There were a lot of good and a lot of bad moments for the Padres in 2015. Probably more bad. But who wants to talk about that?
The 2015 season didn't turn out at all how we all hoped it would. We didn't even come close to a World Series. We lost some of our favorite players. And none of our pitchers threw a no-hitter.
But we did finally get the first cycle in franchise history. And a lot of other fun things happened, scattered throughout all the lowlights of the season. These are just a few of the best moments on the field for the Padres in 2015. Some of these were suggested on social media, and some of them I just thought of on my own. But I think we can look at all of these moments and remember that it wasn't all bad and we actually got to watch a lot of fun baseball in 2015.
April 20: Odrisamer Despaigne's first Major League hit
Odrisamer Despaigne didn't earn a spot in the Padres rotation out of Spring Training, but he soon got the opportunity to start when Brandon Morrow went down with an injury early in the season. Despaigne wasn't exactly successful as a starter in 2015, but he did achieve a career highlight at the beginning of the season when he notched his first-ever MLB hit.
This was back when there was still so much hope for the team, and chemistry in the clubhouse was at such a high. You may also recall that, because he collected his first hit, several of his teammates took him shopping to class up his wardrobe.
May 1: Padres rout Rockies 14-3 and debut game MVP "trophy"
This was just an all-around fun game to watch. The Padres beat the Rockies a billion to 3 and my favorite Padre of 2015, Yangervis Solarte, led the way by going 2-for-5 with 4 RBI on the night, earning himself the title of game MVP, which we found out later that night meant he got to sport the team's MVP trophy.
Solarte con su trofeo por ser el mejor del partido pic.twitter.com/JOTnZjSIn0— Odrisamer Despaigne (@despa40) May 2, 2015
May 29: Derek Norris walk-off grand slam
Derek Norris took Everth Cabrera's title of my favorite walk-off grand slam ever when he hit this one against the Pirates this year. The game was tied in the bottom of the 9th, and Norris came to the plate with two outs and the bases loaded. He had gone 0-for-4 with four strikeouts on the night, but he erased it all with one swing of his bat. On the second pitch, he launched the ball and it landed in the Padres' bullpen, securing the victory and his own redemption. Then he bathed in Gatorade glory.
July 30: Rain-soaked rally to defeat the Mets
Down by six runs and bogged down by rain in New York, the Padres came back to defeat the Mets in extras. The rally was sparked by - surprise! - a grand slam by Derek Norris following the first of two rain delays in the game. In the top of the 9th, after the second delay, Norris and Matt Kemp got on base for Justin Upton, who gave the Padres a lead with a three-run homer.
August 11: Colin Rea's Major League debut
Rea, who was drafted in the 12th round by the Padres in 2011, made his big league debut this year, and it went pretty well for the rookie. He allowed three runs in five innings against the Reds, but the Padres backed him up with 11 runs of support. Rea also collected both his first ML hit and his first run in the game.
August 14: Matt Kemp cycle
Need I say more?
August 21: Travis Jankowski's Major League debut
Like his teammate and fellow rookie Colin Rea, Travis Jankowski had an eventful and successful big league debut in 2015. With his family in the stands at Petco Park, Jankowski collected his first hit just two pitches into his Major League career, then later collected his second hit and first RBI in his second at-bat of the night. Later that inning he scored his first run. As an added bonus, with Jankowski's help the Padres collected their 500th win at Petco Park that night.
September 17: Craig Kimbrel makes Major League hitting debut
For the first time ever in his Major League career, Craig Kimbrel stepped into the batter's box for his first MLB at-bat. He struck out, but it didn't matter because he went on to pitch in the 9th inning and collect his 37th save of the season.
Your turn! Share with us some of your favorite games/plays of 2015 down in the comments.