The more things change the more they stay the same
Last week, I wrote a piece titled Grasping for Hope where I explain why things were looking up for Padres, yet at the end I still said that I believe that the Padres were going to finish sub .500 once again. Unfortunately, it looks like I am going to be right.
It has been a… less than ideal start for the Friars. The season began with the Padres being swept at Petco Park by the Milwaukee Brewers at the end of March and the struggles continued as San Diego lost three out of four versus the Colorado Rockies.
One of the biggest reason for the Padres slow start has been the struggles of closer Brad Hand. Hand was a rock in the Padres bullpen last season, earning an All Star selection and saving 21 games. However, things have not been easy for Hand so far this season. On Friday night vs Milwaukee, he entered the 9th inning with the Padres holding a 6-3 lead. Hand struggled to hit his spots, loading the bases on two hits and an error. After a hit and a fielder choice cut the lead to 6-5, Hand got the second out of the inning before giving up an two strike, two out, three run blast to Brewers first baseman Ryan Braun and the Padres would go on to lose 8-6.
On Thursday vs Colorado, Hand once again took the loss. With the score knotted at 0, Hand entered the game and walked the first two batters he faced. After an error loaded the bases, Hand struck out pinch-hitter Carlos Gonzalez, then proceed to walk in the go-ahead run. Hand struck out Charlie Blackmon for the second out of the inning but was unable to limit the damage as DJ LeMahieu singled two bring in two more and extend the lead to 3-0.
It has not been all doom and gloom for the Padres this season though. One of the few bright moments so far was Christian Villanueva’s three home run performance on Tuesday night. The 26 year old from Guadalajara's achievement was the eighth three home run game in Padres history, as Villanueva became only the second ever Padre to do so at Petco Park. His performance led the Padres to their only win of this young season, an 8-4 victory over Colorado.
The road does not get any easier for San Diego as they now travel to Houston to face the World Series Champion Astros. The Astros have gotten off to a tremendous start at 6-1, winning four in a row including a sweep of the Baltimore Orioles. San Diego will have its hands full trying to slow down an offense led by AL MVP José Altuve. Luis Perdomo (0-1 11.25 ERA) will face off vs Lance McCullers Jr. (1-0 3.38 ERA) on Friday to get the series started. After that series the Padres will head to the Denver for a three game set vs the Rockies.
Injury News: The Padres placed outfielder Wil Myers on the 10-day DL Wednesday night with nerve irritation in his right arm but are optimistic he will return following the 10 day stint.