The Colorado Rockies are used to games with a long of home runs. They play at Coors Field, after all. But they're certainly not used to seeing this many hit at sea level.
Last year, in 81 games at Petco Park, there were 101 home runs hit by the Padres and their opponents. This year, through 16 games, there have been 38 home runs hit.
It could be the new offense, some bad pitches, the new scoreboard changing wind patterns, or the explanation I like best; reparations for having to watch awful, boring baseball for the last half-decade.
The Padres hit three more dingers on Sunday afternoon en route to an 8-6 win over, and 3-game sweep of, the Colorado Rockies.
The first of the long balls came in the first inning. Matt Kemp was hit by a Kyle Kendrick curve ball and Justin Upton hammered the next pitch 398 feet in to the left-centerfield seats, his seventh homer of the year. Upton also doubled twice and drove in three runs.
Long ball number two came courtesy of catcher Derek Norris. In the fourth inning Norris ripped his second of the year to left, another 2-run blast to put the Padres up 5-3.
They needed all the offense because starter James Shields had his worst outing in a Padres uniform. Shields allowed a pair of homers, as well, both to Rockies 3rd baseman Nolan Arenado. Shields lasted 5.1 innings, giving up five runs, but still got the win.
The last Padres homer of the day was the largest. Jedd Gyorko, mired in a season-long slump, unloaded in the 6th inning. His 2-run blast flew 438 feet to dead centerfield, landing next to the large hedges sitting in front of the batter’s eye. It was Jedd’s first HR of the year and turned out to be the game-winner.
The Padres head up to San Francisco to start a 3-game series against the Giants on Monday with Tyson Ross on the mound against Madison Bumgarner.