Did you notice all the baseballs flying out of Petco Park during the opening homestand? Except for the fact that most of them were hit against Padres pitchers, it was awesome.
It’s also unprecedented. Here’s how batters on both teams have fared during the first six games of each season so far at Petco Park:
The only season that comes close is 2006, when the Padres last reached the playoffs. They were outhomered, 11-4, in those games. This year’s Padres were outhomered, 11-5. This isn’t necessarily relevant to anything, but I found it interesting.
In case you’re wondering, the last time more than 16 homers were hit in the Padres’ first six games was 2000, at Qualcomm Stadium. That year, 21 were hit: nine by the Padres, 12 by their opponents.
What can we conclude now that a whopping 7.4 percent of the Padres’ home schedule is complete? There are a few possibilities:
- The new dimensions have turned the ballpark into a bandbox (okay, but only Juan Uribe has taken advantage so far; as Vin Scully said, “Boy, that’s a surprise.”)
- The pitching staff sucks (see again Juan Uribe, who hit his cheapy against Clayton Richard, about whom I expressed concerns coming into the season)
- The weather is different; a smart friend of mine suggests checking relative humidity, which I may examine at some future date (a quick trip to Weather Underground reveals that average humidity for those dates was 59.8 in 2012 vs 62 in 2013, which seems like a small change)
- Something else
- Nothing at all
That last one is good to remember so early in the season. Stuff happens for no reason all the time.
Then again, new dimensions and bad pitching are likely to be stories all year for the Padres, so we might as well start tracking them now. Popcorn, anyone?
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