striking out eight batters. Unfortunately, the bullpen spoiled the great effort put in by Shields starting in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Nick Vincent gave up back to back doubles to Adrian Gonzalez and Howie Kendrick which made it a tie game at three runs each. Shawn Kelley then finished what Vincent started in the bottom of the eighth inning. A walk and an error allowed Andre Ethier and Joc Pederson to reach base, giving runners on first and second base to veteran, Jimmy Rollins. The former-MVP sealed the game for the Dodgers with a three-run home run, making it a 6-3 game. Chris Hatcher closed it out in the ninth inning for the first loss in what turned out to be a long season for the San Diego Padres. The disappointing loss on opening day summed up the Padres’ 2015 season, which was a disappointment, the high-caliber players that were brought in not performing for the team.
April 4 2016, Petco Park
Opening day in 2016 was a game to forget for Friar faithful, ending in a pitiful display by the team at Petco Park. The team had a different state of mind than from 2015, now in a rebuilding process with a young and exciting manager in Andy Green leading the way. The game itself ended in a heart-breaking 15-0 loss for the San Diego Padres. Tyson Ross received the opportunity to start for Andy Green, while Clayton Kershaw was the man on the mound for Dave Roberts. Ross’s start was pitiful in what turned out to be an injury-plagued season for the right-hander. Ross went five and a third and gave up eight runs on nine hits. The relief core was not much better allowing seven runs on eight hits through three and two-thirds innings.
A young and unconfident Luis Perdomo at the time being the main cause of these runs, giving up six runs in one inning. Clayton Kershaw pitched a gem at Petco Park giving up one hit in seven shutout innings. Offensively the Dodgers counted with five doubles and a triple, amounting to 17 base hits for The Boys in Blue. To make matters worse, Adrian Gonzalez turned out to be one of the main contributors to the Padres’ demise, going three-for-four with three RBI. The loss was one of the worse in franchise history, being the worst loss for the Padres on opening day. The game was one to forget, and definitely not the type of game Padres fans want to see this opening day. Go Padres!
Francisco, 26, Chula Vista/Tijuana. I have been a Padres fan all my life, did most of the series previews and recaps in the Padres’ 2016 season for EVT. Now I focus more on the local soccer scene. Tijuana Xolos, San Diego Loyal, San Diego Wave.