San Diego Padres Series Preview: Padres Take on the Giants in San Francisco

Credit: MLB Logos

Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

The San Diego Padres travel to San Francisco to take on the Giants in a short, two-game series.

A change of scenery may be just what the San Diego Padres need right now, as their ten-game stay in San Diego did not go well.

The Friars lost two of three to the Miami Marlins and the Philadelphia Phillies then split a four-game series with the Washington Nationals. At the end of May when the team returned from a road trip with stops in Toronto and New York, San Diego had a 29-27 record and sat in second place eight games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers.

After Sunday’s loss to the Nationals, thanks to four home runs in seven pitches off reliever Craig Stammen, the Padres now have a .500 record (33-33). The team has fallen to fourth place behind every team in the division but the cellar dweller San Francisco Giants. In the good news department, the Padres will not have to face Madison Bumgarner in the two-game series in the Bay Area.

So far this year, the Padres have had their way with the Giants winning five of seven games. Of course the Padres have to win on the field, not on paper, and Friday night San Francisco beat the Dodgers and Clayton Kershaw.

Game 1 (Tuesday, June 11, 6:45 PDT)

Chris Paddack 4-4, 2.97 ERA, 0.89 WHIP vs. Tyler Beede 0-2, 8.15 ERA, 2.21 WHIP

Paddack started the year looking invincible, but as teams have adjusted he’s come back down to earth a bit. In his last outing against the Philadelphia Phillies on June 4, Paddack pitched just 4.1 innings, giving up eight hits and six runs, five earned, in a 6-9 loss.  Facing the Giants should provide an opportunity for the young pitcher to rebound. In just 10 at-bats against the 23-year-old right-hander, the Giants have a batting line of .200/.273/.300/.573.

Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Beede has pitched a total of 17.2 innings so far this season, giving up 19 hits, 11 earned runs with  14 strikeouts and 11 walks.  Drafted by the Giants in the first round in 2014, he has faced only three Padres: Franchy Cordero, Austin Hedges, and Joey Lucchesi in a total of six at-bats.

Game 2 (Wednesday, June 12, 6:45 PDT)

TBA vs. Shaun Anderson 1-1, 4.18 ERA, 1.36 WHIP

Thanks to conflicting information from a variety of sources, either Joey Lucchesi (5-3, 4.21 ERA, 1.13 WHIP) or Cal Quantrill, (1-2, 4.85 ERA. 1.35 WHIP) will start for the Padres in Game 2.

Lucchesi’s last three starts have ended in victories against the Toronto Blue Jays, the Miami Marlins and the Nationals.  The Giants collectively have managed just a .231/.256/.308/.564 batting line against Lucchesi.

Of his five starts, Quantrill had the good fortune to pitch six innings of the Padres’ 19-4 thrashing of the Blue Jays.  He’s been traveling back and forth between El Paso and San Diego so far this season.  The 24-year-old right-hander has not faced the Giants or any of their hitters in his young career.

At 24 years of age, Anderson has yet to face any of the current Padres players.  In his last game against the New York Mets, he pitched six innings, giving up six hits and three runs in a loss.  The start before that against the Baltimore Orioles he pitched seven innings in an 8-2 victory.

 Players to Watch

Fernando Tatis Jr.

As catcher Austin Hedges said recently, Tatis Jr. is the Padres’ sparkplug.  Although he’s just 20 years old, he can make a difference in every aspect of a baseball game. After years of a black hole at shortstop, Tatis, coupled with Machado at third, improves the infield defense immeasurably. So far, he’s batting .315/.379/.577/.956 with seven home runs, 10 walks, and 15 RBI.

Credit: Padres

Manny Machado

Machado did not play Sunday so that he will have had two days off. Machado’s defense has been as advertised, and he has helped solidify the infield, especially in Tatis Jr.’s absence. However, he has gotten off to a slow start at the plate in San Diego and has the lowest batting average (.242) of his career so far this season.

 Brandon Belt

Belt leads San Francisco in multiple categories including batting average .249, home runs 9, RBI 27, OBP .368.  In the Giants’ victory over the Dodgers, Belt walked after a nine-pitch at-bat and ended up scoring one of San Francisco’s two runs.

Pablo Sandoval

The rather rotund Panda can still hit.  This year he’s batting .273/.309/.563/.871.  However, his defense leaves much to be desired.

While the Padres have emerged from a rebuild to play .500 or above baseball so far this season, the Giants (26-38) face multiple decisions both on and off the field.  Longtime manager Bruce Bochy will retire after this season, and the team’s president and CEO Larry Baer was suspended by MLB for an ugly incident caught on camera in which his wife ended up falling out of a chair onto the pavement. San Francisco also ranks third oldest at 29.6 years in all of baseball.  In November last year, the Giants hired Farhan Zaidi, formerly of the Oakland A’s and the Dodgers to revamp the team.  In the meantime, the San Francisco boasts three World Series titles since 2010, while the Padres still search for their first.

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