Padres Series Preview: Padres Start Road Trip at AT&T Park

Credit: AP Photo
Credit: AP Photo

The San Diego Padres just wrapped up an exciting series against the Colorado Rockies at Petco Park which ended in a four-game split.

The Padres would really have a nice showing in the series, especially in terms of pitching. Three out of the four Padres starting pitchers would have quality outings. In fact two of them (Clayton Richard/Christian Friedrich) would throw seven shutout innings each.

The offense would also be solid in the series as they would score 23 runs. Padres hitter put the ball in play much better in this series. Jon Gray who had been a menace to the Padres this year only managed to get three strikeouts in his outing. The Padres will now move on to face the Giants in a three-game series at AT&T Park.

If the Padres can continue to play like they did against the Rockies we should be in for quite a competitive series. The Giants have of course, for the most part dominated the Padres all year-long. Well the Giants really are not the same team that we saw earlier in the season. This Giants team has been struggling severely in the second half of the season.

The Giants are 20-32 in the second half of this 2016 season. They are now in second place in the N.L. West but are still leading the N.L. Wild Card. However, if the Giants continue to play like they have been then they will not make the playoffs. Among the Giants second half blunders are a series sweep by the Padres at Petco Park. The Padres can certainly take this series,but  it won’t be easy. This will definitely be an interesting series which should be jam-packed full of action.

Pitching Matchups

Paul Clemens vs Jeff Samardzija 7:15 p.m.

Clayton Richard vs Albert Suarez 7:15 p.m.

Luis Perdomo vs Madison Bumgarner 12:45 p.m.

The pitching matchups in this series on paper may indicate that the Padres have no shot in this series. Well that isn’t necessarily true upon further examination. One thing is for certain though, the Padres almost have no chance at all in the series opener. No it’s not about who’s on the mound for the Giants, it’s the fact that Paul Clemens will be on the mound for the Friars. The Giants could have Pablo Sandoval on the mound and we still wouldn’t really stand a chance. Paul Clemens is just about the most unstable pitcher on the Padres staff. Really I hope that he can put my words back in my mouth but I just can’t see him tossing a quality start. His numbers in his last three starts are downright horrific at an ERA of 7.30. To top it off he will be facing a tough opponent in Jeff Samardzija. “The Shark” has been great for the Giants in his last three starts posting an ERA of 2.50. He has also been great against the Padres this season going undefeated at 3-0 with an ERA of 3.91 and striking out 26 Padres batters as well. The Padres will struggle to try to catch this Shark to start off this series.

The second game of the series should actually be easier for the Padres. Especially with their new ace, Clayton Richard on the mound. Richard had another quality start his last time out throwing seven shutout innings against the Colorado Rockies. Richard now stand on a minuscule 1.15 ERA since joining the Padres and should be due for another strong start on Tuesday night. He won’t have the toughest of opponents in this game as he will face Albert Suarez. Suarez has actually been decent for the Giants allowing three runs or fewer in all of his starts so far. But I really feel like he is quite beatable for Richard and the Padres. We will have to see how it all pans out on Tuesday, for now I am predicting a Padres victory in this one.

The series finale will bring us a very interesting matchup. The Padres will have Luis Perdomo on the hill. Perdomo has been good for the Padres this season and seems to get better as the season progresses. However he is coming off some tough starts against the Rockies and the Dodgers. Perdomo would allow four runs against the Rox and five runs against the Dodgers. He would also struggle in his last start against the Giants allowing three runs on eight hits through four and two-thirds. All arrows point towards Madison Bumgarner and the Giants taking the series finale. But you just really never know with Perdomo, he can go out there and amaze everyone. He will have a very tough task in Madison Bumgarner. Mad Bum is still one of the premier pitchers in baseball with a 14-8 record and an ERA of 2.61. He has also done well against the Padres this season going 2-1 with an ERA of 2.91. The important thing to look at here is that the Padres have manged to beat Bumgarner before. The Friars are capable of doing it again, for now I have no prediction for this game. I just expect to see a hard-fought game that won’t be easy for either team. This series overall should pan out to be of that nature. Rather than the dominance we have seen by the Giants for the most part this season.

Players To Watch

Hunter Pence

The Giants really have not been known for big hitters since the days of Barry Bonds. Just to put it in perspective the guy with the most home runs on the Giants currently is Brandon Belt with only 15 on the season. Even Ryan Schimpf has more than that. Hunter Pence is of course one of the more menacing names you will find in this Giants lineup. Pence definitely has potential to be a big hitter but injuries have impeded that from happening. Even so Pence is still one of the top hitters the Giants have. Pence has had a great season batting .293 with 11 homers and 47 RBI. Pence has been on fire in his recent games with a .379 BA in his last seven. He also had an amazing game his last time out. Going 3-3 with a home run. Another reason to keep your eye on Pence in this series is because he has absolutely destroyed the Friars this season. In eight games Pence has a .478 BA with eight RBI and two home runs. I believe Pence will keep that trend alive and continue to cause problems to the Padres. Make sure to keep a close watch on Pence and his unorthodox batting stance in this series.

Ryan Schimpf

Ryan Schimpf is really one of the big reasons why I still get excited about watching Padres games. With nothing to really play for anymore there has to be somebody who keeps it interesting. We certainly know that Wil Myers hasn’t done that as of late. The way things are going we may even see Schimpf end the season with more home runs than Myers. That would really be something incredible right there. Myers has definitely slowed it down only hitting one home run in his past 23 games. Schimpf on the other hand seems to be hitting a dinger in just about every series. Schimpf is now at 18 home runs on the season. That really is amazing, as mentioned before he already has more home runs than any Giants player. We could be seeing the next Brian Dozier right here in Ryan Schimpf. If Schimpf had played full-time in the majors this season who knows maybe we could have seen him at 39 home runs at some point like the Twins infielder. Schimpf is definitely a must watch player in any series that the Padres play this season. Let’s hope that Schimpf and the Padres can keep the excitement going in this series. Go Padres.

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