The Padres are up next, and they are good.
It’s been a long, cold, endless baseball season, and somehow, four days later, the San Francisco Giants are still in search of their first series win.
The odds are long. Adjust your expectations accordingly. Pray for something — anything — better than the last time these teams met.
Who: San Francisco Giants vs. San Diego Padres
Where: Petco Park, San Diego, California
When: Monday (7:10 p.m.), Tuesday (7:10 p.m.), and Wednesday (1:10 p.m.)
National broadcasts: Tuesday (MLB Network, out of market only)
Where they stand
San Francisco Giants
Record: 1-2, 3rd in the NL West
Run differential: -2, 9th in the NL
Playoff standing: 1 game out of the second Wild Card
San Diego Padres
Record: 3-1, T-1st in the NL West
Run differential: +8, 2nd in the NL
Playoff standing: In
Three Giants to watch
Evan Longoria: Longoria looked sensational in the opening series, hitting 4-11 with 2 walks and 2 balls that cleared the fence. Expectations were rather modest for Longo entering the season, and if he’s able to put together a strong year it would go a long way towards the Giants plans of being interesting this season, especially considering that the team is sorely lacking in defensively-competent options at third after Longoria.
The Padres will throw much better pitchers at the Giants than the Mariners did, but two of the three starters are lefties, so Longoria should have ample opportunities to do damage, at a park where he’s hit some memorable dingers.
Aaron Sanchez: Sanchez remains one of the biggest unknowns on the Giants roster, after pitching just 5.2 innings in the spring. But unless Gabe Kapler throws us a curveball — which the Giants emphatically did with their starters to open the 2020 season — Sanchez will be on the mound on Tuesday, staring down one of the most potent offensive lineups that money can buy.
Buster Posey: Posey announced his return in a loud way, with impressive home runs in each of the first two games of the season, before resting for the finale. We’re gonna need to see a lot more before we make any declarations as to the type of player that Posey is in 2021, but initial results look balanced, powerful, and healthy.
It’s always worth watching Buster, but right now is an especially important time to keep your eye on him.
Three Padres to watch
Manny Machado: When he’s not torching the Giants, there are few players in baseball as fun to watch as Manny Machado.
Fernando Tatis Jr. Fernando Tatis Jr. is one of those few players.
Blake Snell: After being one of the best teams in 2020, the Padres went out and acquired, among other great players, Snell, the 2018 AL Cy Young Award winner. Isn’t that lovely.
Snell is good and fun, and the Giants will have their hands full with him in the series finale. Hopefully Jayce Tingler will take him out early.