Sports Out West

Padres vs. Mets: Opening day spoiled by pitching woes

Photo by Dirk Hansen / Wikimedia Commons

The San Diego Padres went into the Big Apple Monday to take on the New York Mets short-handed, and it showed as they fell in embarrassing fashion, 11-2, at Citi Field.

Edinson Volquez drew the start for the Friars, and he struggled from the onset. In three innings, the Padres’ ace allowed six hits, six earned runs, three walks and struck out four. Anthony Bass, who was in an open spring training competition to be the No. 5 starter, was capable in long relief after pitching three solid frames, striking out three and allowing just one earned run.

The wheels essentially came off when Brad Brach pitched two-thirds of an inning in the seventh and gave up four hits and four earned runs, including a grand slam to Mets outfielder Collin Cowgill. With the game out of reach, the remaining relievers pitched two and two-thirds innings of relief and allowed zero hits and zero earned runs.

The biggest concern is the fact that Volquez couldn’t keep the Mets, who are not projected to be a prolific offense by any stretch this season, at bay for a quality start of five or more innings. San Diego is down several of its key players, including third baseman Chase Headley (thumb injury), catcher Yasmani Grandal (suspension) and utility man Logan Forsythe (plantar fasciitis), and needs its best players to steady the ship until they return to some semblance of full strength.

But the gloom-and-doom talk is premature — it’s just one game, and there was an element of misfortune as well. San Diego scored nine of its 11 runs with two outs or more, something that Volquez believes he can fix by making better decisions with his pitches.

With an off day on Tuesday, Clayton Richard and the bullpen will get another crack at it.

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Michael C. Jones is the managing editor and founder of Sports Out West and a Southern California-based sports journalist. His work is also regularly featured on Yahoo! Sports and SB Nation. You can catch up with him on Twitter: @MikeJonesTweets.