The Boston Red Sox, led by David Ortiz head to Petco Park to take on the Padres in a rare series between theses two franchises. The last time these two teams met was in 2013 when the Red Sox swept the San Diego Padres in a three-game set. Overall the Red Sox have gotten the best of the Padres in their career meetings. The Sox have won 10 games while the Padres have won five. The current status of the Padres roster dictates that these numbers will further sway towards the Red Sox direction.
The Sox are currently one game behind the Blue Jays for first place in the American League East. They need a positive series and will not be underestimating the young Padres. With a two game lead on both the Detroit Tigers and Baltimore Orioles for the first A.L. Wild Card spot, the Sox are in San Diego to win. The Padres will have their hands full in this series. It will be a fun series though as Big Papi’s retirement tour and the circus that comes with it rolls into town. The Friars will likely give him a surfboard or something in this series. I guess that’s worth watching. As for quality Padres baseball, we can only hope.
It is September and teams are calling up their prospects. The Sox have recalled relievers Heath Hembree and Noe Ramirez. Both will probably get an opportunity to pitch in this series. The Sox also called up a young catcher named Christian Vazquez. The team has high hopes for this young man in the future. The Padres El Paso team is in a playoff run so none of their prospects will be available for this series. You will have to wait to see Hunter Renfroe, Austin Hedges, Manuel Margot and Carlos Asuaje.
Drew Pomeranz vs the Padres Offense
The left-handed pitcher will surely be extra motivated to perform on Labor Day. He is 2-3 with a 4.06 ERA in his nine starts as a Red Sox. Not horrible by any means but some within the organization expected more. There were reports the Sox were upset with some of the health issues tied to Pomeranz. This came out after the Colin Rea debacle, but nothing has been decided or even commented on by MLB. Pomeranz shouldn’t have any hard feeling towards the Padres, but this start at Petco Park will surely be an emotional one for him. Expect him to be pumped up. If he can keep his emotions in check, he could have a great night against the Friars. At the very least, expect him to strike out at least 10 batters in the game.
David Ortiz vs Buchter and Hand
I would not expect Ortiz to make any starts in Petco this week. He is strictly a DH at this point in his career. He will get at bats though. Especially if the game is on the line. That means Brad Hand and Ryan Buchter will have an opportunity to face Big Papi. Hopefully each are up for the task as he typically handles left-handed pitchers just as well as righties. The Sox will pick and choose their time to utilize their biggest weapon off the bench. Beware Padres fans.
Players to Watch
He is the man of the hour and all eyes will be on him. His retirement is close and everybody wants a piece of this man before he walks away from the game. He is currently hitting .319 with 31 homers and 107 RBI. He also owns a 1.033 OPS and at the age of 40, does not appear even close to slowing down. With 534 career home runs, he will likely be a hall-of-famer one day. He will be enshrined as the games first true DH and most have no issue with that. The man is special.
Myers at home means that he should have a great series. His home/away splits are ridiculous. Myers is hitting a cool .328 at home with 15 home runs and 46 RBI. Compare that to his road number where he is hitting .195 with nine homers and 30 RBI and you are left scratching your head. Obviously there is something mental that needs to be adjusted. He will make the proper tweaks and with that his numbers will be impressive in 2017 and beyond. Padres fans must remember he is still 25 and growing as a player. The sky is the limit for him. After a recent cold-streak, I expect a scorching hot streak to end to his 2016 season.
If the Padres see this man, then they are in trouble. He will be motivated just like Pomeranz to be dominant on the mound. It is just the Padres way. Players that have left, come back to haunt them. I can easily see Kimbrel getting three saves in this series and Pomeran pitching a complete game shutout. Perhpas its just the years of abuse I have taken as a die-hard Padres fan. Kimbrel is having another sub par year as he is 2-4 with a 2.86 ERA. That is almost a full run higher than his career ERA, so perhaps the Padres dealt him at the right time. You still can’t hate on the haul of prospects the Padres got in return for his services.