The Padres (32-44) head to San Francisco to face the first-place Giants (45-30) for 3 games. The Padres are coming off a series loss to the Dodgers. The Giants head into this series having lost 6 of their last 8 games. The Giants have been hit with injuries lately. They will be without Brandon Belt in this series and possibly even Mike Morse.
For Game 1 on Monday, the Padres will call up Cuban right-hander Odrisamer Despaigne to start for the injured Andrew Cashner. Despaigne started 5 games for El Paso (Triple-A) and was 1-3 with a 7.61 ERA. He did have 29 strikeouts in 23.2 innings. He’s had a couple rough outings but he is a solid pitcher. The Giants will throw Matt Cain (1-5, 4.52 ERA) against the Friars. Cain has allowed 11 runs in his last 2 starts.
Game 2 features the young Jesse Hahn (2-1, 2.16 ERA) against veteran Tim Hudson (7-3, 2.39 ERA). Hahn has had 2 very strong starts in a row, pitching 13 innings, not allowing any runs and striking out 14. Hudson was tagged with 7 earned runs in his last start against the White Sox. Hudson last pitched against San Diego on April 30th when he pitched 8.2 innings, allowing 2 runs on 5 hits.
The finale will have Ian Kennedy (5-8, 3.90 ERA) against former ace Tim Lincecum (5-5, 4.90 ERA). Kennedy has struggled in his last 3 starts, allowing 12 runs and walking 6. Lincecum got roughed up by the Diamondbacks his last time out, allowing 4 runs on 6 hits with only one strikeout.
The Giants have impressed so far with their offense. They are 9th in the MLB in home runs. This has much to do with the great start of Morse who has 13 HRs. We will most likely see him sometime this series, he is day-to-day with an injury. Also, Hunter Pence has impressed, hitting 11 HRs with a .302 average.
The key to a Padres’ series win, is to jump on the Giants’ starters early. Cain and Lincecum have struggled lately. The Padres offense must come alive and create some runs, especially to give the young starters the Padres will throw in this series some run support and confidence.