Last night, Odrisamer Despaigne made his major league debut and shut down the San Francisco Giants. Tonight it’s time for round 2 with another rookie versus established veteran battle.
Jesse Hahn (2-1, 2.16 ERA), like Despaigne, started off the year in Double-A San Antonio, and now he has risen to prominence with the big league club. After a rough first outing, he’s bounced back nicely, not allowing an earned run in either of his previous 2 starts, and picking up the win in both. That is remarkable in its own right, but if you look at the opponents, the Seattle Mariners and the New York Mets, there isn’t exactly a surplus of offensive threats Hahn had to face. The real test will come tonight facing this tough, albeit struggling, Giants lineup. If he can dominant them like he did the Mets and Mariners, then he’s the real deal, but if he looks like he did against the Pirates, then we’ll know he needs just a bit more seasoning.
Going against him will be the veteran righty, Tim Hudson (7-3, 2.39 ERA). When the Giants signed Hudson, they thought they were getting a 5th starter to round out their rotation, but maybe it’s just returning to the Bay Area that has Hudson back in ace form. In 11 of Hudson’s 14 starts, he’s allowed 2 or fewer earned runs, and has allowed just 6 homers, and 14 walks all year long. Speaking of those 6 home runs, 2 of them came in his outing against the White Sox. It was Hudson’s first legitimately bad start. He allowed 7 runs on 12 hits in 4 2/3 innings. If you combine the numbers from Hudson’s 2 starts against the Padres, you don’t even get that bad of numbers (4 runs on 13 hits if you were wondering). What it all comes down to is, will we see the Hudson we saw his first 2 times he faced the Padres, or will we see the one that showed up for his last outing? We can hope for the latter, but with this offense we should expect the former.
The only 2 Padres’ hitters with a history of success off of Hudson are Cameron Maybin and Carlos Quentin. Maybin has gone 7 for 19 off of him for a .368 batting average and has also added a home run off of him. Quentin hasn’t had as much experience against him but he’s had a bit more success. Quentin has gone 4 for 9 off of Hudson for a .444 batting average with 2 of those 4 hits being home runs. Hopefully these 2 will continue their success against him.
Padres’ rookie starters are now on 20 inning streak of not giving up an earned run after last night’s game. This is the longest such streak by the Padres since 2002 with Jake Peavy and Oliver Perez between August and September. Hahn would need to go 4 1/3 without allowing an earned run just to tie them. I’ll be pulling for him, but it’s a tall order.
The Padres could lock up their first series win of the month with a win tonight, and you know they want to do it against a division rival like San Francisco and in their ballpark as well. First pitch is at 7:15 PDT.
Keep the Faith.