For the second year in a row, the Padres (29-40) start an unorthodox 4-game series against the Seattle Mariners (35-34). The two teams meet for 2 games up in Seattle then fly right down for 2 more in San Diego. These two teams split last year’s home-and-away series 2 a piece. The Mariners are probably the closest thing the Padres have to an American League rival, as they share a Spring Training facility in Peoria, AZ.
Game 1 in Seattle tonight will feature Tyson Ross (6-5, 2.97 ERA) against former Padre Chris Young (5-4, 3.68 ERA). The 6’10″ right hander pitched the better part of 5 seasons with San Diego, racking up 33 wins and 489 strikeouts. Ross has been arguably the best pitcher, maybe even the best player on the Padres roster in 2014. He has at least been consistent.
Game 2 has the struggling Eric Stults (2-8, 5.79 ERA) against Roenis Elias (5-5, 4.13 ERA). Elias is coming off a rough, 6-run, 3.1 inning outing against the Yankees. Stults has allowed 14 runs in his last 3 starts.
When the series moves to San Diego, it will be a pitching clinic as Andrew Cashner (2-6, 2.47 ERA) takes the mound against Mariners ace Felix Hernandez (8-2, 2.29). “King Felix” is having one of his best years, he is 2nd in the AL in strikeouts with 112.
The finale will feature Jesse Hahn (1-1, 3.72 ERA) fresh off his amazing performance against the Mets when he pitched 6 innings and only allowed one hit. The Mariners have not announced a pitcher for Thursday’s finale.
The Mariners are hitting .238 as a team. They actually have a better team ERA than the Padres with 3.37 compared to San Diego’s 3.50. The Mariners do have some quality hitters, one being Robinson Cano. The power numbers have not quite been there this year but he is hitting .327 with 36 RBI. Kyle Seager is having a breakout season with 9 HRs, 42 RBI and a team-leading 15 doubles.
The key to a series win for the Padres will be hitting, plain and simple. The Mariners can pitch well. Expect this series to be a low scoring one, on account of all 4 games being played in pitcher-friendly parks. The Padres’ hitters must step up if the they are going to win this series.