Series Preview: Padres Look to Win Vedder Cup in Seattle
The Padres and Seattle Mariners square off for the final time this year with the Padres needing one win to secure the season series victory.
The Padres and Mariners, co-tenants of the Peoria Sports Complex during Spring Training, will face each other for the second time this season, this time at newly named T-Mobile Park in Seattle.
Separated by just 5 1/2 games, the Friars and Mariners (47-67) are trending in different directions. The Mariners sold off a lot of high-profile pieces and replenished a weak farm system while the Padres have built the model farm system and are starting to see the fruits of that depth, with their best record (51-60) through 111 games since 2015.
San Diego swept the two-game series in late April.
Seattle is coming off of getting swept in Houston by the red-hot Astros.
The Mariners are not without quality players despite their current rebuild. Dan Vogelbach is a fan favorite and a 2019 All-Star. He has been their most powerful hitter, leading the team with 26 home runs and a .858 OPS. Domingo Santana has 21 home runs himself, with an.809 OPS.
The Padres will not face Seattle’s best starting pitcher in Marco Gonzales, who has a 4.32 ERA and 101 ERA+ through 24 starts.
Seattle is without their best overall hitter in Mitch Haniger, who has been on the 10-day I.L. since early June. Haniger was an All-Star in 2018 when he hit 26 home runs and hit .285.
With having recently traded veteran starter Mike Leake, the M’s have not net announced a starter for Game 1 on Tuesday and may go with an “opener.”
Game 1: (Tuesday, August 6- 7:10 PM PDT) Dinelson Lamet (0-2, 5.09 ERA) vs. TBD
Game 2: (Wednesday, August 7- 3:40 PM PDT) Joey Lucchesi (7-6, 4.23 ERA) vs. Yusei Kikuchi (4-8, 5.49 ERA)
Lamet is yet to find his groove so far in 2019 after returning from Tommy John surgery. He has allowed at least three runs in three of his five starts thus far. He is yet to pitch more than five innings, which he has done in three of his five starts as well.
Lucchesi has struggled of late, with a 5.57 ERA in four starts since the All-Star break. The Padres as a team are 16th in starter ERA at 4.55.
Kikuchi has struggled for most of his first season in the major leagues since coming over from Japan. He is coming off of his worst start of the year, against the Astros, where he allowed four home runs and six earned runs in four innings. He owns a meager 80 ERA+.
Players to Watch
Hosmer has been hot of late, with a 1.162 OPS in the last week with two homers and 11 RBI. He has played in 26 career games in Seattle, with a .298 average and two home runs. He has atoned for his sluggish 2018 campaign with a strong showing so far this year, with a .283 average and 16 home runs. He is just two home runs away from his 2018 total while batting 30 points higher.
The nine-year Mariner is finally breaking out after being slowed by injuries all season. In the last week, he is hitting .389 with two home runs and a 1.310 OPS. Seager was an All-Star and Gold Glover in 2014 but has struggled to regain that form since. Having eclipsed 1,000 career hits and is now approaching 200 career home runs, Seager is one of the most recognizable Mariners that is still left on the squad. He is batting .250 with five homers in 26 games against the Padres.
Native of Escondido, CA. Lived in San Diego area for 20 years. Padres fan since childhood (mid-90s). I have been writing since 2014. I currently live near Seattle, WA and am married to a Seattle sports girl. I wore #19 on my high school baseball team for Tony Gwynn. I am a stats and sports history nerd. I attended BYU on the Idaho campus. I also love Star Wars.
Well, somebody has to comment. Mine is, forget the “Vedder Cup”, it doesn’t exist. Eddie Vedder is from the Chicago area and only stayed in San Diego long enough to learn how to surf. He moved to Seattle and only stayed there long enough to join a band. He had no connection to the two local baseball teams and was, and still is, a Cubs fan. The only rivalry was between the two long-gone PCL teams of another era. Seattle is just another interleague city.