Padres Series Preview: San Diego Padres vs San Francisco Giants

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Credit: Getty Images

The San Diego Padres are coming off an abysmal series. They could have easily pulled off the sweep against the St. Louis Cardinals if it wasn’t for the bullpen just letting down the whole team. Something which had not been seen so far in this early season.

Now the Friars are in San Francisco and will start a series against the Giants today which could catapult them out of last place in the division (if all goes well). This should be a nice test for the Padres as the Giants haven’t looked that sharp this year sitting in fourth place in the division.

If the Padres are capable of coming close to sweeping the Cardinals there is no reason why they can’t give the bay area team a run for their money in this upcoming series. The Padres wont just breeze along this series though. All components will have to work in order for them to win the series. From the offense, to the bullpen, all will have to work perfectly for the Padres if they wish to take this series.

Pitching Matchups

Drew Pomeranz vs Madison Bumgarner 7:15 pm

James Shields vs Johnny Cueto 7:15 pm

Andrew Cashner vs Jeff Samardzija 12:45 pm

Just look at these pitching matchups. Beautiful! The highlight of this series especially playing at AT&T Park should definitely be the pitching.

All of these matchups should be spectacular, but I definitely have my eye on tonight’s duel between the two lefties, Pomeranz and Bumgarner. Pomeranz has been the Padres best pitcher so far and who would of thought that. The man wasn’t even a sure thing to make the rotation this year. He has had such a huge impact on the Padres in the 2016 season.

On the other hand we have MadBum. While Bumgarner hasn’t looked the best this year with a 3.91 ERA, it is Bumgarner and its AT&T Park  and those two things combined for a tough matchup. One positive to look at when you see Bumgarner’s career is that he hasn’t really been all that against the Padres only having an 8-5 record with a 3.29 ERA.

If the Padres can at least get two to three runs tonight that should be more than enough to win this game with Pomeranz on the mound. Another thing to look out for in this pitching matchup is actually that both pitchers are pretty decent at the plate and they should not take their counterparts lightly when facing them.

Credit: UT San Diego
Credit: UT San Diego

Moving on from this matchup we have Shields vs Cueto. This matchup can go either way really. Lets hope that Shields can have a nice start in the bay after coming off a solid game against the Pirates in which he only allowed three earned runs. Shields has really proven to be so-so this year and I hope that he can produce a nice start against the Giants to ease some of our minds a bit on a few concerns here and there.about his production.

Last off is Cashner vs Samardzija. Another great matchup, especially after the start Cashner had against the Cardinals this last Friday in which he only allowed a run in six innings. Again just like Shields, Cashner has raised some concerns about his production. After his last start against the Cardinals it definitely seems as if Cashner is more than capable of pulling off a win against “The Shark”.

Players to watch

Angel Pagan

The Puerto Rican slugger is always a fun player to watch out there. It also helps that he’s off to quite a nice start hitting .333 with a .390 OBP and nine RBIs this season. Pagan has also been decent against the Padres hitting seven home runs and stealing 18 bases in his career. The Crazy Horse is definitely capable of having a nice series against the Friars, but lets hope things don’t work out for him in this particular series.

Melvin Upton Jr.

Melvin had a real rough series against the Cardinals going just 1-10 with a walk in the three game series. Before this series he had a solid series against the Pirates with some nice catches, a stolen base, a couple hits, and five walks. Even after going 1-10 against the Cards, Melvin still has a solid .347 OBP and has looked solid throughout the year. Lets hope that Melvin can bounce back after that rough series against the Cards and have a nice series at AT&T Park.

Buster Posey

One of the faces of the MLB is Buster Posey. When you think about the Giants you think about Posey, it’s that simple. This man has been a part of three world championships, has won a Rookie Of The Year Award and an MVP. Posey is really off to an average start this season batting .266 with a couple of home runs. Really does it matter what form he is currently in? Its early. He could be batting under the Mendoza line and I would still have him as a player to watch. It’s simple he is Buster Posey.

Jemile Weeks

Jemile Weeks is a guy who should have made the team out of spring training, but after an injury to Cory Spangenberg, he was finally given the chance to be on the Padres Major League roster. Jemile has now played in five consecutive games, and honestly has really not impressed just batting a little over the “Mendoza Line” at .204. This could potentially be a big series for Jemile on deciding whether or not he stays on the team instead of Adam Rosales or Alexi Amarista. After the way Ninja looked before his injury, Weeks will have to really impress in this series to take his spot on the roster. Yangervis Solarte should be back soon too. While the injuries may last a little longer to Spangenberg, Amarista and Solarte it is important for Weeks to start producing to stay in the big leagues.

Credit: AP Photo
Credit: AP Photo

Matchups

Derek Norris vs Madison Bumgarner

The Padres backstop has been solid against the lefty in his career going 8-23 with a double and a homer. Norris who has been really struggling with the bat early on could have a nice game today against the 2014 World Series MVP.

Jon Jay vs Johnny Cueto

With all those years “The Federalist” had in the N.L. Central you better believe these two know each other well. In 29 at bats Jay has absolutely destroyed Cueto going 12-29 with three of those hits being home runs. Jay is yet to hit a dinger this season and should have an increased possibility of going yard in the second game of this series against Johnny Cueto.

Buster Posey vs Drew Pomeranz

Now these two have only faced each other on five occasions but the success Posey has against our lefty is pretty freighting. In five at bats Posey is four for five against Pomeranz with a walk. Okay that’s pretty good, but I mean it’s just five at bats. It would be petrifying if those four hits were just singles, but sadly two of those four hits are home runs. So in just five at bats Posey has taken Pomeranz deep twice. These numbers are scary, but the way Pomeranz has looked so far he should not give in to the history Posey has on him and could still be able to get a W tonight.

The Story Line

Can The Bullpen Not blow it? Please.

When the year started the offense was to blame for our struggles, but now the blame has shifted to the bullpen. The last three losses the Padres have had, have all been because of the bullpen. They really have. Look at yesterday’s game against the Cardinals. Colin Rea did his job, pitching five innings and allowing two earned runs is great.

Unfortunately Quackenbush would give up a couple of home runs and Brandon Maurer would give up three runs and there goes that win the Padres had. Even the offense did their job yesterday scoring five runs which is way more than enough to win a game at Petco Park.

We then look at Saturdays game yet another failure by the Pen. Cesar Vargas pitched his heart out on his debut and looked amazing only allowing a run in five innings. The bullpen just went out there and ruined this young mans chance at getting a win. Quackenbush yet again would allow two runs, Carlos Villanueva would get lit up and allow four including a homer by Jedd Gyorko. Luis Perdomo would allow another three runs to make the game a ridiculous 12-2 win by the Cardinals. In the last three losses the Padres have had the bullpen allow an outrageous 21 runs. That is just ludicrous if you ask me. The bullpen had looked sharp early on, but has really fallen off as of late. Hopefully they can bounce back and most importantly not cost us any more wins in this series. Go Padres!

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Francisco Velasco
Francisco, 21, Chula Vista area, Journalism student at Southwestern College. I have been a Padres fan all my life, did most of the series previews and recaps in the Padres' 2016 season for EVT. Now I focus more on the Tijuana Xolos soccer team, get press passes for every home game and write consistently about the team for EVT.

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