Justin Verlander obviously missed the memo that April fools day was last week as he toyed with Padre hitters all evening. 42,182 came out to Petco Park to see one of the best pitchers in baseball first-hand. However his pitching was not as surprising as his offense, scoring a run and netting his first two major league hits (previously 0 for 26). The former 2011 AL Cy Young Winner put on a 110-pitch clinic allowing only 2 earned runs over 7 innings. He got the win in a contest that presented too many missed opportunities for the Friars.
After the 1-1 tie at the end of the first, it was all Tigers. Kennedy was hit hard, allowing 4 earned runs over 6 innings. The Padres scored 2 runs, but failed to capitalize getting runners in. Everth Cabrera doubled to lead off the third and failed to reach home plate. Throughout the short season, the consistent theme has been the lack of timely hitting.
Even after the loss, there are some positive signs for the Padres. Everth Cabrera continues to swing a hot bat raising his average to .356. So far, he has been the most consistent bat in the line-up. Grandal, who is clearly the best catcher on the roster, picked up 2 more hits and a nice run-saving pick-off play at second base. This guy is the starting catcher as far as I’m concerned.
Paging Josh Byrnes: Kyle Blanks is hitting .381 with 3 home runs at El Paso. Send down Medica and give the kid some at-bats to raise his confidence. In the meantime, bring up a player with some experience and a little pop in his bat. This offense is lacking any sort of power bat, and Will Venable can’t seem to find his groove from last year.
In other news, Cameron Maybin made his second rehab start at El Paso tonight. With him and Quentin off the DL and Blanks thrown into the mix, you have a fresh lineup with some quality bench bats to look forward too.
The Padres are back at it tomorrow with Tyson Ross facing another former Cy Young winner in Max Scherzer. The rubber match starts at 1:10 PM and is sure to be another beautiful military Sunday in San Diego.