6 wins, 4 losses. That is where the San Diego Padres stand after 10 games. On paper, a pretty good start to the season for any team. Especially for a team that, as of last year, hasn’t won much. While it has only been 10 games, the feel of this team gives plenty of reason for optimism.
Starting pitching and timely hitting have been a few of the many reasons for the early success. Among those reasons is the 20-year old rookie shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr.
His numbers might not jump out at you, but Tatis Jr. has provided a certain electricity to this franchise that San Diego has been desperate for. Watch the replay of his first Major League home run from Monday night and you will understand why he (among others) has changed the feel of this team. Down 9-1 in the 6th inning of an otherwise lopsided loss, the young shortstop crushed a 2-run shot that would have made Frank Howard proud. The blast was a frozen rope no doubter that put the home crowd into a frenzy, as if it were a walk-off home run in the playoffs. Padres TV voice, Don Orsillo, called the home run with the same enthusiasm as the crowd. Again, this was the result of a 2-run home run in the 6th inning with the Padres down 8.
While the Padres’ Rookie of the Year candidate might fight for the headlines with superstar Manny Machado, the pitching staff has been equally as headline worthy. Chris Paddack, Joey Lucchesi and Nick Margevicius have anchored the staff with sub 2.00 ERAs. Most of the staff isn’t old enough to even rent a car legally (average age is just over 24), but they have mostly pitched like veterans well beyond their years. A very encouraging sign from a staff that had more question marks than answers before the season started.
Realistically, chances are high that the Padres will have a season full of ups and downs. Young players tend to struggle through a full 162-game slate for a myriad of reasons. Heck, veterans struggle on and off during the course of a given season. The Padres have confirmed to their fans that they are not only reaching levels of excitement that were expected, but might even exceed performance expectations.
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