San Diego Padres extend protective netting at Petco Park

San Diego Padres extend protective netting at Petco Park

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – The Padres Monday announced details of the team’s effort to cover more of Petco Park with protective netting aimed at making the ballpark safer for spectators.

The netting will be installed to the end of Section 116 in left field and Section 115 in right field and have a maximum height of 24 feet before tapering down along the foul lines.

The expanded netting plan was initially announced in September. All 30 Major League Baseball teams in February agreed to expand their netting to at least the far ends of both dugouts by the start of this season. The Padres’ plan exceeds those parameters, according to the team.

“The security and well-being of our fans is our number one priority at Petco Park,” a Padres statement says. “We feel the new netting design drastically improves the safety of our patrons, while the state-of-the-art materials will have a minimal effect on the fan experience as it pertains to the view of the field and sight lines of our ballpark.”

The netting is lightweight and dyed green in order to meet MLB guidelines to reduce visible impact of the barrier.

Time for Padres' Luis Perdomo to take 'next step'

Time for Padres' Luis Perdomo to take 'next step'

Luis Perdomo posted 29 times in 2017. He tied for the team lead in quality starts. More than a run was shaved off an ERA that still sat at 4.67 at the end of his second season.

This is where the conversation starts when Padres pitching coach Darren Balsley is asked about his 24-year-old right-hander. The “buts” come next.

“Could he have pitched better? Yes,” Balsley said. “Did I expect him to? Yes. But did he do some good things along the way? Absolutely.

“But he’s got to take the next step. He’s not a Rule-5 anymore.”

To be fair, Perdomo’s steps to date have been considerable while growing up on the job. He spent most of 2015 in the Midwest League, jumped all the way to the majors as a Rule 5 pick the following December and has both endured growing pains and flashed signs of even greater potential over the last two seasons. The organization’s long-term trajectory remains pointed toward 2019 and beyond, but a few more growth spurts for Perdomo would go a long way toward a patched-together rotation exceeding industry expectations this summer.

Assuming Perdomo is in, that is.

To date, Padres manager Andy Green has only committed to him having a leg up on the competition to join veteran Clayton Richard and newcomer Bryan Mitchell in the opening-day rotation and Sunday’s effort was not a step in right direction.

Perdomo walked three, surrendered a grand slam to Hunter Pence and yielded a run-scoring single to Austin Jackson in an opening inning in which he found the strike zone on just 16 of his 33 pitches for strikes. He walked another in a scoreless second and got through the third unscathed but – as seen at times in Perdomo’s career – it only takes one inning to mar an outing.

“He’s got work ahead of him,” Green said. “We pushed him so hard to be aggressive (after Tuesday’s outing) and to attack and to me it was quick today. His translating attack is go faster, which isn’t the same thing. Sometimes you get a young guy and they hear attack … and sometimes it just goes quick. That’s what it looked like today. He was just quick. He did a better job as the game went on of slowing down, but I think overall he was just quick today.”

Perdomo showed much better in Surprise while striking out five Royals on Tuesday, but also allowed a run in his second and third innings of work after looking sharp to start the game. On Sunday, Perdomo said, he was cutting off his sinker in a wild first inning.

“I need to be locked down on every hitter I’m going to face,” Perdomo said Sunday through an interpreter. “… Sometimes I try to do too much with a hitter instead of trusting my stuff and just going with what I know and the scouting report.”

Added Balsley: “He knows we expect that. Usually what we ask him to do he does. He’s trying. He’s competing. It’s a reality of every-pitch-matters-type deal.”

Perdomo’s stuff works, too.

Among qualifying starters in 2017, only Blue Jays ace Marcus Stroman’s 62.1 percent groundball rate topped Perdomo (61.8). Yet opponents’ batting average (.260) and on-base-plus-slugging (.549) on groundballs sat noticeably higher than the league averages (.245 and .512), suggesting that improved infield defense could immediately supply a boost for a pitcher who already shaved his hit and home run rates from 11.5 and 1.4 per nine innings to 10.0 and 0.9, respectively, from Year 1 to Year 2 in the majors.

Enter Freddy Galvis at shortstop, where the Padres ranked last in the majors in defensive runs saved throughout Perdomo’s stay in San Diego. That’s one reason his confidence won’t be lacking.

“I just have to make sure I execute my pitches,” Perdomo said. “I don’t have to worry about Galvis making the plays back there. I’m glad to have him back there.”

Most things, of course, remain up to Perdomo.

Like the consistency of an attack that waned at times last year and in his first Cactus League appearance earlier this week.

There’s also more punchout in his game – just 6.5 per nine innings to date – if he can commit to living on both sides of the plate with intent.

“I think it’s just being able to use his fastball, his two-seamer, to both sides,” Padres catcher Austin Hedges said. “He’s really good arm side. I think if he’s capable of doing that glove side, to both lefties and righties, so guys can’t look in one general area. It’s so dominant on the arm side. At the same time, when a guy has seen it over and over and over, they know how to make adjustments.”

Now it’s Perdomo’s time to make adjustments.

To throw more strikes (his walk rate jumped from 2.8 per nine innings in 2016 to 3.6).

To, generally, progress.

“For me, he’s young and still learning,” Green said. “He’s got two years in the big leagues now. He’s still a very young pitcher. Today, I’d rather see that side of the mistake over taking a few pitches off. He’ll learn and grow from that.”

Green added: “We’re definitely pushing him to make big strides.”

Perdomo is pushing himself, too.

“I agree; it’s my third year,” he said. “I think this is the year where I’m going to do something great.”

[email protected]; Twitter: @sdutSanders

Francisco Lindor had the Internet buzzing with 'very nice' replacement jersey

Francisco Lindor had the Internet buzzing with 'very nice' replacement jersey

When Francisco Lindor’s No. 12 went missing, he found a ‘very nice’ replacement. (MLB.TV)

There’s a reason Cleveland Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor is one of the most popular players in Major League Baseball. Not only is he a joy to watch on the field, he knows how to play to the audience with the best of them.

[Batter up: Join a Yahoo Fantasy Baseball league for free today]

Case in point, when his No. 12 jersey didn’t make it to the Indians Cactus League game against the San Diego Padres on Saturday afternoon, the two-time All-Star improvised in epic fashion.

Looking nice, you say?

It appears the public agrees.

The No. 69 jersey was a huge hit. And while wearing that jersey, Lindor produced a hit.

If only he’d retired it then, that statement could have been true forever. Unfortunately, he was retired on a fly ball his next time up, before his No. 12 made it to the ballpark.

Oh well, it was a great run even if it only lasted a few innings.

By the way, if you’re a little confused where all the “nice” responses are coming from, this should help.

Basically, Lindor played into one of the most popular Internet memes, and the manner in which he did it is pretty spectacular. Like the Angels playing with three No. 9’s at the same last week, it really is one of those moments you’ll only see in spring training.

To sum it all up.

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Yahoo Sports Have a tip? Email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter!

San Diego Padres 2018 season preview: The future isn't here yet, but it is bright

San Diego Padres 2018 season preview: The future isn't here yet, but it is bright

It wasn’t too long ago that the San Diego Padres made an ill-advised attempt to quick fix the roster and contend. During the 2014-15 offseason the Padres added Matt Kemp, Craig Kimbrel, James Shields, Justin Upton, and Wil Myers in an effort to turn around a team that went 77-85 in 2014. The club then went 74-88 in 2015, and GM A.J. Preller started the process of tearing things down.

As a result, the Padres now have one of the game’s top farm systems, but the big league roster is well short of postseason caliber. FanGraphs projections peg San Diego as a 73-89 team in 2018. PECOTA also has them at 73-89. I would have a hard time arguing they’re better than a 73-ish win team. The Padres (2006) have baseball’s third longest postseason drought behind the Seattle Mariners (2001) and Miami Marlins (2003), and there’s little reason to believe they’ll reach the playoffs in 2018. Let’s preview the club’s upcoming season.

The vitals

Probable lineup

Squint your eyes and you can see the makings of an above-average offense in San Diego. The Padres still have a few too many lineup weak spots, but things are starting to look up. Here is the starting nine manager Andy Green figures to run out there come Opening Day:

  1. CF Manuel Margot
  2. 2B Carlos Asuaje
  3. RF Wil Myers
  4. 1B Eric Hosmer
  5. 3B Chase Headley
  6. LF Jose Pirela
  7. SS Freddy Galvis
  8. C Austin Hedges
  9. Pitcher

Bench: C A.J. Ellis, IF Christian Villanueva, UTIL Cory Spangenberg, OF Matt Szczur

Margot is a stud who looks destined to become a dynamic 20-homer, 40-steal, Gold Glove caliber leadoff man. Asuaje has the skills to play in this league for a decade as a high on-base middle infielder. Hedges is a top notch defensive catcher with pop, and those guys are hard to find. Headley and Galvis are stopgaps, not long-term solutions, but there are some nice pieces here.

Probable rotation

This is where things get a little sketchy. The Padres have some young interesting arms, but this club was near the bottom of the league in rotation ERA (4.70) and rotation WAR (+7.5) in 2017, and it’s hard to see how they’ll be better in 2018 without multiple big time breakouts. Here is Green’s projected Opening Day rotation:

  1. LHP Clayton Richard
  2. RHP Tyson Ross
  3. RHP Bryan Mitchell
  4. RHP Dinelson Lamet
  5. RHP Luis Perdomo

Ross is back with the Padres following arm problems in 2016-17 and an uninspiring showing with the Texas Rangers last year. He’s in camp as a non-roster player but is healthy, and is expected to land in the rotation. Mitchell, Lamet, and Perdomo are all young and have good arms, though they’re still trying to figure things out at the MLB level. Matt Strahm, Robbie Erlin, Jordan Lyles, and Colin Rea are among the depth starters.

Probable bullpen

In lefty Brad Hand, the Padres have a bona fide shutdown closer who could be part of a championship caliber bullpen. Beyond him there are some, well, let’s call them interesting arms. They might be more useful to the Padres long-term as possible trade chips than roster players. Here is the projected bullpen:

Closer: LHP Brad Hand
Setup: RHP Craig Stammen, RHP Kirby Yates
Middle: LHP Buddy Baumann, HHP Carter Capps, RHP Kazuhisa Makita, RHP Phil Maton
Long: RHP Jordan Lyles

Capps is the wild card. He had a magnificent 2015 season with the Marlins — Capps struck out 58 in 31 innings with a 1.16 ERA — but he blew out his elbow and needed Tommy John surgery. The Padres got him as a reclamation project in the Andrew Cashner trade and he hasn’t been nearly as dominant since returning from elbow surgery. If Capps can regain his form as he gets further away from Tommy John surgery, it’ll be a nice boost for the Padres.

Among the bullpen depth options are Adam Cimber, Kyle McGrath, Colten Brewer, Rowan Wick, and Brad Wieck. Lefty Jose Torres was placed on the restricted list recently and is facing domestic violence charges. He is not part of the club’s bullpen plan at this point.

What are they expecting from Hosmer?

MLB: San Diego Padres-Media Day

The Padres are expecting more than on-field production from Eric Hosmer. USATSI

It’s not often you see a no-doubt rebuilding team shell out a nine-figure contract for a free agent, but that’s exactly what the Padres did with Hosmer a few weeks ago. They were after him all winter — this wasn’t a “no one saw the Padres getting involved” situation — and they finally got their man right before the start of Cactus League games. 

Hosmer signed what amounts to a five-year, $104 million contract with a three-year, $39 million insurance policy. Here is the annual salary breakdown:

  • 2018: $20 million and a $4 million signing bonus
  • 2019: $20 million
  • 2020: $20 million
  • 2021: $20 million
  • 2022: $20 million with an opt-out after the season
  • 2023: $13 million
  • 2024: $13 million
  • 2025: $13 million

Hosmer will turn 33 early in the 2022-23 offseason, and if he’s still productive, he figures to opt out of his contract in search of a larger payday. If things aren’t working out and his play declines, Hosmer will pass on the opt-out and collect that $39 million from 2023-25. 

Clearly, the Padres did not sign Hosmer only for his bat and glove. There are plenty of first basemen who hit like Hosmer — who hit more than Hosmer, really — and while his glove is good, it’s not $100 million good. The Padres signed Hosmer because he’s a quality player and a championship caliber clubhouse guy. They want him to be at the center of their rebuild when they begin incorporating young players into the lineup.

Is that a smart way to spend $104 million? Eh, probably not, but keep in mind Hosmer’s contract won’t cause the Padres to miss out on any free agents in the future because the Padres are rarely in on big free agents. The upside: Hosmer is great and other free agents are more willing to come to San Diego. The downside: Hosmer is bad and the Padres lose out on a bunch of free agents who weren’t going to sign with San Diego anyway. That’s not so bad.

The Padres are not delusional. They know Hosmer won’t put them over the top in 2018. He might be part of the long-term solution though, a player who helps on the field and even moreso in a young clubhouse in need of leaders. Hosmer is an instant respect dude. Young players look up to him and he’s the type of player a rebuilding team wants mentoring their youngsters.

Is Hand a long-term piece or trade bait?

It was surprising when the Padres didn’t trade Hand at the deadline last year and it was even more surprising when they signed him to a three-year contract extension worth $19.75 million over the winter. The last thing a rebuilding team needs is a high-priced closer. Hand’s value is as high as it’s ever going to get right now, and rather than cash him in as a trade chip, the Padres doubled down and gave him an extension.

The question now is how does he fit long-term? Is he here for the long haul? Or are the Padres still planning to trade him at some point? The contract extension makes him more valuable on the trade market, after all. Keeping him is quite risky. The Padres are likely several years away from contention and relievers are both volatile and fragile. Hand may not be a dominant — or even serviceable — reliever by time the team is ready to win. Trading him for prospects now is, in a sense, the safe move.

There is something to be said for respectability, and like Hosmer, Hand helps the Padres be respectable. There is nothing in baseball more demoralizing than blowing a late-inning lead. Hand is a legitimate difference-maker and one of the top relievers in baseball, and his contract is hardly onerous. As with Hosmer, I’m not going to get upset with the Padres spending money they weren’t otherwise going to spend. It’s unclear whether Hand is part of the future or a trade chip, and, frankly, both are defensible.

Where does Renfroe fit?

The Hosmer signing pushes Myers back into right field, and with Pirela penciled into left field — Pirela quietly hit .288/.347/.490 (122 OPS+) with 25 doubles and 10 home runs in 83 games last year — that means former top prospect Hunter Renfroe is a man without a position. The former first round pick hit .231/.284/.467 (97 OPS+) with 26 homers in 122 games last year. The power is legit. The on-base ability is lacking.

As things stand, Renfroe is likely ticketed for Triple-A, a level he has already conquered. The 26-year-old is a career .326/.357/.597 hitter with 40 homers in 168 Triple-A games. He has nothing left to prove at that level. Renfroe is at the point where he needs to face MLB pitching consistently and be challenged to get better. Perhaps the Padres have decided his on-base ability will never improve, and they’re ready to move on. In that case, a trade seems likely. Right now Renfroe’s future in San Diego is up in the air.

Be patient, lots of help is on the way

The various scouting publications all agree the Padres have a top tier farm system. They’ve drafted well, they’ve traded well, and they spent a boatload of money internationally in recent years. Here’s where those scouting publications rank San Diego’s farm system going into spring training:

The Padres are loaded with talent in the farm system. There’s no doubt about that. The only problem with their farm system — and let me emphasize this isn’t a Problem, just a “problem” — is that most of their top prospects are very young and in the lower levels of the minors.’s No. 1 prospect, SS Fernando Tatis Jr., is only 19. No. 2 prospect LHP MacKenzie Gore is 19. No. 3 prospect RHP Luis Urias is 20. Four of the club’s top seven prospects are teenagers. Two others are 20.

Now, it is entirely possible Tatis and Urias will make their MLB debuts in 2018. Both reached Double-A last season and they’re just that damn good. Others like RHP Cal Quantrill (Paul’s son) and LHP Joey Lucchesi could debut this summer as well. Generally speaking though, San Diego’s best prospects are in the low minors and not especially close to the big leagues. The Padres have gobs of talent and that’s important. It just might be a few years before much of that talent reaches the show.

The search for Chase Headley's swing

The search for Chase Headley's swing

As it relates to 2012, Chase Headley is as honest as anyone. He’s asked about that season often. He’s had a lot of time to reflect, dissect and pore over video.

Why wouldn’t he?

He led all NL hitters with 115 RBIs. He slugged nearly .500. He drove 31 balls over walls, including 19 over the final two months of a campaign that remains the outlier in an 11-year career.

“Obviously, you try to recreate those moments,” Headley said. “But if I’m honest, it wouldn’t be fair to myself to say I did that once, that’s who I should be. Now, I think I can get somewhere in between of what I was that year and what I’ve been the majority of my career if I can figure out a way to consistently get the ball in the air, but it’s just tough man.”

Headley was speaking as he sat at his corner locker in a clubhouse he’s calling home for the second time in his career. He left for New York via trade two years after his breakout year, signed a $52 million contract to remain a Yankee, starred in a few postseason games and returned to San Diego. He had good stretches and bad and generally finished each season with a dozen homers and serviceable .256/.336/.386 batting line. The search for the swing capable of so much more continued all along, as it does for any player who finally clicks.

Even now it’s difficult to explain.

Launch angles and exit velocities wouldn’t officially become a thing for another couple years, except it’s clear that the latest fad in the world of baseball data underlines everything that went right for Headley in the summer of 2012.

“I just know those two months,” Headley said, “were the best of my career as far as being able to drive the ball and get balls that were hit really hard into the air. Then a lot of it, honestly, confidence in this game, man, it goes a long ways. When you have a month like that, when you get into the box, just have a feeling that something’s going to happen.

“When you feel that good, when everything is mechanically where you want it to be, then you have those special stretches.”


The loft in his swing, from both sides of the plate, carried the switch-hitting Headley up NCAA leaderboards, into the Padres’ system and ultimately to Petco Park. There, where cavernous dimensions sat safely beneath San Diego’s marine layer, Headley’s natural tendencies were not exactly the strengths they’d been during a .330/.437/.580 Double-A campaign that made him the Padres top prospect entering the 2008 season.

The front office even laid it out for him in a handout in his early days in San Diego.

The point was to seize a home-field advantage at Petco Park the way the Red Sox use the Green Monster to batter pitchers into oblivion.

Hard ground balls in the Padres’ spacious field played up.

Balls in the air? Not so much.

“The moral of the story was to keep the ball down,” Headley said. “Looking back, where the game is now, I wish I hadn’t tried so hard to hit the ball out of the air.”

But he did.

He put in hours upon hours to flatten his swing. Given the original deep alley in right-center, he resigned to go the other way as a left-handed hitter. The homer total dropped from 12 in 2009 to 11 in 2010 to four in 2011 as his average climbed to a career-high .289.

Headley was an accomplished hitter from both sides of the plate. He was as patient as always. He just wasn’t especially feared while manning a power-hitting position in the lineup.

And he knew why.

“I just focused so much of my swing to hit that ball the other way that I didn’t have my pull swing,” Headley said in July 2012. “I’d get a pitch and I literally couldn’t do it. My swing wouldn’t let me.”

Headley and hitting coaches Phil Plantier and Alonzo Powell set about addressing that shortcoming in spring training.

He matched the previous season’s homer total in April, hit three more in May and spread five between June and July.

Then the real damage came – 10 homers in August and nine in July. His slugging percentage crept up from .375 in June to .440 in July and then surged to .632 over the final two months.

Yet the funny thing is Headley’s end-of-year batted-ball rates fell in line with his career numbers to date: 32.1 percent flyballs in 2012 (33.3 percent career), 19.5 percent line drives (22.3 percent career) and, funnily enough, a career-high 48.8 percent for ground balls (44.4 percent career).

Headley’s swing path hadn’t changed. Just his intent, and to some degree his fortune as his 21.4 percent homer-to-flyball ratio is more than double his career rate (10.3 percent).

Maybe it was always going to be unsustainable.

Then the injuries added up, subtly altering the biomechanics of his swing. There was the thumb injury the following spring. Then the knee, the calf, the back.

“It’s not excuses,” Headley said, “but it’s dangerous to try to chase a feeling when the body mechanics aren’t necessarily the same as they were before.”

Some thought the trade into Yankee Stadium might provide an uptick in Headley’s power numbers – he even joked about aiming for those inviting short porches in his 2016 visit to Petco Park – but even an early meeting with his new team reiterated to Headley that his OPS, as a left-handed hitter, was the opposite way when others’ was to the pull side.

“I remember watching Brian McCann when I was in New York,” Headley said. “He could hit a ball 310 feet, a pop fly down the line and drop it right in the basket (for a home run). Gol-ly, I wish I could do that. But that was his swing path. His ‘miss’ was that result. When I hit a ball at that angle, it’s either a top-spun line drive or a ground ball when I hit the ball to that part of the field.

“My back-spin is that way.”

Headley was pointing straight head.


The 2017 version of Chase Headley looks like the one Matt Stairs teamed with in 2010. The Padres’ returning third baseman is 33 years old. His batted balls the last three years have left his bat at an average of 11.5 degrees and 86.8 mph, well below the so-called “sweet spot” for home runs (between 25 and 35 degrees and more than 95 mph). He’s coming off a .273/.352/.406 campaign that falls right in line with his career batting line (.264/.344/.402). He averaged 12 homers in three years in New York, one more than he did in 2010.

Stairs, the Padres’ newest hitting coach, understands exactly who Chase Headley is.

More importantly, Headley understands.

“He’s pretty simple to coach because he knows his swing better than anyone,” Stairs said. “He knows when it feels good. He knows how to hit a ball inside, how to hit a ball to left field from both sides. I love his right-handed swing. As far as that goes you don’t really want to tinker too much.

“The last thing I want him to think is he has to hit more fly balls, which you don’t. You want to create more of a line-drive swing, which he has.”

That swing, as level as it still is, Stairs said, can create the desired back-spun loft by lowering the sights to slightly below the middle of the ball. Stairs wants that swing to “destroy” the second baseman and the shortstop.

That’s who Chase Headley is now.

For better or worse or something in between.

And that’s OK.

“There’s a happy-medium of figuring out the type of player you are,” Headley said. “I’m not a monster that’s going to hit 40 home runs. For me to sacrifice a lot of swing-and-miss to be that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. There’s other guys that it does because they are bigger, stronger guys who are going to hit it further and those (strikeout) numbers are acceptable because of that.

“You have to find what your strengths are, what gives you the best opportunity to be successful.”

[email protected]; Twitter: @sdutSanders

Fulmer falters, eventually; Padres pitching stymies Sox

Fulmer falters, eventually; Padres pitching stymies Sox

The Chicago White Sox offense, which as of just a few days ago was humming along at a near-.300 clip, has hit a major pothole.

In the past two days (three games), the team has wheezed to a 17-of-95 clip, which amounts to a (avert your eyes, baines03!) .179 average. The team has been shut out in two of three games, and has mustered just four runs total.

With a razor-thin offensive margin of error, it would have taken a perfect pitching effort to elude another loss.

Carson Fulmer stopped just short of having that perfect start, and sure enough, his imperfection was all the San Diego Padres needed in a 2-0 win.

Fulmer cruised through 2 23 innings, and was just one strike away from everyone nodding their heads in agreement, saying, yep, the kid’s turned a corner.

Instead, successive solo home runs to Matt Szczur and Corey Spangenberg, a whip-crack double from Freddy Galvis, and a walk to Franchy Cordero — extending the third inning by almost 20 pitches — kept Fulmer in almost the same place as he was to begin today.

Resisting the temptation to overreact after just three spring outings, it looks increasingly like Fulmer’s future is as a bullpen piece for the White Sox.

Scout validation? Check.

The good news is that Fulmer had nothing but positive takeways from his effort today, indicating particular pleasure that his breaking ball was getting Padres hitters to chase. Overall, Fulmer said postgame, “I was able to get through three [innings] with two runs, so a really good outing for me.”

It didn’t help that by comparison, ex-Sox Clayton Richard pitched four innings of masterful ball, inducing ground balls almost at will — eight of 12 of his outs, in fact. Most menacingly, the lefty coaxed Patrick Leonard into two consecutive GIDPs.

The White Sox could only muster five hits, and just one for extra bags, a second-inning double by Luis Basabe. Basabe later was extinguished on a rundown at home plate on a Ryan Cordell grounder to second, which turned into a double play when Cordell tried to take second during the third-base-line chicanery.

So highlights in Peoria were scarce, as the White Sox fell under .500 for the first time since spring training’s first day, and they all came from the bullpen.

Aaron Bummer was delightful, whiffing all three Padres he faced in a perfect fourth. Joakim Soria, Robbie Ross Jr. and Hector Santiago couldn’t match Bummer’s perfection, but collectively spun four innings of two-hit, six-strikeout, two-walk (Santiago, the screwy ’baller!) ball.

Let’s hope tomorrow’s lineup vs. the Chicago Cubs, which should be closer to what we’ll see on Opening Day, can shake the offense out of the doldrums.