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|1:10 PM PT2:10 PM MT3:10 PM CT4:10 PM ET16:10 ET20:10 GMT4:10 1:10 PM MST3:10 PM EST3:40 PM VEN0:10 UAE (+1)3:10 PM CT, March 29, 2018
PETCO Park, San Diego, California Attendance: 44,649
Brewers begin Chase, visit Padres
SAN DIEGO -- Teams that were unexpectedly among the more active teams in the free agent market over the winter will face each other Thursday on Opening Day at Petco Park.
The Milwaukee Brewers acquired outfielders Christian Yelich (via trade from Miami) and Lorenzo Cain (as a free agent) over the winter while the San Diego Padres invested $144 million over eight seasons to sign first baseman Eric Hosmer and imported submarining reliever Kazuhisa Makita from Japan.
The teams have several other things in common.
Both will feature a first-time Opening Day starter. Right-hander Chase Anderson will start for the Brewers and left-hander Clayton Richard takes the ball for the Padres.
And the teams posted the top two winning percentages during Cactus League play this spring. OK, that last one means nothing.
But the Brewers and the Padres have upgraded during the offseason with the playoffs being the goal.
"We're not going into the season with any other expectation other than getting into the playoffs," Padres manager Andy Green said Wednesday. "Shooting for something smaller than that is pointless ... it doesn't inspire, it doesn't motivate. We know where our mindset is going into the season. We also know what the rest of the world is going to say about that mindset. We really don't care that much. I really like this group of guys and I'm excited about the year ahead of us."
Anderson, 30, was 12-4 with a 2.74 ERA in 25 starts with the Brewers last year despite missing six weeks in the middle of the season with an oblique strain. He had 133 strikeouts in 141 1/3 innings with a 1.09 WHIP. Anderson is 3-1 in eight career starts against the Padres with a 3.99 ERA and 1-0 with a 4.91 ERA in three starts at Petco Park.
"Chase has worked very hard to make himself better," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said recently. "He's gone from a two-pitch to a four-pitch pitcher and even added two miles an hour to his fastball."
Richard has re-invented himself since having thoracic outlet surgery, changing his arsenal as well as his delivery.
The 6-foot-5, 240-pound 34-year-old signed a two-year contract with the Padres last winter after posting an 8-15 record last season with a 4.79 ERA in 32 starts. He led the National League in three categories -- batters faced (858), hits allowed (240) and double plays induced (32). He shared the league lead with teammate Luis Perdomo in the latter category.
Richard is 3-4 lifetime against the Brewers with a 5.51 ERA in 15 games (nine starts). The Brewers have a career .298 batting average against Richard, who is 30-26 and a 3.23 ERA in 73 games (71 starts) at Petco Park.
"I trust the man," Green said Wednesday of Richard. "The circumstance won't affect him at all and that's all you want from somebody. He's the type of person who is going to go into a situation and be who he is and that is a guy who pitches well a lot of times and at times, like anybody else, he has an outing or two that's not great.
"I expect him to pitch well tomorrow. That's a very good (Milwaukee) lineup. That's a team that made a lot of changes. They were a good lineup last year. They are borderline a great lineup right now.
"They have a manager who I respect greatly and they're coming in with the expectation of going to the post-season this year so you know they are going to be very hungry. You know he has his work cut out for him."
Updated March 28, 2018