The tides are turning in the San Diego Padres favor after a great series at Coors Field. The Padres go on to Citizens Bank Park now to face the Philadelphia Phillies for a four game series.
After scoring 32 runs in Colorado the Padres have to be happy to face a team who many consider the worst in MLB. Just like in Coors Field I do expect more than your normal amount of runs to be scored this series, although I also expect a couple of nice pitching match ups mixed in with the plethora of runs.
The first game of the series will be today at 12:05 PM start time. Citizens Bank Park will be sold out as it is the Phillies opener. I see no reason why the Padres can not only take this series but perhaps even get a four game sweep.
There will be quite some interesting pitching matchups in this series. Now your probably looking at the Phillies pitchers and wondering to yourself “who are these guys”?
A name you should certainly know is Aaron Nola. The 22-year-old from Baton Rouge Louisiana went seven innings in his first start this season. He struck out eight, while only allowing one run and didn’t walk a single batter. While Nola did not get the Win against the Reds (because of his bullpen), he sure looked really sharp and should be a nice challenge for Andrew Cashner and the Padres hitters.
Although the matchup of Cashner vs Nola may seem to be the most formidable one of the series I am also looking forward to Thursday mornings matchup of Drew Pomeranz vs Vince Velasquez.
You better believe this will be a good pitching duel. Pomeranz has looked to be the best pitcher so far for the Padres and I can’t wait to see what Drew can do to follow up his great performance at Coors Field. Vince Velasquez himself had an amazing start just a couple of days ago. At Citi Field the 23-year-old went six innings, struck out six, and allowed no runs against the National League Champion Mets.
Players to watch
Franco at 23 years of age is arguably the Phillies best player. This young Dominican has loads of potential and did great at Citizens Bank Park last season. Franco batted .295 with seven homers and eleven doubles at home last season. I expect Franco to be a bright spot for the Phillies this year and to one day be a prominent player in all of MLB.
Let’s hope that Matt Kemp can continue to perform after an amazing series at Coors Field. Kemp now has boosted his BA to .360 and leads the Friars in home runs with three and RBIs with 10 after that monstrous series in Colorado. Apart from his recent success in general, Kemp also has had success at Citizens Bank Park hitting .362 with a very nice OBP of.397
After a very slow start in the opening series getting just one hit. Cory like many other Padres had a great time at Coors Field. Spangy is now one of the top run producers on the team with seven runs batted in. Considering that last season in 108 games Cory only had three times more RBIs than he has now at 21, it’s quite a nice start for the Pennsylvanian. I expect Cory to definitely be a contributor to a few of the runs scored for the Padres in Philly.
You just wanna believe the subway commercial star is capable of having a comeback year. To be fair to him he totally is capable. You have to remember Howard was once the best player in the game, and he still has the power to cause some trouble especially at Citizens Bank Park. The Padres pitchers should really not take Howard lightly as he can easily make you pay for your mistakes. Out of all the numbers the former MVP has attained at home, the one that just popped out to me was his OBP. At Citizens Bank Park he has a .357 on base percentage with over 2,500 at bats. That’s quite an impressive number. Look for Howard to go yard at least once in this four game series.
Robbie Erlin was just called up to replace Tyson Ross in the Padres rotation. What did Erlin do after just arriving in Colorado on Friday? He came on for a shaky Colin Rea and pitched flawlessly through 3.2 innings earning himself the Win in the first game of the Rockies series. It’ll be interesting to see how Erlin can fair in his first actual start of 2016. I expect Erlin to do quite well against a Phillies lineup which isn’t really that strong. Erlin just has to be careful as the likes of Maikel Franco, Obdubel Herrera or even Darin Ruf who will most likely start against the lefty can make him pay for his mistakes.
Jay has had success against the veteran pitcher as he has gone 9-22 and has a tremendous OBP of .552. It is expected that Jay who has looked outstanding so far in that lead off spot will have a really nice series and will perhaps even get his first home run of 2016. It would certainly be more likely that Jay goes yard off Morton than anyone else pitching in this series.
Now Howard has only faced Rea on three occasions and has only gotten one hit off him. I just think this will be an interesting matchup and I unfortunately believe that Howard may even go yard off of Rea. Well will see what happens, but just a small prediction for this series.
Can the Padres continue their winning ways?
The Padres are coming off winning a nice series in Colorado, scoring 32 runs in three games. I see no reason why the Pads can not beat a weaker opponent in the Phillies and maybe even get a four game sweep. The key to this series will be a mix of pitching and batting. I feel like the Padres will need to pitch to victory in the first and last games of this series, and in contrast will have to outscore the Phillies in Tuesday and Wednesday’s games.
Can Fernando Rodney Finally get a save?
There just hasn’t been an opportunity for Rodney to go out there and get the save and finish with his signature archer pose this season. The Padres have either lost or just won by too much. In a four game series hopefully Rodney gets a chance to get that first save of the season. The bullpen has been bitter-sweet for the Pads so far, but we certainly saw some real bright spots in the Rockies Series. Hopefully the bullpen can do solid work this series and hopefully Rodney can get out there and get a save! Go Padres!