The first week of 2007 baseball is in the books. If you’re not satisfied with a 4-2 Padres beginning, or concerned about one particular thing or another, don’t be. If you’re overly pleased, don’t be.
OK, be. Grin a little, if you must. Remember, it’s just a week, but go ahead. Your team’s played a series on the road, another at home, and won them both. They won by blowout and in tight, one-run fashion. And they’ve taken back-to-back games in dramatic final-at bat style; just the way you imagined the season might be, if you allowed yourself the luxury of really positive thinking.
In the San Diego clubhouse, and wherever the club’s powers that be watched the first week’s worth of ball, it all starts with Jake Peavy. The Padres ace went into the hostile Opening Day environment that is San Francisco and shut down everything: the crowd, Barry Bonds, the Giants, and any unpleasant memories of last year’s first half. One earned run in 13 innings, all of eight hits allowed to start the season; one personal victory and a major assist in another. Watch as he’s named National League Pitcher of the Week Monday afternoon.
Meanwhile, Cla Meredith, Scott Linebrink and Trevor Hoffman simply picked up working, as if the break for winter was a minor inconvenience. Ditto Adrian Gonzalez. Khalil Greene did his thing during Week One, the Giles brothers did theirs, and David Wells his. Perhaps a surprise contribution from Jose Cruz, Jr., and an uplifting game-winner for Kevin Kouzmanoff to round out the week on Sunday.
Next up for the locals is the return of Bruce Bochy and company. Three night games against San Francisco at Petco, a day off Thursday, and a trip up to L.A. for the weekend.
One week down, 25 to go.
— HOWARD COLE