San Diego

Padres Offense a No-Show on Opening Day

San Diego scores just once in a 12-inning loss to Milwaukee

Over their last two Opening Days, the Padres were outscored 29-3. Of course, those games were both against the Dodgers. The 2018 version was much closer with the Brewers in town.

But that doesn’t mean the result was any different.

The Padres offense wasted a tremendous pitching performance in a 2-1, 12-inning loss in front of a sellout crowd of 44,649 at Petco Park on Thursday.

San Diego starter Clayton Richard, known as a ground ball machine, got out of the first two innings unscathed thanks to double play balls that came about thanks to fantastic defensive plays. New (old) third baseman Chase Headley and new (really new) shortstop Freddy Galvis both started twin killings on balls that might have been base hits with last year’s infield.

Richard was really good in his first career Opening Day start, allowing just one run in seven innings. Interestingly, it was the opposing pitcher who scored that one run.

Chase Anderson singled and scored in the third inning but he was most impressive on the mound. The only hit he allowed in six shutout innings was a single by Jose Pirela. When the ninth inning started, San Diego had three singles and had not advanced a runner past second base.

Then, Carlos Asuaje singled and skipper Andy Green sent in Matt Szczur to pinch-run for him. Szczur stole second base and, with two outs, scored on a single to right field by Galvis to tie it 1-1 and forced extra innings.

All-Star reliever Brad Hand tossed scoreless innings in the 10th and 11th. In the bottom half of the inning, Eric Hosmer drew a walk and went to third base on a Jose Pirela bloop single. Pirela advanced to second on an error so the Brewers intentionally walked Raffy Lopez to load the bases with one out and Headley coming up.

There would be no heroic walk-off this time. Headley grounded into a 5-2-3, inning-ending double play to send the game to the 12th. Headley, Hosmer and Wil Myers (the Pads' three highest-paid players) went a combined 0-13 with five strikeouts.

Rookie reliever Adam Cimber made his big league debut and, after a Cactus League season where he threw nine consecutive scoreless innings, let in a run on an RBI single by Orlando Arcia that turned out to be the game-winner.

Same two teams on Friday and the Padres finally named their starting pitcher for Game 2. The fanbase will like this one a lot. Twenty-four-year-old lefty Joey Lucchesi, one of their top-10 prospects, will get to make his Major League debut against the Brewers at Petco Park.

Lucchesi takes the place of the injured Dinelson Lamet in the Padres rotation and he made a case to be included on the Opening Day roster. In four Cactus League starts he allowed just two earned runs. Last year he was good at Single-A Lake Elsinore but after a mid-season promotion to Double-A San Antonio, he was dominant, pitching to a 1.79 ERA in nine starts.

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