Ah, Opening Day. Full of new hope and life, a blessed reemergence from a long, hard, baseball-less winter. Every player starts on the same level, each hoping to extend their season into October. The downside of all that sunny optimism is, of course, that reality can come crashing back so hard that you get emotional whiplash. That’s what the Padres provided fans this afternoon as they fell to the Brewers in extra innings.
It was hardly all bad, of course. Clayton Richard reminded San Diego why he still belongs on a big league roster, tossing a fantastic seven innings while allowing just one run on six hits and a walk. He was bolstered by the new and improved infield defense. Chase Headley started his return to the Friars with a beautiful, inning-ending double play.
San Diego got to see what a real shortstop looks like in the second inning, when Freddy Galvis snagged a one-hopper up the middle and still turned two after falling on his ass.
But all that defense was worthless without offense. Milwaukee didn’t have much of it, but they had more than the Padres. Chase Anderson, Lorenzo Cain, and Christian Yelich knocked out a trio of two-out singles in the third to put the Brew Crew on top, where they stayed until the ninth inning.
Carlos Asuaje got on board with a one-out single, but Chase Headley couldn’t move him over. That’s when Andy Green put Matt Szczur in to pinch run, and his steal off Corey Knebel gave Galvis a chance to endear himself to America’s Finest City.
The good guys had a chance to win in the eleventh when Eric Hosmer walked and an error put him on third and Jose Pirela on second with one out... but Headley grounded into an embarrassingly easy double play.
Adam Cimber had a chance to hold the tie in his major league debut, and he almost did so. Domingo Santana led off the twelfth with a single, but a double play erased him from the board. The third out would prove elusive. Ji-Man Choi hit a... well, let’s call it a double to right, though that’s being charitable to Wil Myers, who didn’t play it well. A single from Orlando Arcia scored Choi, and that would be it.
The good news is that there’s still 161 games left, and the Padres can be back at .500 tomorrow if they rally behind Joey Lucchesi in his big league debut. He’ll be facing off against old friend Jhoulys Chacin at 7:10 PM.