MLB season is under way for East County alumni

Grossmont High School alumnus Joe Musgrove hopes to duplicate last season’s 10-3 record and 3.05 earned-run average to lead the Padres to postseason play this season.

El Capitan High School alumnus Kevin Ginkel fin­ished the 2023 Major League Baseball season in sev­enth heaven as the Arizona Diamondbacks reached the end goal of every Little Leaguer’s dream: a trip to the World Series.

The National League champion D-Backs didn’t reach their pot of gold with a runner-up finish to the Ameri­can League champion Texas Rangers, losing in five games.

But the journey to the championship series was filled with magical memories as both Arizona and Texas en­tered the 2023 playoffs as wild cards.

Ginkel was a major surprise for the NL champions last season as a relief pitcher. In 60 game appearances, he posted a 9-1 record with a 2.48 earned-run average and 70 strikeouts in 65.1 innings.

The 30-year-old San Diego native is back with con­tinued resolve to conclude unfinished business in 2024 with the Arizona club. He’s appeared in two games so far this season with three strikeouts in two innings and a 0.00 ERA.

It’s looking good so far.

The D-Backs are off to a 3-2 start behind the 5-2 Los Angeles Dodgers and ahead of the 3-4 San Diego Padres, 2-3 San Francisco Giants and 1-4 Colorado Rockies.

The Rockies have been pegged to finish last in the division with the Diamondbacks, Dodgers, Padres and Giants picked up fight it out for the division title. It looks to be a four-way scramble.

The Padres and Dodgers are 1-1 to start the sea­son after a much-publicized two-game series in Korea while the Pads and Giants are 2-2 in four games.

The Dodgers topped the Friars, 5-2, in the season opener on March 20. The Padres came back to claim a high-scoring 15-11 match-up on March 21.

The Friars slipped past the Giants, 6-4, in their home opener on March 28. The Giants came back to score 8-3 and 9-6 road victories before the hosts won the final game in the series, 13- 4.

The Padres’ local contribution is pitcher Joe Musgrove by way of Grossmont High School.

Musgrove pitched 2.2 innings in the 15-11 win over the Dodg­ers with two strikeouts while yielding five runs on seven hits.

He was on the losing end in the 8-3 loss to the Giants. He pitched 5.2 innings with three strikeouts while giving up four runs on eight hits.

In the two games, the 31-year-old El Cajon native logged 8.1 innings on the mound with a 9.72 ERA and five strikeouts.

Compare that to a 10-3 re­cord, 3.05 ERA and 97 strike­outs in 97.1 innings last season as the Padres finished third in the NL West standings but missed the playoffs despite high hopes.

His career statistics feature a 60-58 record, 3.77 ERA and 954 strikeouts in 964.2 innings.

A return to form for Mus­grove could land the Padres in postseason play this season.


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