We probably give all of our game previews the same title as this one. Every night seems to leave me wondering what if this team could just hit .250, maybe even .230 with an OBP over .300. To put in perspective, the Rockies and Tigers have better team averages than the Padres team OBP. Hopefully, today can be the day they blow up, but you should expect more of the same.
The pitcher who will very likely get next to no run support tonight is Eric Stults (2-10, 5.49 ERA). The end of the road for Stults is likely getting near. He’s picked up losses in his last 5 starts, and while wins and losses hold very little weight, it still reflects poorly on your performance when your team loses every time you pitch.Stults also is one of 5 qualified pitchers in the league with a negative WAR, and his -0.6 is good for 2nd worst.
Also with the rise of young pitchers like Jesse Hahn and Odrisamer Despaigne, Stults may be the one to get the boot when Andrew Cashner returns from the DL. The only bright spot is that he’s forced to pitch for a starting spot. This could bring out the best in him when he went 7 innings allowing just 2 runs. However, he could fold under the pressure and look like he did in the start before that where he allowed 4 runs in 5 innings off 2 home runs against the light hitting Mariners. We can only hope for the former, but with this offense, will it matter?
Opposing him will be the Diamondbacks Josh Collmenter (6-4, 3.87 ERA). The starter turned reliever turned starter again will be given a shot to completely shut down this San Diego offense. Collmenter hasn’t started in 8 days, but he did make a 1 inning relief appearance on the 24th. This may mean he’ll be a little rusty, but in all likely hood he’ll be ready to go.
He’s not one to go deep into ballgames. In his 13 starts he’s made it through the 7th only 3 times and pitched beyond it only once. That one time was a 3 hit shutout against the Reds in which he faced the minimum. He’s the kind of guy who does just enough to keep his team in the game. If the Padres can drive up his pitch count early they can get into the pen and hope for some better luck.
The Padres’ pitchers have dominated Diamondbacks hitter the past 12 times they’ve come to Petco Park. The starters have pitched to a 1.99 ERA, but the bullpen has been even better with a spectacular 0.92 ERA. As a whole the Diamondbacks have just .197 in that stretch leading to an 8-4 record for the Padres.
Speaking of good pitching, the Padres went their 9th straight game without allowing a home run last night. That streak is now the longest of any team in the majors this season.
Watch out tonight for the newest member of the Padres, Irving Falu. The infielder was claimed off waivers from the Brewers and joined the team today. Although he’s not known for his bat maybe getting some new life in the clubhouse might shake the bad vibes.
Tonight could be the night where the lineup hits at its full potential and Eric Stults proves why he still has a job. Unfortunately there’s no evidence to prove that either of things will happen, so keep your expectation low. First pitch is at 7:10 PDT.
Keep the Faith.