PHOENIX – Look at these Padres, they are making history now because the starting pitchers won’t allow any hits. What a difference the year makes.
Just a year ago, of course, the franchise was still waiting with great pain. After 52 years in existence, Joe Musgrove finally rewrote that script on April 9, 2021. Now, with the anniversary of that milestone approaching, no one Padres players have given up on a two-game winning streak in their 22nd season.
In Thursday’s season opener, Yu Darvish made six tires without injury in Arizona. Somehow, Sean Manaea managed to make it even better in Padres’ 3-0 win over linebacker D on Friday night at Chase Field. On his Padres debut, Manaea worked seven innings without hits, allowing one to walk while hitting seven. He and Darvish became the first pair of teammates to open a season with straight starts without a hitch.
“There is a lot of baseball history,” said Maneh, who named Darwish one of his favorite shooters to watch. “Obviously the game has been around forever. Being a part of that is really special.”
Darvish and Manaea are the only two teammates to have hit at least six uninjured runs in consecutive matches at any time during the season. Of course, neither starter has been fully built to their usual level of workload yet, which means that both have been removed without a chance to go the distance.
Al Mana had made 88 shots when head coach Bob Melvin went to Tim Hill’s left for the second straight moment. And for the second night in a row, Hill dropped the first hit to debut a D – this time a single by David Peralta.
It’s a great start for Melvin as Padres’ manager. In each of the first two matches, he made the decision to raise the primary bowler who was holding a hitter.
“It wasn’t [a difficult decision]Melvin said. “I’ve seen Sean get hitch before. So he’s got one in his pocket. Phyllo was a little low in the last inning. He actually talked me out for the seventh and had some badly damaged balls. It was time to go. He knew that.” But to have a first look at Padre’s outfit, it was very good.”
Mana added, “I definitely totally understand that. It would have been great, but it’s my first start.”
The relationship between Melvin and Mana goes back to their time together in Auckland. In his seven seasons in the major leagues, Mana played for only one manager. As such, Friday night was a convenient way for Melvin to claim his first win as Padres’ captain.
“Apropos that Sean Manya understands,” Melvin said.
Just five days before that, Padres’ side had tackled the blocker, fortifying what had already been a strong spin at the start. They thought their freshmen might have to carry them around a bit, especially while crime awaits Fernando Tates Jr.’s return. But they certainly hadn’t imagined it.
In two games a season, the San Diego players combined for 13 no-stroke rounds. But after the Bulls collapsed in the ninth inning on Thursday night, the Padres celebrated this time with a great outing from the start.
“For a while, it felt like the same game as last night,” Melvin said.
Padres took a 2-0 lead in sixth over Homer’s Jurickson Provar, then set off on a lockout run in eighth when Provar’s perfect third baseline strike forced Drew Ellis to rush his throw, sailing inland. Right in the field. Newly made Taylor Rogers came close to the door when he made his first save with his new club (after being unavailable in Thursday night’s loss).
“Manea has done a great job for us,” Provar said. “Same as a dervish [on Thursday]. that was awesome. They kept us in the ball game. That’s what we expect from them, and that’s what we want to play behind.”
On Saturday, the Padres will celebrate the franchise’s one-year anniversary, the day Musgrove finally ended their agonizing wait for their first rejection. The story was perfect as it is now – boyhood fan Padres became an instant hero in his hometown.
Fittingly then, after consecutive streak-free starts from Darvish and Manaea, it will be Musgrove to get the ball rolling against linebackers D on Saturday night.
He couldn’t… Could he?