Padres hit the road for weekend series against Giants


Credit: NBC Sports

Padres vs. Giants series preview.

The San Diego Padres head to the Bay Area for a weekend series against the first-place San Francisco Giants.

It will be the Padres first trip in 2021 to Oracle Park, a stadium that has seen San Diego produce a 10-6 record against the Giants in the previous two seasons.

The Padres and Giants are facing off for the second consecutive weekend, the first of which San Diego won two of three games at Petco Park.

Both teams come in with stellar pitching staffs that are big reasons for their strong starts in a division that pits them with the world champion Los Angeles Dodgers. Though the Giants have had a more productive offense early on this season, the Padres pitching staff is putting up numbers that rank them among baseball’s best.

San Diego comes into the series in San Francisco, leading baseball in ERA (2.76), strikeouts (350), opponent batting average (.203), and innings pitched (290).   They also rank second in baseball in WHIP (1.12), which is just another stat that tells the story of the significance of the Padres’ staff.

Last weekend in San Diego, the Padres were able to win the series by showcasing the dominance of their pitching staff.  While the offense was inconsistent like it has been most of the season, the pitching staff held the Giants in check in their two wins while striking out 38 San Francisco hitters in the series.

Though the series will feature familiar pitchers in the first two games, the third will feature a familiar foe of San Diego making his first start since the middle of April matched up with an unknown Padres’ pitcher due to injury issues, to Chris Paddack.

Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Friday night’s game one – 6:45 PM –  will kick off the series with a rematch of last Saturday’s matchup featuring Padres’ left-hander Blake Snell and Giants’ righty Anthony DeSclafani.  Snell (1-0; 3.51 ERA) had his most effective start of the season that night, striking out six in five innings of work while allowing one earned run.

“I’ve got to go deeper into the games, which is consistency in the strike zone…We’ll get there,” said an unsatisfied but hopeful Snell after the outing.  Snell is clearly not quite where he expects himself to be with his performances and will look to continue his progress.

DeSclafani (2-1; 2.00 ERA) rebounded in his first start against the Padres after giving up a three-run home run to Manny Machado in the first to pitch six innings without allowing any more runs.  Through 11 innings this year, the Padres have scored four runs off the righty, having seen him early and often.

Game two, 1:05 PM, will see Padres’ righty Joe Musgrove (2-3; 2.38 ERA) face off against Kevin Gausman (2-0; 2.04 ERA).  Gausman threw six strong innings against the Friars in Sunday’s game last week, shutting down the Padres by striking out six and allowing few chances for the Padres to catch a rhythm.

Musgrove will look to bounce back after a struggling that day, allowing five earned runs through five strenuous innings.

Game three, 1:05 first pitch, will conclude the three-game series and will see a return to the mound for Gaints’ veteran Johnny Cueto.  In three starts before his April injury, Cueto put up a 1.80 ERA and 18 strikeouts in 20 innings pitched.

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The Padres will look to throw a wrench in Cueto’s return start, though they are still without a starter locked in for Sunday.  Due to injuries in the starting rotation that have created some wrinkles, the spot usually filled by Paddack is still being figured out.  Jayce Tingler has been close to the chest on a lot of decisions this season, and this is no different.

With first place up for grabs this weekend in San Francisco, it will be interesting to see who Tingler decides to throw out on Sunday, with many options still in play.

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