After a 3-3 home stand, the Padres travel to the Arizona desert to face their division rivals, the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Arizona is coming off a series win against the Dodgers over the weekend. The Padres and D-Backs played last week in San Diego and the Padres won two out of three in the series.
Arizona’s bats were on fire in their series against L.A.
Cuban slugger, Yasmany Tomas, has been on tear over the last week, including a two-home run game on Saturday. It’s safe to say that San Diego’s starters will face a tall order in Arizona against Tomas, Goldschmidt, and the rest of the D-Back lineup.
This one is a rematch of last week’s fabulous pitching duel. Both pitchers had great command for the entire game, and it was an Erick Aybar home run in the 8th inning that decided the game in favor of Chacin and the Padres. Monday could be a different story because the Venezuelan has been great at Petco and awful on the road so far this year.
This is also a rematch from last week. Last Thursday, the Padres had success off the D-Backs’ hard-thrower, as Wil Myers and Erick Aybar managed extra base hits. On that night, the D-Backs had their chances against Richard, as they left nine runners on base. The big left-hander will need to be on top of his game in order to shut down Arizona’s high-powered offense.
An argument could be made that Cahill has been the Padres’ best starter so far this year. The San Diego native has been steady during his outings and has performed like a savvy veteran. Arizona will have the talented, but inconsistent Walker on the mound. Walker’s last start was on Friday, and he went 5.2 innings, allowing seven hits and four earned runs, so it’s safe to expect the Padres to have success against him.
For the series finale, the Padres will give the ball to veteran, Jered Weaver, who was very solid in his last outing against Miami on Saturday. He went six innings, allowing two runs and four hits. He will face youngster, Robbie Ray. So far he’s been solid this year for the Snakes.
Matchups to watch
Zack Greinke vs the Padres rookies
Last Wednesday, Greinke was throwing a masterpiece at Petco Park until Aybar’s home run. I’m curious to see what adjustments Manuel Margot, Hunter Renfroe, and Austin Hedges will make. Being a major league player is all about making adjustments, and facing Greinke for a second time in a week will give the youngsters a chance to show how fast can they adjust.
Jhoulys Chacin vs Tomas and Goldschmdt
Last Wednesday, Chacin pitched a very smart game as he changed speed and kept the D-Back hitters off-balance. But make no mistake about it, Tomas and Goldchmidt are all-star-caliber sluggers, and will no doubt make the necessary adjustments for Monday’s game against the Padres hurler.
Players to watch
Austin Hedges: After a horrible beginning to his season, the young catcher has been on fire during the last week or so, hitting 3 HR in a 3-game span. Obviously he won’t hit homers every game, but he’s shown patience and a work ethic in order to break out of his early season slump.
Yasmany Tomas: Back in the winter of 2014, it was rumored that the Padres loved everything about the Cuban slugger. He ultimately signed with Arizona and has been everything the D-Backs could have hoped. He has the ability to drive the ball with ease to all fields, and is a much more disciplined hitter than fellow Cuban, Yasiel Puig.
Arizona has always been a tough place to play for the Friars (Remember 07?). I think Chacin will continue to struggle away from San Diego, and there’s no way Arizona leaves nine runners on base again when facing Clayton Richard. I think Arizona takes the first two of the series. But I also think that Cahill will be very solid, and that the Padres offense will come to life versus the inconsistent Walker. For the finale, I expect Weaver to hold his own, and give the Padres a quality start in order to get a series split in the desert.