The Padres are finally starting to get into some kind of groove, and it has led to some late inning heroics that have won them their past 3 games. Now they hope to keep those wins coming, and to completely kill all of the momentum coming from the resurgent Dodgers.
The Padres will send Tyson Ross (6-6, 3.27 ERA) to the mound tonight. Ross has hit a bit of a rough patch, allowing 5 or more runs in 3 of his last 5 starts. But since this bump in the road began, for every bad start he’s had, he has also had a good one. If he stays on schedule, tonight should be a good one, but obviously we can’t rely on that logic. In his last start he showed some serious command issues, allowing a season-high 7 walks.
This allowed the light hitting Mariners to scratch across 5 runs against him, but this deep Dodgers’ lineup, the one that tagged him for 5 runs earlier this season, will be a little less forgiving. If the control issues do persist, it may be the sign of an injury. Since his first 2 starts, which he struggled in every way imaginable, he’s allowed more than 3 walks only once, and command issues just don’t pop up out of the blue.
Countering him will be veteran righty Josh Beckett (4-4, 2.49 ERA). His resurgence has been nothing short of incredible. When he came to LA, he looked washed up with no real shot of returning to his All Star form. Then he suffered a nerve related injury that threatened his career. Remarkably, he was able to bounce back, and is on pace to post his highest strikeout rate since 2008, and the lowest ERA of his career, but sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good. His 4.03 FIP suggests that his incredible numbers may start to normalize, even if that’s still better than expected. Hopefully he’ll start to normalize tonight against the Padres.
This a big game for the Padres. If they were to win tonight, they’d have secured themselves their first series win since they played Chicago at the end of May into early June. It’d be an especially sweet series win too, because it’s against a division rival.
Starting tonight in left field will be rookie Jake Goebbert, who was acquired in the Kyle Blanks trade. This will be his first ever start in the majors, coming just one night after notching his first career hit and RBI as pinch hitter in last night’s victory. Hopefully this will begin a long and fruitful career for Goebbert in San Diego.
First pitch is at 7:10 PDT.
Keep the Faith.