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History shows fast start key to Padres' success

Some Opening Day notes
San Diego Padres

Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.

History shows that a good start is crucial to the Padres' success.

Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.

History shows that a good start is crucial to the Padres' success.

The last Padres team to get off to a fast start was the 2010 edition that won 90 games and missed out on a playoff spot on the final day of the season. San Diego was 15-8 after 23 games in 2010.

The Padres team that won the National League pennant in 1998 got off to a 14-3 start and were 21-9 after 30 games en route to a franchise-record 98-win season. The other Padres team to win the pennant got off to a 21-14 start in 1984.

But the recent Padres have annually stumbled out of the gate.

The Padres were 9-15 after 24 games last year and got off to a 7-15 start the previous season. The closest they've come to a solid start since 2010 was 11-12 in '15.

• Thursday marked the Padres' fourth straight loss on Opening Day. Overall, San Diego is 21-29 on Opening Day and 13-11 in season openers played at home. The Padres are now 25-25 in home openers since defeating Houston, 2-1, in the very first game of the franchise's history on Aug. 8, 1969, at San Diego Stadium.

• The Padres entered the 2018 season riding a streak of 127 straight wins at Petco Park when leading entering the ninth inning. The streak is the longest in the Major Leagues and dates back to July 2014.

• Third baseman Chase Headley drew a second-inning walk Thursday to become the first Padre to reach base in 2018. Left fielder Jose Pirela got the season's first hit with a fourth-inning single. Shortstop Freddy Galvis drove in the season's first run and had the first two-hit game of 2018. Matt Szczur stole the first base of the season and scored the first run as a pinch-runner.

• The Opening Day crowd of 44,649 was the ninth largest in the history of Petco Park, which was hosting its 15th home opener.

• Right-handed reliever Adam Cimber suffered the loss Thursday in his Major League debut. Cimber was the first Padre to make his Major League debut this season. Left-handed starter Joey Lucchesi will be the second to make his Major League debut Friday night when he starts the season's second game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Petco Park.

San Diego Padres