Play ball! The San Diego Padres open the 2021 season today

Snow and a high of only 36F are predicted for today here Western New York, but 2670 miles away, in San Diego, California, they’re expecting mostly sunny skies and a high of 84F. Great weather for a ballgame.

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The San Diego Padres finished the COVID-19-shortened 2020 season with a remarkable 37-23 record. After defeating the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Wild Card Series, the Padres hit a brick wall when they faced the dastardly Dodger$ in the NLDS. The Padres’ pitching staff was already outmatched by the Blue Bums even before starters Dinelson Lamet and Mike Clevinger went on the disabled list. The Padres’ #1 goal in the offseason was to pick up quality pitching and they did exactly that by signing not one, but two legitimate aces in Blake Snell and Yu Darvish.

The Padres open their 2021 season today at 1PM PT at Petco Park with the first game of a three-game homestand against NL Western Division rivals, the Arizona Diamondbacks. Let’s take a look at the Padres’ projected starters:

Catcher: Austin Nola fractured a finger in Spring Training so newcomer Victor Caratini will get the nod on Opening Day. Promising young blue chipper, Luis Campusano, will also see action during the season.

Infield: The infield is set, to put it mildly, with Eric Hosmer (1B), Jake Cronenworth (2B), Fernando Tatis Jr. (SS), and Manny Machado (3B). Tatis and Machado are easily the best SS/3B tandem in MLB and Tatis is still developing. Cronenworth came close to earning NL Rookie of the Year last season and Hos is a solid vet. Jurickson Profar and newly-acquired Ha-Seong Kim from South Korea will battle for infield playing time and both could start for many ballclubs.

Outfield: Tommy Pham (LF), Trent Grisham (CF), and Wil Myers (RF) will start, but Profar will get significant time at the corners. It was great to see Myers relaunch his once-promising career in 2020 under new skipper, Jayce Tingler. Update: Grisham is on the IL so I expect Profar to man the CF spot in the interim.

Pitching: Aces Snell and Darvish are excellent additions. Dinelson Lamet pitched in one the Padres’ last Spring Training games after rehabilitating his elbow for six months, however, Mike Clevinger won’t be available in 2021 after having offseason Tommy John surgery. Newcomer Joe Musgrove is a very solid #4. As for the #5 spot, young Chris Paddack’s regression remains a mystery after being projected as the franchise’s future ace two years ago. The bullpen has some question marks especially with the vacancy left by closer Kirby Yates. Drew Pomeranz, Emilio Pagán, and Mark Melancon will all vie for the closer spot.

The Padres are VERY sold from top to bottom, although the closer position is a question mark. Most baseball prognosticators are taking the easy route and picking the Dodger$ to take the NL West again, however, they acknowledge that the Padres could easily upset.

Above photo, from left to right: Myers, Machado, Darvish, Snell, Tatis Jr., and Hosmer.

52 thoughts on “Play ball! The San Diego Padres open the 2021 season today

    1. Thanks, Lisa Beth! I hope your Red Sox have a good season. Nope, the Padres don’t play Boston this season. I know they’re restricting interleague play to same-coast teams to minimize travel a tad during the pandemic.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Go, Cubs, Go! 🎶
    Go, Cubs, Go! 🎶
    Ok! I won’t “sing” the whole song here LOL
    (Go, Prades, Go! Go, Padres, Go! 🎶 👍🏻😉😂)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks and Go Cubbies!!! I have a good friend down the road who is also a Cubbies fan.
      Go figure how an ex-Catholic for Christ is a fan of the “Padres.” Well, I was 14 years old when I started following the Padres in 1970.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Hans! Yeah, the Padres are bringing back the same roster that finished with a .616 record last season and have added two bonafide aces in Darvish and Snell and a very good starter in Musgrove. I’ve been following the Padres since 1970 and I don’t think they’ve ever fielded as talented a roster.

      I hope the Bucs pull off a decent season for you although I know they’re in a rebuilding phase.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree this is the best roster I can recall the Padres having- even better than 84 and 98. I think Musgrove will be a top notch starter in SD- he did well with a bad team in Pittsburgh…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yup, I’ve been reading some good things about Musgrove. Very glad to have him in the rotation. With Snell, Darvish, Musgrove, and a healthy (hopefully) Lumet, the Padres’ starters “should” match the Dodgers staff or even be better.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Rooting for the Rays again, but of course they gave Snell to your team! The Padres are loaded this year, but they have the misfortune of being in the same division as the also-loaded Dodgers. Could be a great race. If the Padres don’t win it, they should be one of the wild-card teams.

    I’ll always have a place in my heart of the Padres for the following reasons. 1. Growing up in NYC, I was a massive New York Mets fan, and idolized Tom Seaver. I was 12 when Seaver struck out 19 Pads, but still remember it well. 2. As a Mets fan living in New Mexico in 1984, I recall the bitter race they had with the Cubs. The Cubs won it and were entirely obnoxious and odious about it. I dreaded when they went on 2-0 on the Pads in the NLCS … and then jumped for joy, literally, when the Pads came back to win 3 straight. What a great moment!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I hope the Rays have a good season for you! Snell and Darvish were outstanding pickups. Padres ownership went out on a limb and picked up those two because they know this roster is very close to the Dodgers’ level.

      Back in 1984 there was a Cubbies fan at my workplace and he was in my face when Chicago took a 2-0 lead in the NLCS. The Padres impossibly taking the next three games was like something out of a fairy tale book. The World Series with the Tigers was anti-climactic.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. So true. From my perspective, it was the Tigers’ year, and they clearly were the best team. However, for me, the Padres were the true champs for beating the the hated Cubs!

        Quick story regarding Dave Dravecky. As you remember, he had to have his arm amputated. In the mid-1990s, as a very strong Christian, he spoke in El Paso, Texas (near where I lived), and I took my son to see him.

        Aaron and I sat on either side of Dave, both crammed up against him (a small room) as he signed an autograph with his right hand. He was gracious and polite, and my son (about 13 at the time) was deeply moved by that moment, as well as by his inspirational speech.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. David, thanks for your good comments re: Dave Dravecky. I was a new Christian around the same time Dravecky was called up to the Padres and I very much appreciated how he was outspoken about his Christian faith. I’m so glad you and your son had a chance to meet him. Here’s a couple of posts I wrote two years ago about Dravecky if you’re interested:

        https://excatholic4christ.wordpress.com/2019/03/05/the-inspiring-story-of-former-padres-and-giants-pitcher-dave-dravecky/

        https://excatholic4christ.wordpress.com/2019/02/26/when-three-christians-on-the-padres-became-embroiled-in-political-controversy-and-took-their-focus-off-jesus-christ/

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  3. I am looking forward to Opening Day as well, hoping the weather will cooperate. My dad didn’t even bother to ask me to go to the game today (sitting outside in 40f and below is reserved for American Football only!). Some folks think the Phillies will have a chance for the playoffs, the NL East is a tough division. Hopefully they will stay healthy! It is amusing that you’re favorite baseball team is in a city named after Saint James! Will you get to watch/hear the game?! Stay warm!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. So many good teams in the NL East! I hope the Phillies have a good season for you.

      Yeah, it’s comically ironic that this ex-Catholic for Christ roots for the St. James Padres (nickname: the Friars). Argh! I’m glad I’m not part of a fundamentalist church anymore because I would get criticized for that (and for even following baseball).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think many in the IFB culture hide the fact that they like sports because it’s looked upon as an idol. Sooooo many cities and towns in California named after Catholic saints.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I hope I did not offend you because that was honestly not my intent! I never thought about it before and then I had a small laugh like, “how ironic, San Diego!” I was concerned you were thinking I was making fun of you and that is most certainly NOT the case! I just thought it was funny. I do not think it is funny the Chargers are in city of angels, but you already know this! Anyway, fact! Where there is Spanish influence there are Catholic saints.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. No, no. I did not take any offense. Don’t worry about that. I am very aware of the comical irony of my rooting for the Padres/Friars. Their mascot is actually an oversized friar swinging a bat replete with tonsure and brown cassock. Ach. But believers can take separation to extremes. Are believers not to cheer for the New Orleans (Catholic) Saints or the New Jersey Devils? Our old fundy Baptist church used to get caught up in those kinds of things.

        I think…no, I know I post on secular topics (sports, food, Kazan movies, the Byrds, comics, etc., but sometimes with a Christian twist at the end) because that would have been verboten in fundy Baptist circles.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. The whole 9th inning CW went dark I was so irate! Anyway, came back on for the 10th! Good win for you too! Was concerned at 7-6!! Phillies are off tomorrow. Do you do extra innings package? If you have Comcast extra innings is free this week.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Thanks! Yup, the Pads came back and held on. We have Spectrum and I didn’t even think to check extra innings. I don’t get the package because most Padres games start at 10PM.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Thanks! I haven’t worked this hard since I was 25. The boss left a little early and the young guys sneak out after his car leaves the parking lot.
        Yup, Corinne will spend some time with our oldest son and his crew.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. This place is blessed to have you and your work ethic, truly. Glad to hear about Corinne, that’s fantastic! Have you had your first shot yet? My folks both had theirs, praise the Lord. PA is talking about opening shots to all people mid month and Nathan and I are talking about it. I miss traveling. This is the first time in my entire life that I went a year without flying somewhere. Praying for tomorrow to be an easier day for you!

        Liked by 1 person

      8. Thanks, Mandy! Corinne has had both shots and I’m getting my 2nd in a couple of weeks. Thanks for your prayers and enjoy your weekend!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Answering your question: today is going well, had a lot of administrative stuff, including taxes, and also dropping off Easter materials for the kids which is going to take up most of my time today!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I don’t follow professional sports much at all these days but there was a time when I was an avid Dodger fan. Growing up in the LA area, it was always a fun team to watch. The Padres seemed to always be a bur in the side even if they were having a bad year.
    In 1988, my Brother in Law and I drove down to San Diego to watch the game that Orel Hershiser pitched as he neared Drysdale’s record of consecutive innings without allowing a run. The chances that Hershiser would come close to the record that night wasn’t good as he was 9 innings away from tying the record. The game went into extra innings that night and Orel broke the record.
    I watched a bit of last year’s world series. I knew none of the players.
    Growing up in S. California at the time I did, baseball was very popular. I put in quite a few hours practicing and playing shortstop mostly. Even though I don’t follow the professional game much, I do check out how the college kids are doing. Arkansas has a good college team and they are often in the news during the college baseball season.
    I loved the game as a kid.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, they did have many lean years but they always seemed to play better when they played the Dodgers. You are the ultimate Padre fan.
        I wish you and your family a wonderful Easter.
        God’s blessings…

        Liked by 1 person

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