It’s no secret the Padres are in a bit of a slump. They’ve dropped their last 4 games, but tonight they hope to change their fortunes in game 2 of this 4-game set against the Chicago Cubs.
Hoping to lead the Padres out of this short rut their in, is Tim Stauffer (1-0, 2.41 ERA), who is making his first major league start in over two years. Stauffer has carved out a nice spot in the Padres’ bullpen for himself after struggling to keep himself in the rotation. He had seemed to finally find his home, but tonight he needs to get back into the frame of mind of a starter. Despite his struggles in the rotation, it had almost nothing to do with his performance at home. When starting in Petco Park, he owns a 3.07 ERA and the Padres have won 5 of his last 7 here in downtown San Diego. Hopefully his long layoff from starting won’t be too much of a detriment to Stauffer, and he can find a way to get himself deep into the ballgame and the Padres a win.
Going for the Cubs tonight will be Edwin Jackson (3-3, 3.98 ERA). The Padres seem to be getting him at bad time. as he is coming off a dominant outing against the hot-hitting Brewers. He tossed 7 innings of shutout ball, allowing just 4 hits, and striking out 11. The good thing is over the course of his career, for every good start Jackson has, he’ll have an equally as bad one to balance it out. Hopefully the Padres’ faithful will be able to rattle the Cubs’ righty, and the Padres will able to finally get their offense going against him.
Two guys who are primed for success tonight are Seth Smith and Yonder Alonso. Smith’s .433 batting average in the month of May is the highest of any hitter with at least 50 plate appearances this month, and is on pace to be the second highest of any Padres’ hitter in May, second to only Tony Gwynn who hit .447 in May of 1997. Alonso should be happy to see Edwin Jackson starting tonight. He’s 6-for-12 against him and his 6 hits off of him is good for the second most he has against any one opposing pitcher.
Tonight could be the night the bats finally wake up and lead the Padres to the first victory in nearly a week. First pitch will be at 7:10 PDT.