Padres Series Preview: San Diego Padres vs Arizona Diamondbacks

Credit: UT San Diego
Credit: UT San Diego

If you could only use one word to describe the San Diego Padres season so far it would have to be “inconsistency”. The Padres of course did not score a single run in the opening series against the Dodgers. After that the Friars went on to score 32 in a three-game series at Coors Field.

Now most recently and most surprisingly of all the Padres were held to only five runs in a four-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies. Not only should the Padres have won this series but they should have done it without any complications.

Instead the Pads were held to only five runs and were absolutely demolished by 23 year old Vincent Velasquez yesterday, as he got a complete game shutout while striking out 16. Now the Padres will host the Arizona Diamondbacks in a three game set at Petco Park.

The Diamondbacks, who had a tremendous off season, picking up two of the best pitchers of the 2015 season in Zack Greinke and Shelby Miller. have really not lived up to expectations in this early 2016 season as they are last in the N.L. West along side your San Diego Padres. This series should be an important one for both teams and we should be in store for some great pitching match ups and great games overall at Petco Park this weekend.

Pitching Matchups

Zack Greinke vs James Shields 7:40 PM

Shelby Miller vs Andrew Cashner 5:40 PM

Patrick Corbin vs Robbie Erlin 1:40 PM

Pitching has not been the problem recently for the Friars as the most runs the Padres gave up in a game in the Phillies series was three. If the offense can get going for the Padres at Petco Park this weekend I don’t see why the Padres can’t take the series against the D-backs.

Credit: AP Photo
Credit: AP Photo

All of these pitching matchups have great potential. James Shields goes in game one for the Padres. The Diamondbacks have quite a nice lineup who can make “Big Game James” pay for his mistakes. Shields will have quite a tough pitching matchup as Zack Greinke will oppose him for Arizona. Now Greinke hasn’t really looked all that good to kick off 2016 giving up 11 runs in 10 innings, but lets not forget the type of history Greinke has against the Padres, in 12 games the former Cy Young Award winner has an outstanding ERA of 1.56 with 75 punch outs and has only allowed 16 walks and two home runs by Padres batters.

Needless to say the first game of the series will not be an easy one for the inconsistent offense of the San Diego Padres. Saturday nights game could end in a complete slug fest as both Cashner and Miller have ERAs of 8.00 or higher. In reality both of these pitchers are very talented and also its Petco Park, so we should be in store for another good one there.

Finally the most interesting of the three match ups Patrick Corbin against Robbie Erlin. This matchup is quite intriguing due to the fact that almost none of the batters of both teams have faced either Corbin or Erlin. Erlin who has looked more than sharp with an ERA of under one, will have his first start of the season at the pitching fortress which is Petco Park. Judging by the fact of how good Erlin has looked in what are considered “hitter friendly” ballparks in his two recent outings, Erlin should be due to have quite a nice game on Sunday afternoon.

Players To Watch

Alexi Amarista

Since getting called up to replace the injured Yangervis Solarte, “little ninja” looked pretty decent with five hits in 10 at bats. Amarista also also got an RBI in the Philles series via a safety squeeze off an Aaron Nola curve ball. Amarista of course will play in his first game at Petco Park in 2016 and certainly many fans still love the “little ninja” and will be quite exited to see him back in San Diego. While Alexi had a disastrous 2015 campaign he is a fun player to watch out there who can provide some solid glove work as well, and as proved by that safety squeeze, he is a team player as well. If Amarista can keep up what hes doing so far with the bat, he should be able to stay with the team after Solarte is back from injury.

Credit: UT San Diego
Credit: UT San Diego

Wil Myers

Wil Myers struggled severely in the Phillies series as he only got one hit.  While that one hit was a home run in game one against Aaron Nola, one hit in a four game series in Philly isn’t quite what you want to be seeing out of your clean up hitter. I believe Myers is due to have a nice weekend because while the D-backs pitching staff can be threatening they really haven’t proved to be as of late. The former rookie of the year should definitely look to try and take full advantage of that.

Paul Goldschmidt

Simply one of the best players in baseball. Goldy has been a force to be reckoned with for a few years now and has proved to be quite a burden on the Padres. In 71 games Goldschmidt has 65 hits including 11 homers and 46 walks. Putting him at a career .394 OBP against the Padres. Goldy is just one of those players you always want to watch out for in any series he takes a part in. He should prove to be a key factor if the Diamondbacks are to come up triumphant against the Padres this weekend.

Jean Segura

With a batting average of .395 Segura has been the best hitter for the Diamondbacks. After his all star season of 2013 Segura fell off a bit for a couple seasons but if he can continue his success at the plate he should be able to have a really nice year for the Snakes. Apart from having a really hot start to 2016 Segura has killed it in his 27 at bats at Petco Park. In those 27 at bats the Dominican has hit for a .370 BA along with a really nice OBP of .433. Hopefully Jean can not cause us to much damage this series, but if someone from the D-backs is going to cause the Friars trouble this weekend you can count on Jean Segura to be the man to do so.

Matchups

David Peralta vs James Shields

Wow talk about success in a very small window. In just eight at bats the Venezuelan outfielder has pulverized James Shields. Peralta has four hits in those eight at bats but if that’s not impressive enough one of those hits is a double and two of those hits have been home runs. Still not impressed? Well to add to that Peralta has also gotten three walks off of Shields. All of that sums up to an absolutely monstrous OBP of .636 for Peralta off of James Shields. Look out daily fantasy baseball players!

Credit: USA Today Sports
Credit: USA Today Sports

Matt Kemp vs Zack Grienke

Now Beast Mode hasn’t been all that successful against his former teammate. In 17 at bats Kemp has gotten four hits which isn’t too bad, but its also not too impressive. The number that really leaped out at me is that Kemp has manged to get three walks out of Zack and getting just one walk out of Grienke is not an easy thing to do. To put it to perspective Jon Jay has been more successful against Greinke with eight hits in 25 at bats but in those 25 at bats he is yet to have been able to get a walk out of him. Look for Kemp to try and take full advantage of Grienke’s uneasy start to 2016.

Story Lines

How can Andy Green fair against his old team?

Apart from playing a couple of seasons with the Diamondbacks Andy Green spent last year as the Diamondbacks third base coach and had spent a few years before that at the helm of the D-backs affiliate the Mobile Bay Bears. Green was quite successful in Alabama wining Southern League Manager of The Year back to back in 2013 and 2014. It’ll be interesting to see just how Green can fair against his old team and also see if the skipper can use any of the experiences he has had with players or coaches to his advantage.

Can The Padres Offense Continue It’s Inconsistency?

Here I am complaining about how the Padres have been extremely inconsistent but actually if the Padres can be inconsistent from what we saw in Philly that is a huge positive. As mentioned before the Padres only got a measly five runs in a four game series against the Phillies. Lets hope that the Padres can certainly change that around and put up a few runs on the board to help out some of this consistent pitching we have seen as of late. Im not saying the Padres will win this series. I mean I said the Padres could sweep the Phillies, and look how that turned out. But realistically this Diamondbacks team has not been all that great to kick off 2016 and the Padres should be able to at the very least put up a fighting chance this weekend at Petco Park.

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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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