The Padres put up a good fight tonight, but the Friars’ bats couldn’t get a foothold on the Dodgers’ pitching, and a couple of mistakes did them in. Let’s look on the bright side: Hunter Renfroe provided a highlight, Trevor Cahill did his part, and the bullpen was every bit as good as advertised.
Trevor Cahill’s first start of the season got off to a rocky start. Corey Seager ripped a double and was knocked in by Adrian Gonzalez, who bounced a ground rule double over the short wall in left. The inning appeared to be over as Ryan Schimpf cleanly fielded a Logan Forsythe grounder, but Wil Myers failed to pick the low throw and Gonzalez came around to score. The 2-0 hole after one would prove to be tough to dig out of, as Rich Hill was solid for the Dodgers. His curveball-heavy repertoire kept Padres hitters off-balance, with the notable exception being Hunter Renfroe, who took Hill deep for a solo shot. Props to drewfio55 for summoning his inner Phil Collins and feeling it calling in the air tonight. It would have been a two-run dinger had Wil Myers not been caught stealing, it’s just as simple as that. It’s just a simple fact.
Cahill settled down nicely after the first inning. His control wasn’t razor-sharp, but he made his way through 5-2/3 innings with the only other big mistake being a home run to Yasiel Puig. Two earned runs through 5.2 with seven strikeouts is a solid line, especially for the first start of the season. It’s not his fault he had a tough act to follow after Clayton Richard’s gem last night. Cahill’s stuff was sharp for the most part, and while he struggled with his control at times, it was a respectable performance.
Jose Torres came in with two out in the sixth to relieve Cahill, and he looked much better than his first appearance. The athletic lefty worked that nasty slider to the effect of three strikeouts out of the four outs that he logged. Torres gave way to intriguing Rule 5 guy Miguel Diaz, who brought his moxie and his cutter/sinker back in a repeat performance of his Opening Day effort. He only faced one batter (Logan Forsythe) and he K’d the veteran and former Padre with some 97mph high cheese that was seasoned with some swagger. Gotta love what we’ve seen from him so far. Ryan Buchter took over for Diaz with one out in the eighth for his first appearance of the year, and he quickly hung a K Joc Pederson with a steady dose of high heat, then getting Yasmani Grandal to pop out for the final out of the eighth.
The Padres entered the ninth trailing 3-1 and facing the formidable Kenley Jansen. Yangervis Solarte rolled over on a breaking pitch, grounding out into the shift. Hunter Renfroe faced Jansen next, hungry for another helping of tater salad. Renfroe couldn’t lay off a high fastball, striking out on four pitches. Ryan Schimpf rolled over the first pitch he saw for a grounder right to Adrian Gonzalez, and the book on this game was closed. The Dodgers were the victors tonight, 3-1.
These two rivals will face off again tomorrow in a “turn back the AL West clock” themed day game. Former Angel Jered Weaver will take the mound for the Padres against former A’s righty Brandon McCarthy. Tune in for the 12:10 scheduled first pitch and root for the good guys to split this series!