Padres Series Preview: Padres Head North to Battle Giants

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Credit: UT San Diego
Credit: UT San Diego

The San Diego Padres have just won two out of three games against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Petco Park. They now go on the road again until June 1. Their first destination in this road trip will be AT&T Park.

The last time the Padres were there, things did not go well. The Padres were swept and they could have easily won any one of those games. They were not dominated at AT&T Park, they just did not play well. The Padres however were dominated the last time they faced the Giants in San Diego. They were swept and only managed to score three runs the whole series.

The Friars now sit seven and a half games behind the first place Giants. Even if the Pads were to sweep the Giants they would still be four and a half games out of first place. And that’s the best scenario possible. I really just hope that the Padres can at least get their first win against the Giants this year. I advise Padres fans to be prepared to see some frustrating moments in this one. Just sit back and enjoy the excellent commentary by Don Orsillo and Mark Grant, who make it as fun as possible.

Pitching Matchups

Drew Pomeranz vs Johnny Cueto 7:15 p.m.

Andrew Cashner vs Jeff Samardzija 7:15 p.m.

James Shields vs Jake Peavy 12:45 p.m.

These are some good pitching matchups that actually indicate that the Padres could take the series. Monday’s matchup should be the best one of the lot. Cueto and Pomeranz faced each other last time the Giants were in town. That game turned out to be an outstanding pitching matchup which ended in a 2-1 victory for the Giants. Pomeranz would throw six innings and only allow two runs. Our lefty is more than capable of taking this game if the offense can get something going. If Cueto throws another complete game against the Padres we might need to dub him as “The Friar Killer”. Cueto has now thrown 18 innings in which he has only allowed one run and struck out 22 against the Padres this season. This will be a tough way to start off the week for the Padres. Especially after that eternal 17 inning game from yesterday.

The pitching matchup in the second game of the series definitely favors the Giants. Cashner and Samardija did face each other earlier this year. That game turned out to be a total slug fest ending 13-9 in the Giants favor. Cashner would have a horrendous start only going two and two-thirds innings and allowing six runs to cross the plate. Samardzija would also have a rough day on the mound allowing five runs to cross the plate in five and two-thirds innings of work. Samardija did turn it completely around the last time he pitched against the Padres. “The Shark” would only allow a run and three hits in eight innings of work. This is a game which I just do not see the Padres winning.

However, I do see the Padres winning the third game of the series. The Padres have only come up against the core of the Giants rotation so far. They are yet to face Matt Cain, or former Friar, Jake Peavy. The right handed Peavy will be the man on the mound on Wednesday and he has had a rough season so far. The former Cy Young Award winner is sitting on a 1-5 record with an ERA of 8.21. For the Friars we have James Shields on the mound. Shields has had his ups and downs this year. In all fairness, Shields really has been decent. In his last start in San Francisco Shields threw seven innings and only allowed a run. The Padres are definitely more than capable of taking game three of this series. If things can go to perfection, I see the best scenario for the Padres will be taking two out of three games in this series. It will however be very difficult for that to happen with all the factors in place. So realistically the Padres may only be able to take game three of this series.

Players to watch

Credit: AP Photo
Credit: AP Photo

Melvin Upton Jr.

Melvin had a nice series against the Dodgers at Petco Park. He did only go 4-17 but he came up big when the Padres needed him. On Friday night he would come up huge with a walk-off home run. Then on Saturday night he came very close to doing the same thing he did on Friday. On Sunday Melvin provided an important RBI triple which would eventually lead the game to extra innings. Melvin was the most exiting Padre throughout the series. He also had some excellent catches in the outfield. I would like to see how Upton can do against the Giants. Melvin has struggled quite a bit against the Giants this year going 3-23 against their pitchers. It will be interesting to see how he can do, with all the extra momentum he has carried with him from the Dodgers series.

Wil Myers

Wil Myers had been in quite a slump. He did turn things around in this last series against the Dodgers. Myers went 6-17 in the series and looked quite good. On Sunday he came up big with a three-run triple (thanks Yasiel Puig). Myers also looked very solid with the glove. He really has made some gold glove type plays all series long. It had always been questioned whether Myers could play at first or not. It does seem like he is now quite comfortable at the position. Myers is another player who has struggled against the Giants as he has gone 4-24 against them this year. He does however have a home run to show for it. Let’s hope that Wil can have a nice series in the Bay Area. The Padres will need all the hitters to be on point in this series if they are to succeed.

Brandon Crawford

The UCLA alumni has been killing the Friars this season. Crawford is hitting .316 against the Padres this year with two home runs and seven RBI. Most of those numbers came from one game. On May 17 Crawford would almost single-handedly defeat the Friars. He would produce all five runs the Giants had in the game. Three would come from a home run. One from a sac-fly, and another one from an RBI double. With that type of performance, Crawford should definitely be one to have on your radar in this series.


Brett Wallace vs The Giants

With Alexi Amarista and Yangervis Solarte back from injury Wallace might not get too much playing time. Andy Green should definitely consider it in this series though. Wallace is one of the few Friars who actually has decent numbers against the Giants. In 14 at bats this season Wallace has manged to get six hits. Three of those hits being doubles. Wallace has also managed to get a couple of RBI and walks against the Giants as well. Wallace has had an outstanding OBP of .500 against the Giants this season. Wallace should definitely be a candidate to start some games up in the Bay Area.

Credit: UT San Diego
Credit: UT San Diego

Hunter Pence vs Drew Pomeranz

This matchup was featured in the last Giants preview. But something happened that makes it worth mentioning again. Pence is 4-14 against Pomeranz. The thing is all four hits have been home runs. The last time I featured this matchup Pence had three. Well in that series I was previewing, Pence only manged to get one hit off of Pomeranz, but it was a home run. This is getting a little outrageous. The fact that Pence can only literally hit home runs off of Pomeranz is insane. Pence already has two on the year. This should be one of the more interesting matchups to keep your eye on.

Alexei Ramirez vs Johnny Cueto

Alexei Ramirez seems to be the only Padres hitter that can get to Johnny Cueto. Alexei is 3-6 on the year against Cueto. He also has produced the only run the Padres have been able to score off of Cueto. These two do have some history. Ramirez has absolutely murdered Cueto. In 17 at bats Ramirez has 10 hits with a home run, a couple doubles and a couple of RBI. Alexei has a monstrous .588 OBP against Cueto in his career. If The Pads are to get some runs past Cueto expect “The Cuban Missile” to be part of the attack.


Will The Padres Look Like Contenders

Like I mentioned before even if the Padres can somehow pull off a sweep against the Giants they would still be a ways out of first. The Giants have dominated the Padres this year. They have won all six games in which they have faced each other. If the Padres can win this series, that could be a huge morale booster that can catapult the Padres onto a good run. Now all of this is highly unlikely to happen. For the Padres to even be contenders they would need to get the series sweep. They would also need to keep on winning and hope that the other teams in the division don’t. It’s tough, it really is.

If the Padres really perform bad in this series, their season is really now pretty much dead. If we see what we saw against the Mets and the Cubs then the team can be very much alive this season. It really is difficult to see how things will go. I like to be realistic. So sadly it seems that the Padres will simply not be good enough this year.  We have seen many positives this year which bring us hope for the future. Like Drew Pomeranz, Cesar Vargas, Ryan Buchter. You can also say it has been fun to watch guys like Fernando Rodney, Matt Kemp and Melvin Upton Jr. do their thing out there. Enjoy this series Padres fans and hope for the best! Go Padres!

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