Giants fans are pretty cocky these days. They flood into our stadium on Tony Gwynn Opening Day and talk about their ace like he’s the second coming of Randy Johnson and Babe Ruth all in one country strong package. Well I’m here to tell you that this Padres team doesn’t roll over and let Mr. Bumgarner go all Lincecum in our house. This team has some young guys who don’t understand fear. This team has Manuel Margot and Hunter Renfroe.
Manager Andy Green decided to rest some guys against Madison Bumgarner, one of the toughest lefties in the game. Allen Cordoba got his first career start at shortstop, Luis Sardinas was stationed at third base, and recent callup Jabari Blash was the starter in leftfield. With one day off in the entire month of April, Green will need to use this kind of opportunity to keep his guys fresh, and extreme platoon mismatches make for a great reason.
Madison Bumgarner has dominated the Padres, but tonight the Padres were surprisingly effective against this intimidating foe. Leadoff hitters reached base in each of the first three innings, and two of them were brought around to score. Manuel Margot led the game off with a double and then scored on a Hunter Renfroe double. In the second, Allen Cordoba got a leadoff single (his first career MLB hit!), went to second on a Jhoulys Chacin sacrifice bunt, then scored on Margot’s second double of the game. Those two runs were all that the Padres scored, but thankfully it was all they would need. Even Bumgarner himself couldn’t cover those two runs. Padres hitters managed six hits off Bamgarner and ran his pitch count up early in the game, but Bumgarner wound up going the distance for a complete game.
Jhoulys Chacin started the game for the Padres, and he was excellent. Giants hitters only managed three hits and a walk and were held scoreless through 6-2/3 innings. Brad Hand came in to relieve Chacin in the seventh and pitched a clean eighth. Ryan Buchter came on to get the save with a two-run lead. Buster Posey ripped a hard fly ball just foul, then got on with a single. He took second base uncontested, and scored on a Brandon Crawford single. Buchter’s high fastball induced a pop fly from Eduardo Nunez to close out the game.
Manuel Margot is your Padre of the Game. After yesterday’s double-dinger performance, he racked up two doubles, contributing to both Padre runs scored with one RBI and one run he plated personally. I think we have a pretty good player in this kid.
This was a Tony Gwynn Opening Day that would have made ol’ T proud. It was a well-played game with some small ball and some really nice pitching on both sides that came right down to the wire. The best part is, the good guys won. Tomorrow these two teams face off for the third and final game of this series, with the Padres vying for a surprising sweep. First pitch is scheduled for 1:40, and the featured starters are Johnny Cueto and Clayton Richard. Is there anything sweeter than sweeping the Giants? Maybe sweeping the Dodgers, but if these kids could sweep the Giants out of town, we’ll all be proud Padre papas.