Padres-Dodgers: What Can Padres Fans Take from Opening Day?

Michael CullenCorrespondent IApril 7, 2009

SAN DIEGO - APRIL 6:    The Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Diego Padres stand on the baselines during openng day pregame ceremonies on April 6, 2009 at Petco Park in San Diego, California.   (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

I know it's only the first game...but here are some thoughts on Opening Day pertaining to the San Diego Padres:


The Negatives

Well, Jake Peavy gave up four runs, three earned, in seven innings of work (because of his own error). He also seemed to be missing many of his spots.

It is no secret the Padres will look to trade their ace Peavy if they are out of contention by the All-Star Break. What's more scary is that if Peavy is affected like he was three years ago by foregoing spring training in favor of the World Baseball Classic, they may have to sell low on him. However, he did have eight strikeouts.

Also, we may soon hear boos replace "kkkooouuuzzz" when the third basemen steps to the plate. He needs to do a better job protecting Adrian Gonzalez.

He failed twice today in key situations with runners in scoring position, hitting a weak grounder to the pitcher, and a lazy infield fly caught in foul territory (both with two outs). He ultimately left five on base.

Hitting coach Jim Lefebvre is working with Kouzmanoff on hitting liners and sharp grounders instead of fly balls. Hopefully the advice starts working soon.

If not, it's not unthinkable that around the All-Star break we would see Headley move back to his natural position, with Will Venable, Drew Macias, or maybe even Kyle Blanks given a shot in left field.


The Positives

Jody Gerut led the bottom of the first off with a double, and got robbed of another extra base hit when Matt Kemp made a diving catch in center field. Padres fans should look forward to a full year of him in the lineup.

David Eckstein provided a nice spark. He sacrificed Gerut to third, resulting in the Padres' only run. He also walked and got a hit. However, if Matt Antonelli can produce in AAA, an aging second basemen who does the small things right on a rebuilding team doesn't seem to make much sense.

As for the bullpen, which looks like the weakest link, Luke Gregorson (obtained in the Khalil Greene trade) and Edward Mujica (claimed off waivers from Cleveland) combined to throw two scoreless innings while striking out three.

The Padres face the Dodgers again tomorrow at 7:05, with Chris Young facing Randy Wolf. It is the second of a four-game series.