Rivalry Renewed

(Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)

(Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)

This isn’t a post about gum. Well, I guess it kind of is but I’ll get to that in a minute. Last night the San Francisco Giants and San Diego Padres renewed acquaintances for the first of nineteen meetings between the two clubs this season. During the offseason, and right up until the day before the season opened, the Padres overhauled their roster. There’s new faces everywhere. Matt Kemp came from LA, they added Wil Myers and Justin Upton. The new catcher is Derek Norris, you may remember him from his days across the bay.

It seems the Padres have gotten tired of Giants fans invading Petco Park and turing it in to “AT&T South”. I didn’t mind, neither did you I’m guessing. They’ve decided to try and win some games for the first time since 2010. That’s what last night felt like, 2010. This first game between the clubs was a nail-biter. The Giants finally won 1-0 in the 12th inning on a Justin Maxwell pinch-hit that drove home Brandon Crawford with the winning run.

Brandon Crawford also kept the Giants in the game numerous times with his defensive wizardry. In the 9th inning he stopped Jedd Gyorko’s ground ball from making it to the outfield which would have probably scored the runner from 2nd. In the 10th he was able to pick up a ball that lined off Casey McGehee’s glove to get a force out a second. His best play of the night came all the way back in the 5th inning. See for yourself. It was artistry.

If you remember way back in 2010 before the Giants had won their 3 titles (the stone age, I know) the Padres gave them fits. It was San Diego that the Giants were chasing all season long. It was frustrating, it was annoying, and it gave birth to a description that we’ve come to love around here. Torture.

That’s what last night’s game felt like and I suspect what many will feel like over the course of this season. I know that the Dodgers are the natural rival and have been the last few years. They’ve been very easy to hate. Now we can add the Padres to this list.

In the 9th inning of last night’s game things started to get a little chippy between the 2 clubs. Angel Pagan tried to toss some gum aside and it stuck to his batting glove and ended up going right at the catcher Norris. Here’s the video. I guess you have to click it to watch it.

As you can see, Craig Kimbrel decided to go high and tight to Pagan after the little exchange. I don’t know if it was on purpose but it didn’t seem like an accident. Pagan finished the at bat with a triple to lead off the 9th inning.

So it looks like the Padres-Giants rivalry is back on again. San Diego should have a better club this year and the Giants are going to have to keep them at bay if they want to win the division. It’s going to be a fun watch. So buckle up, there could be some fists flying before this is all over.

-Eric

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