With the Padres likely keeping ace Dinelson Lamet off the Opening Day roster as they give him plenty of time to recover from last season's arm issues the Friars have three young starters in the mix to open the season as the 5th starter.
Adrian Morejon seems to have the inside track but Ryan Weathers and MacKenzie Gore can still make a case for the job. On Saturday against the Dodgers, Weathers got a chance to strengthen his resume.
He gave up a few runs but also showed the kind of dominant stuff that has the Friars so high on him in a 4-4 tie against Los Angeles.
Weathers threw 3.0 innings and struck out six, including former National League MVP Cody Bellinger twice (you may recall Weathers also punched out Bellinger in the NLDS for his first Major League K). But, he also left a couple of pitches in the middle of strike zone and got hurt by one of the most dangerous lineups in the game.
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Outfielder A.J. Pollock hit a solo home run in the 1st inning. Pollock also doubled and scored on a 2-run single by Justin Turner in the 3rd inning. In all, Weathers allowed three runs on four hits.
Reliever Emilio Pagan followed Weathers and staked his claim to be the Padres closer by striking out the side.
L.A. led 4-2 in the 9th inning when the Friars put together a rally against Nick Robertson. After a single and two walks catcher Webster Rivas singled to right field to bring in two runs and tie it up 4-4. Tucupita Marcano flew out to shallow left field and since the clubs had already combined to use 11 pitchers they agreed to call it a day.
It should be noted that Yu Darvish was scheduled to make the start but the club opted not to let the Dodgers have a look at him so Darvish threw multiple innings on a back field to give Weathers his start. It's looking more and more like Darvish will be San Diego's Opening Day starter.
On Sunday, Blake Snell gets the nod against the Angels and Shohei Ohtani.
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