Carl Kemp — (Matt Kemp’s dad) — talks about Matt’s love for baseball, being healthy, coming to San Diego and what he was like as a kid.
–Annie Heilbrunn (TWITTER: @anneiheilbrunn)
News and notes with Padres manager Bud Black
Can the Padres play defense? – Wednesday night’s 3-2 win over the Diamondbacks was an excellent example of what we could come to expect of the Padres on a regular basis this season. Three things in particular come to mind. First, will Brandon Morrow regain the promising form he showed with the Blue Jays? So far so good. The right-hander has fashioned a 1.29 ERA in 14 innings of work, including seven innings of 2-run ball against Arizona in the series finale. Secondly, is this team really as good as it is on paper? It appears so, at least as of now. Nearly every one of the Padres new acquisitions is meeting expectations, save for the middle relief (it’s still early). Lastly, can the Padres play defense? The jury’s still out. The team’s seven errors are tied for the third most in the National League. But, among other strong defensive plays made this season, a running catch into the right field wall by Matt Kemp, a beautiful sliding grab by Justin Upton, and two would-be base stealers thrown out by catcher Derek Norris Wednesday night have not been overlooked…
Said Black: “The defensive side that everybody talks about and rips on us on, that’s okay, we’ll show them. It’s alright.”
Tell us what you think of the Padres defense so far in the comments below.
True raw power – Justin Upton’s late-game heroics Wednesday night were a good reminder that it’s not over until it’s over with the new-look Padres. With two outs in the bottom of the eighth and the game tied 2-2, Upton slammed a first-pitch fastball into the left field seats, giving the Padres a 3-2 lead that new closer Craig Kimbrel preserved for the win…
Said Black: “You always feel as though you’re always one swing away no matter who goes to the plate but there might be a little difference when you have some guys with true raw power and we have some guys with true raw power. And one mistake and one good swing can result in what happened (Wednesday).”
Team chemistry – The Padres three-game set in Chicago against the Cubs marks the first true road trip of 2015 (planes not busses). With so many new faces (15 of the team’s players on Opening Day weren’t with San Diego in 2014), do road trips help build team chemistry?
Said Black: “When you’re on the road as a new group, it does help the guys get together. When you’re on the airplane, you’re going to the ballpark with a group in cabs, maybe going out to dinner, especially in Chicago with guys getting together, it does help the camaraderie.”
–Andrew Burer (TWITTER: @andrewburer)