Jeff Samardzija and the SF Giants didn’t have a great Opening Day on Tuesday.
Opening Day at Oracle Park may have been a cause for celebration, but for Jeff Samardzija and the San Francisco Giants, it’s a game probably best forgotten.
The right-hander gave up five runs on four hits and a walk, making it only through just four innings before giving up the ball to manager Gabe Kapler.
He threw 44 strikes in 75 pitches, recording just one strikeout. He also gave up two home runs.
Via Maria Guardado of SFGiants.com:
“I thought he actually had a pretty good fastball, especially relative to our modified camp,” manager Gabe Kapler said. “That wasn’t a concern for tonight. The velocity was better than it has been.” …
“I thought he came out and did a nice job to get the game going, attacked the zone and was really efficient,” Kapler said. “And then I just don’t think he was able to maintain a rhythm throughout the game. Those are my main impressions.”
Samardzija got through the first six batters unscathed but things started to fall apart in the third and fourth innings. Fernando Tatis Jr gave the Padres a 3-1 lead in the third with a three-run home run and then Wil Myers extended it the next frame and a two-run shot.
Jeff Samardzija’s home runs allowed were deserved
Make no mistake: the two home runs given up by Samardzija were not flukes. The two had expected batting averages of .610 and .630 at Baseball Savant. The exit velocity on Myers’ 422-foot hit was 98.6 mph and the 346-foot homer by Tatis exited the bat at 100.6 mph.
Those were two of the highest EVs by the Padres all night.
Samardzija’s fastball sat an average of 90 mph, a little slower than it has been in past seasons. Myers’ home run came on a 90.5 mph fastball thrown low and inside.
One area he’ll have to be a little better: getting ahead and staying ahead in the count. In the third inning, the first two Padres he faced went to a full count. Tatis was up 3-1 when he homered. Even the inning’s last batter struck out after reaching a full count.
Myers four-bagger came on the first pitch but followed a full count to Jurickson Profar a batter before.
It’s not wise to read too much into a single start, no matter how much you want to when each game counts for almost 2% of the season.
Suffice it to say, Samardzija seems to have gotten the results he deserved this game.
Whether adjustments can be made before the next start will be more telling.