Talk about making a good first impression.
This week, San Diego became the hub of the baseball world. The Padres acquired Juan Soto, Josh Bell and Brandon Drury — three All-Star level players — before the trade deadline, and suddenly San Diego, a city that hasn’t seen a lot of baseball success in recent years, became Hitsville, U.S.A.
On Wednesday, the Friars made sure that moniker was accurate. Yes, it was one game. And yes, it was the Rockies. But San Diego’s lineup looked every bit as fearsome as advertised.
“It’s going to be really tough to go through,” Soto said before the game, forewarning San Diego’s 9-1 beatdown of Colorado. “I wish good luck to the other pitchers.”
MORE: Padres lineup analysis
Chad Kuhl got the honor of being the first pitcher to face the new-look Padres. And it was brutal from the word go.
Here’s how the first inning went for Bob Melvin’s squad:
- Jurickson Profar foul out
- Juan Soto four-pitch walk
- Manny Machado double
- Josh Bell walk
- Jake Cronenworth hit by pitch
- Brandon Drury first-pitch grand slam
BRANDON DRURY WELCOME TO SLAM DIEGO pic.twitter.com/kJWqVmO1lQ
— Jared Carrabis (@Jared_Carrabis) August 4, 2022
Now, that is how you leave your mark. Kuhl threw 28 pitches in the inning; 14 were out of the zone. Two went for extra-base hits. And one went over the wall. That’s the sort of pressure this lineup can put on pitchers.
And that’s without Fernando Tatis Jr.
MORE: Juan Soto trade grades: Who won the deal?
The middle of the order — Soto, Machado, Bell, Cronenworth and Drury — reached base 11 times combined. Soto and Bell each walked twice, while Machado and Cronenworth collected five hits between them.
And the atmosphere at Petco Park was bumping, both in the stands . . .
— Jonathan Rifkind (@JonathanRifkind) August 4, 2022
. . . and in the dugout:
— Allison Edmonds (@aedmondstv) August 4, 2022
Hang this in the Louvre. pic.twitter.com/IqJtlP2ynm
— San Diego Padres (@Padres) August 4, 2022
Everyone seemed to be having a good time. Well, everyone besides Kuhl.
Petco 🏟 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥😍😍😍😍
— MISTER (@JURICKSONPROFAR) August 4, 2022
There’s a lot of time left in the season and San Diego hasn’t accomplished anything yet. The Friars are still 11.5 games off the Dodgers’ pace in the National League West.
But if Wednesday showed anything, it was a window into what the Padres could be.
Opposing pitchers, good luck; you’re going to need it.