Should we be worried about the Padres?
This morning when I opened the San Diego Union-Tribune, I wasn’t. Sure, we haven’t been on top of our game, but it’s Spring Training, and early. Then I saw the headline on the front of the Sports page: “Prickly start for Padres in Cactus.” It was at that moment was the first seeds of doubt crept into my mind. Maybe we really weren’t doing as well as I thought. From what I gained from the article, it looks like the Union-Tribune is starting to get worried. Should I be worried too?
Up until today, I wasn’t. I have to confess that I haven’t been able to listen to the games fully in the past week, so all I’ve known is what the boxscore tells me, and that doesn’t reveal as much as the actual game does. So when I listened to the game against the A’s today, I realized that what the Union-Tribune pointed out was right…and maybe I should be a little worried.
I hadn’t noticed it, but for the past three days, the starting pitchers have run into a bunch of trouble in the first inning. Yesterday, Clayton Richard allowed six runs in two innings. The day before, Jon Garland allowed four runs in one and two-thirds innings. Not good.
Today, Kevin Correia allowed a triple to start off the game. He didn’t get out of the first inning until he had allowed two runs. Not the greatest way to start off the game, and his stuff was not good. But thankfully, he was able to pull things together and almost make his scheduled four innings. He ended up allowing five runs on six hits with no walks and three strikeouts. Not too bad, but not good enough, that’s for sure.
So, worry number 1: Starting pitching.
The offense really did great today, though. In the third inning, we were down three-nothing. Eck and Headley drove in three runs to tie the game. But you know what I saw that was amazing today? The guys stole SIX bases today!!! SIX!!! Since when did you ever hear that about Padres baseball?? This is something that I’m really loving so far. That the Padres are going to be a lot more agressive. I mean, I remember times when we would go a whole month without one stolen base. I was always jealous of teams that had that kind of talent that was able to steal a lot of bases, and it’s so thrilling that it’s happening here. I love it!
The basestealing helps, but you still need key hits. Something that has always been super frustrating with the Padres in the past few years is missing out on crucial opportunities. It’s frustrating when we leave two runners on in scoring position who got there with one out. It’s not good at all. So I’m really hoping that somehow, we’ll be able to capitalize on those situations more.
Worry number 2: Being able to get the big hits.
After Oakland took a 5-3 lead in the bottom of the fourth, we were able to get another run in the top of the fifth to cut the lead.
Luke Gregerson, Mike Adams, and Mark Worrell were able to have scoreless outings. Mark Worrell actually pitched for the first time in like a year ’cause he had to have Tommy John surgery last year. It was definitely good to see him getting a scoreless inning there.
But Aaron Poreda, who gave up six runs the other day without getting an out, gave up three more today on only one hit and three walks. Not good, buddy. Simon Castro and Ryan Webb each allowed one run.
Worry number 3: Aaron Poreda.
Something I’m really thrilled about is that we were able to get make a five-run rally in the top of the ninth to take the lead. I think that’s great. It’s a great feeling to know that your team can be down late in the game, but they have the ability to come back even at the last second. I really hope that carries over to the regular season.
Unfortunately, we lost the game in the tenth inning. But still, it was a wonderful game. We saw the baserunning agressiveness really come out. We saw some great comebacks and good pitching. The loss now makes us 2-8, but the question is, should we be reading into that record too much?
If this was the regular season, we would definitely be reading into that 2-8 record and we would be able to easily deduce that we were a terrible team. But we’re not in the regular season, and that’s just the thing. Our record has not bothered me a bit so far. I know that it’s early and that it’s Spring Training, and I like what I’m seeing on that field. On one hand, I think we’re doing great in all aspects. But on the other hand you can think, shouldn’t that equate into winning?
I really don’t think we should be too worried about the state of the team. We don’t need to read into the record. If we’re going to be good this season, it’s going to happen, no matter how bad we are in Spring Training. In fact, we haven’t really been bad at all. Sure, we’ve made mistakes, but if you just look at each player, each play, each pitch, we are not a bad team. There just have been little things, like one pitcher’s outing or one player’s mental lapse that has made us give up a few extra runs.
We are a good team. Not just good; we’re great! I’m not worried about these boys. Things will come together, and I have a feeling that we’re going to have an amazing season.
Worry number 4: That I’m going to have to be worried about the team sometime this Spring Training. Let’s just hope it doesn’t happen.