Petco Park- San Diego, California
Wash, Rinse, Repeat for the Padres. They have won another game. (Take Me Out To The Ballgame medley).
Did you read that to the tune of the infamous ballpark theme song? If not, sorry.
Opening Day was full of smiles, from the Padres players to the fans in the stands. At least, we assume they were smiling behind those masks (for those who were wearing them). The game was back and forth, which was unexpected, but a Padres’ victory always puts a smile on the faces of the Friar Faithful.
Game 2 started swimmingly. The lights, the fans, the beautiful white, home pinstripe uniforms, Blake Snell on the mound, Luis Campusano getting the nod behind the plate, and Fernando Tatis Jr. and Manny Machado cemented on the left side of the infield.
The second game of the year belonged to the Padres once again, this time with a much different feel to it. The Padres beat the Diamondbacks by a score of 4-2 in a game the Diamondbacks never led, which was much different than the Opening Day nerve-fest.
Padres baseball is back, and with as much excitement as ever before- and for good reason.
The Padres wasted no time bringing runners across home plate. In the second inning, the Friars loaded the bases and got everybody excited as they wait for another Slam Diego attack on the rest of the league.
— Bally Sports San Diego (@BallySportsSD) April 3, 2021
The first baseman hammered a two-run bomb with an impressive exit velocity of 107.8 MPH and a launch angle of 21 degrees to extend the lead to 3-0 and mark his second straight game with a homer. He’s on pace for 162 this year!
Then came the fifth, and the Padres loaded the bases, thanks to a Jorge Mateo double followed by a pair of walks, and maybe this was the moment for a grand slam.
Nope, sorry. Wil Myers popped up to first, and the Dbacks got out of a jam.
Let’s skip the Padres getting thrown out trying to steal and also skip the pair of fielding errors for San Diego.
The Padres acquired Snell in December, and the rest is history. Sure, Yu Darvish was named the Opening Day starter, but that’s not an issue for Snell.
He delivered in his first start at Petco Park and first in a Padres uniform, much to the avail of the faithful fans braving it out in the stands.
He mowed through the first few innings with ease. Then Jayce Tingler got in the way. The Padres manager removed Snell- to the surprise of every single soul- with two outs in the 4th inning and a runner on second.
Snell’s day ended early (stop if you’ve heard that before), and he finished with 4.2 IP with four hits, a pair of walks, and eight K’s.
“I thought he was good. His stuff really played well. Give credit to the Diamondback hitters on battling pitches,” Jayce Tingler said after the game.
Jayce, why? That’s the million-dollar question.
“It was 100 percent pitch count. We are trying to be disciplined early. There will be a time when we let him go,” Tingler said.
His replacement? Craig Stammen, ol’ reliable Craig Stammen. He ended the inning with one pitch and ended up going two full innings with three hits and a pair of runs, thanks to Ketel Marte‘s homer in the top of the 7th to bring the Dbacks within a run.
The offense answered the call, and guess who it was?
Eric Hosmer, once again.
He drove in Tommy Pham with a single and extended the Padres lead to a pair of runs. Emilio Pagan came in and threw a perfect 8th inning, and Mark Melancon came in again in the 9th, a clear sign that Tingler has pegged him as the team’s closer, at least thus far.
“We got a lot of confidence in him from day one,” Tingler said about Melancon.
It wasn’t pretty down the stretch, and the mere silence at times at Petco gave you chills. Melancon got Josh Rojas to fly out to start things off, then an uncharacteristic error by Fernando Tatis Jr. allowed David Peralta to reach base.
Josh VanMeter singled, and just like that, the tension starting to build in downtown San Diego on a gorgeous Friday evening.
Eric Hosmer now leads the majors in RBI’s and is the clear front-runner for MVP (yes, it’s only been two games).
“He has been so good. He has jump-started us and picked us up,” Tingler said about Hosmer after the game.
Saturday’s game is scheduled for 5:40 PM. Joe Musgrove will make his Padres debut at Petco Park.