Padres start season strong with a historic pitching performance
A week into the new 2021 Major League Baseball season, the San Diego Padres have already made franchise history as pitcher and San Diego native Joe Musgrove tossed the first no-hitter in the team’s 53-year history on April 9 against the Texas Rangers in a 3-0 victory at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.
Despite the early injury to superstar shortstop Fernando Tatis, Jr., the Padres have started off strong, sharing the top of the National League West standings with the rival Los Angeles Dodgers, a tug-of-war that is expected to last the entire season.
With momentum from the no-hitter and an anticipated easy series with the Pittsburgh Pirates coming up, the Padres are sure to be on a roll prior to a mid-month three-game series at home against the Dodgers. After a three-game series with the Milwaukee Brewers, a four-game series at the Dodgers will dictate how the team heads into the month of May…
Speed from Sin City
One of the key ingredients in the Padres’ recipe for success in 2021 is team speed, led by Las Vegas native and left fielder Tommy Pham, who was signed in January to a one-year deal after coming over for the 2020 season after a trade with the Tampa Rays.
Pham played in only 31 games last season, so the Padres expect him to be at full strength for the entire season and easily play in over 100 games. Pham provides speed in the lineup, for both stolen bases on the offensive end and to minimize extra base hits in the outfield on defense. He would also like to duplicate his 2017 and 2019 seasons where he hit over 20 home runs with 70 runs batted in. Pham has also had two seasons of 25 stolen bases, as both his power and speed will be needed for this season.
Although Pham has gotten off to a slow start in 2021, the absence of Tatis, Jr. in the lineup will provide him with even more opportunity to provide both power and speed in the lineup.
And we know how natives of Las Vegas love to steal the spotlight…
Watch the San Diego Padres all season long on YurView Las Vegas (Cox Channel 14). The schedule of games can be found HERE. *Please note that several games throughout the season may be pre-empted due to ESPN exclusivity.
Rodric Bradford covers sports in the San Diego, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Phoenix markets. He is a longtime reporter on the San Diego State athletic program, including covering the Aztecs’ 2018 run to the NCAA tournament. Rodric can be found on Twitter @j_rodric.