The week that was: Big Apple edition …
Good morning from New York, where I flew yesterday in order to avoid a red-eye flight. It only figures that I missed a game at PETCO Park that last two hours and 28 minutes. But I won’t complain about that because …
The Padres are 5-2 and in first place in the National League West Division. Quickly, a show of hands from those who saw this coming. Anyone, anyone, Bueller, anyone? I’ll admit that I did not see this coming, and I’m supposed to be a Padres expert or something like that.
Anyway, how about last week?
I don’t know about everyone else here, but after the way they rebuilt the bullpen in the final three weeks of Spring Training (and even last week by adding Luis Perdomo) I didn’t have a clue that these guys would go out and allow three earned runs over their first 18 2/3 innings. That was impressive. I like Gregerson, Mujica and, of course, Bell at the back end. I think Moreno will be fine (early jitters, normally has better control).
As for the starters, we’ve talked about this before. I think you see what Peavy and Young are going to give you, what they’re capable of. It’s those other three guys, Silva, who makes his second start tonight against the Mets, Correia and Hill. You can possibly toss in newcomer Chad Gaudin to the mix. He was signed Saturday and will report to Triple-A Portland to get stretched out. We’ll see where he fits in a week or so, if anywhere.
I think these three guys, Silva, Correia and Hill, each showed a little something promising in their first starts. I think Silva’s command could be/has been better, the same with Correia, who had too many walks. Hill was good and is at his best when he keeps the ball down. I think he will be fine as well.
Manager Bud Black has his first off-day to contend with Tuesday, which means the rotation will have a different look to it during the first road trip of the season.
Silva will get the start Monday when the Padres and Mets open Citi Field in New York. After Tuesday’s off-day, Correia will start Wednesday and Peavy will start the final game Thursday in New York. The team will go with Young, Hill, Silva and Correia for four games in Philadelphia and then Peavy and Young when the team travels to San Francisco for two games on April 21-22.
I like what I’ve seen, at times, from the offense. I still think that scoring runs is going to be a chore for this team, though not nearly as much as it was a year ago. I think we’re seeing that Nick Hundley is a better hitter than he showed a year ago and I think Chase Headley is still getting comfortable at the plate. The home run off Tim Lincecum was a testiment to that.
I think David Eckstein and Kevin Kouzmanoff remain important pieces to the offense. Eckstein for the way he can move runners over, bunting, hitting behind them, just the way he handles an at-bat. Kouzmanoff because he’s hitting behind Adrian Gonzalez. He had two hits Sunday. He has to show he can be productive over the long haul there or Gonzalez gets walked a lot.
I’m curious what you think at this point. Is it too early to get excited? Do you like the positive signs you’ve seen? Are you withholding judgement until after this long road trip?