As San Diego’s longest-tenured player, Wil Myers is frequently asked about the stark differences between the current edition of the Padres and the other teams he’s played for since his arrival in December 2014.
Generally speaking, Myers’ answers are thoughtful. He’s spoken in depth about the organizational culture and the shift toward a winning mindset within the past year or two. But Myers perhaps put it best on the eve of the regular season, when he was asked that very question for the umpteenth time. What’s the difference, exactly?
“We have really, really good players,” Myers said.
Simple as that. The 2021 Padres — off to an 8-3 start and winners of four straight to start their road trip — have really, really good players.
Myers among them, of course. The Padres’ right fielder went 3-for-5 with a homer and five RBIs as they opened a four-game series in Pittsburgh with a 6-2 victory.
Yu Darvish, too. The veteran right-hander delivered precisely what the Padres needed after they’d asked six relievers to cover 8 1/3 innings in Texas on Sunday. Darvish saved a beleaguered San Diego bullpen with seven innings of one-run ball. He was efficient and effective, striking out six and allowing just three hits.