The San Diego Padres head to the desert on the fourth of July to start a three-game set against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The two teams have met twice already with the D-backs taking two out of three in each of the other two series. Andy Green has ties with the Arizona franchise and you can be sure that he is excited at the opportunity to finally take a series from his old team.
The Padres are fresh off a set against the Yankees in which the team really played well. The offense kept on rolling and the starting pitching was excellent as well. The only hiccup would be the bullpen as they did get roughed up a bit. With the loss of Fernando Rodney, the bullpen will need to step up. Brandon Maurer and Ryan Buchter will be leaned on heavily to shoulder the load.
Tuesday- Christian Friedrich (4-3 3.96 ERA) vs. TBD
Players to Watch
He will be a player to watch for the entire rest of the season. He has truly taken his game to a whole new level. Myers provides an exciting player the Padres can build around and the fan base is certainly excited for his future with the organization. Myers is stealing bases now and looks well on his way to his goal of 20 stolen bases in the 2016 season. Although Myers has been having a bit of a rough time on the road this season, expect him to have a decent series in the hitter friendly ballpark in Arizona.
The opposing teams first baseman is certainly someone to keep an eye on. He is the best player on the D-backs and arguably one of the best hitters in the game of baseball. Goldschmidt is having a decent year with the bat so far. He is currently hitting .292 with 15 homers and 55 RBI. He has played in every D-back game so far this season. Goldschmidt is also fleet a foot so the Padres will have to pay attention to that. The slugger has stolen 11 bases already this season and stole 21 last year. Keeping Goldschmidt contained will obviously be in the Padres game plan.
The rule-5 selection has started to really blossom recently. He has proven his worth to the Padres and he is an absolute lock to remain on the team for the entire season. Perdomo has been working on his 2-seam fastball and is really getting some nice run on the pitch. Once he learns to contain the movement on that pitch and use it to his advantage he could be really special. His slider is improving and the team is also currently working with him on harnessing his split finger fastball. Perdomo has gone at least five innings in his last four starts. Last week against the Reds he went six innings allowing three runs on seven hits. A quality start and a sign that this young man is progressing.
The light hitting shortstop is usually not one to feature on a list lie this, but he is a vital member of the team for Arizona. He is only hitting .230 on the season for the D-backs but his defensive prowess is what makes him important. Ahmed is seemingly always in the correct position to rob base hits and he also hustles when on the base paths. In fact I am still waiting for retaliation for his slide on Cory Spangenberg last year. The D-back shortstop took out Spangenberg on a late slide at second base and injured his knee. In my opinion something should have been done a long time ago. Don’t look for any retaliation this series, though baseball players do have long memories.
The San Diego Padres are looking for an identity and this series could be very important in setting one. The D-backs are a huge disappointment this season after their bug splash in the winter. With only a game lead over the Padres for fourth place in the division, the D-backs must certainly play well this series. They are 3-7 in their last 10 games and the Arizona fan base has to be really up in arms. If the Padres leave the desert ahead of the D-backs in the standings, I would imagine there will be some repercussions. The pressure is on Arizona, the Padres just have to play their game and the result should be positive for the Friars.