While the pre-game work includes a new approach to the ball – perhaps a better load in a swing or better flight path of the bat to ball, when the lights come on, everything must be thrown aside.
"With EP (hitting coach Eric Peyton), we are trying to work on my load a little bit," outfielder Chadd Hartman said. "I try and do that in the on-deck circle, but once I am in the batter's box, see the ball, hit the ball hard is all I am thinking about."
Infielder Vince Belnome is also working on his hand separation and balance in order to be quick to the ball and in good hitting position.
"I am trying to but it is not something you think about," Belnome said. "You work on mechanics before the game, but once you are in the game, you are looking to hit the ball and getting a good pitch to hit.
"You can't be thinking about all of the things you are working on because nothing will happen when you get in the game."
Hartman and Belnome each collected a pair of hits in the opener.
"They talk a lot about getting your pitch to hit," first baseman Nate Freiman said. "I have been getting my pitch to hit."
Freiman has a 17-game hitting streak and has made noticeable strides in shortening his stroke. With his tremendous strength, the sky is the limit.
Nick Greenwood also threw a bullpen and looked sharp. The left-hander twirled a solid changeup and showed impressive fastball command – just like he has in every game he has played.
Among the things that pitchers are being taught is the importace of the 1-1 pitch. The difference between putting the hitter ahead in the count 2-1 and getting ahead 1-2 can often be the difference between a win and a loss. Therefore, the Padres stress
"I actually caught some in college," the 6-foot-8, 250-pound Freiman said. "I am trying to be as versatile as I can be and told them I could help out."
How good is he is as a catcher? Freiman stated he could get the ball down to second in 1.9 seconds – pretty solid for a first baseman with his size.
"It is probably broken," manager Greg Riddoch said.
If it is broken, there is a good chance that Davis will miss the rest of the season.
Ironically, the Padres teach all of their prospects to slide feet first – but that doesn't happen until Instructional League in September.
On Monday, he retired the side in order, striking out one.
"It is just baseball," Erickson said. "Sometimes the ball doesn't go your way and you have to just come out the next day and pitch the way you did the day before."
It was their first doubleheader sweep since August 30, 2006.
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