The Dodgers dropped the season opener 8-2 on Monday despite outhitting the Padres 15-12. Los Angeles left 15 runners on base and hit into three double plays.
“Fifteen hits is a lot of hits to get and only score two runs,” manager Jim Tracy said. “We had a number of opportunities to score runs today, and that’s the encouraging part. We had guys on base all day long.”
A sellout crowd of 53,850—the largest opening day attendance in Dodger Stadium history—booed the home team on several occasions, most vocally after the Padres broke the game open off Hideo Nomo by scoring six runs in the fifth. Phil Nevin’s grand slam highlighted the big inning.
Los Angeles is trying to get off to a better start than last season, when it was outscored 24-3 in a three-game set against San Francisco.
Since losing in the 1998 World Series, the Padres have been at or near the bottom of the NL West for five straight years.
With a few key additions, especially on offense, the Padres believe they have the talent to contend for the division championship this year.
If what happened Monday is any indication, they just might have a shot.
“I think this is a little bit of an indication of what our lineup is capable of,” Nevin said.
“When you’ve got a team that can score some runs, it’s nice for a pitcher,” Payton said.