Padres Series Preview: Padres Battle Giants for Last Time in 2016

Credit: MLB Logos

Credit: Kenny Karst-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Kenny Karst-USA TODAY Sports

The San Diego Padres are coming off a solid series against the Arizona Diamondbacks in which they took two out of three games.

Pitching would be the main attribute of that series as the Padres would only allow seven runs throughout the three games.

Now the Padres move on with the home stand to face the San Francisco Giants for a four-game series. The Padres-Giants series’ this season have been more unpredictable than the game of baseball itself. The Padres would have a rough start to the season against the Bay Area rivals as they would lose nine straight games to them.

Well the second half of the season would be a lot different as the Giants are currently one of the worst looking teams in baseball. The team has completely fallen apart and chances at a title seem slim to say the least. The Padres have now won six straight games against the Giants. That is insane when you consider that the same team beat the Padres nine straight times earlier in the season.

Surely a sweep by either team is not possible in this four game series. Four game series sweeps are highly unlikely and I’m sure that will not be the case in this series. Something that is likely though is that we will see some great baseball throughout this series. Hopefully the Padres can pull off the upset, but it is very hard to say what team will come out on top.

Pitching Matchups

Jeff Samardzija vs Christian Friedrich 7:10 p.m.

Albert Suarez vs Edwin Jackson 7:40 p.m.

Madison Bumgarner vs Jarred Cosart 5:40 p.m.

TBA vs Clayton Richard 1:40 p.m.

Offense isn’t really the strong suit for the San Francisco Giants. In fact the Giants have not scored over three runs in the last five games. That is not good at all when you look at teams that are thought to be inferior to them. The reason Bruce Bochy and the Giants have built this dynasty has been because of pitching. We will see some great pitching matchups in this series. Don’t expect too many runs to be scored throughout this series. Also expect to see some nice performances by the Padres pitchers. I definitely feel that the Padres have a strong chance in this series.

Matchups

Jeff Samardzija vs Christian Friedrich

To me this is one of the more interesting matchups of the series. It is also the series opener which comes with some importance. Keep in mind that the encounters between these two teams have only been sweeps. So if the trend continues the first team to win will likely keep on winning. Of course there really is no actual “trends” in baseball. Especially when it comes to the 2016 Padres season. However I do feel that the first team to win will have an edge over their opponent. As far as the matchup itself, it is quite an interesting one. Jeff Samardzija has been a nice addition to the Giants in 2016. “The Shark” has had a solid season going 11-10 with a 3.97 ERA. However Samardzija has struggled heavily against the Padres in the second half of the season. In two starts since the all-star break Samardzija has allowed  eight runs against the Padres with three home runs. If Christian Friedrich can have a solid start the Padres will have a great chance at victory. Friedrich has been solid for the Padres this season. He has not always been amazing, but he has actually helped the team quite a bit. He has also provided some very strong outings throughout the season. Friedrich would do okay in his last start as he would give up four runs and strike out five in five innings of work. This would come against the very strong offense of the Colorado Rockies. I feel that Friedrich will provide a solid outing to start off this series. Hopefully he can and hopefully nothing goes wrong either as Friedrich has pitched twice the amount of innings he did in the 2015 season.

Credit: USA Today Sports
Credit: USA Today Sports

Padres vs Madison Bumgarner

There have actually been a few Friars who have found success against one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball. The most obvious one would be Wil Myers. We are also of course playing at Petco which makes it extra interesting for Myers. Wil has gone 5-12 against Mad Bum with a walk, two doubles and a home run. Another Friar who has been successful against the lefty has been Adam Rosales. Rosales might not get the playing time now with all the prospects up. But it would be wise to start him against Bumgarner. Adam has gone 3-12 against Bumgarner with a walk a double and a home run as well. Rosales is one of three Friars to go yard off Bumgarner. The other two being Myers of course and Matt Kemp as well. Another Padre who has found success against the lengthy lefty would be Luis Sardinas. Sardinas has gone 3-4 against the all-star pitcher this season. One more Friar to add to the list would be Brett Wallace. Wallace hasn’t shown up too much as of late. But he has gone 2-3 against the former World Series MVP with a double. Maybe a pinch hit opportunity would be the best shout for Wallace to get an AB against the lefty. One more thing to consider is that the Padres have beaten Bumgarner already twice this season. Jarred Cosart is yet to beat them, with one very shaky start against them this season. But I feel that the Padres will have the edge in this game. I know, it sounds crazy.

Players To Watch

Padres Top Prospects

The moment has finally come, what every Friar fan has been waiting for. The El Paso Chihuahuas season has come to a close. That means that some of the Padres top-tier prospects have been called up to the bigs. In fact we will have Hunter Renfroe, Carlos Asuaje, Manuel Margot and Austin Hedges in Thursday night’s lineup. The future is now Padres fans. These are some of the players that are thought to save this franchise. These are truly exciting times to be a Padres fan. We’ll start by looking at Austin Hedges. Hedges of course is no longer a prospect in fact he should be our starting catcher for the 2017 season. He should have been our starter this season with the type of season Derek Norris is having. Norris is just about the worst starting catcher in all of baseball. The man is hitting under the Mendoza line. That is a clear indicator of when a player either belongs on the bench or not in the big leagues at all. I mean I saw him collect a platinum sombrero the other day against the Diamondbacks. He should not be in the lineup and he should especially not be batting ahead of Luis Sardinas. Hedges is a huge upgrade to have behind the plate day in and day out. He has always had questions of his offense and if it is good enough. But let’s face it there’s no way he can be any worse than Derek Norris.

We now take a look at the Boston package of Asuaje and Margot. These two have risen within the ranks and are now highly regarded as some top-tier prospects. Both look to be very promising having batted over .300 at the Triple-A level. Collectively they also managed to hit 15 home runs. Now let’s remember that Ryan Schimpf had success in El Paso and it did transcend into the MLB. I feel that these two are definitely more developed than many other players their age. I am just buzzing to see how they will fare in their first few MLB at bats. We finally look at the farm grown, Hunter Renfroe. Renfroe has been in the Padres organization for several years now and has definitely impressed. I feel that he will definitely be a starter in the 2017 season. Renfroe killed it in El Paso this season batting over .300 with 30 home runs and 105 RBI. Again we take a look at Ryan Schimpf who hit 15 home runs in EL Paso and now is at nearly 20 with the major league team. Renfroe looks to be MLB ready and definitely looks very promising. All of these kids look to be very promising to the franchise. They of course will be the main attraction of the series. Let’s see if the kids and the Padres can perform to bring us an action packed series. Go Padres!

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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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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.