May 20, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Padres starting pitcherIan Kennedy
(22) throws during the first inning against the Minnesota Twins at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Last night the Padres added yet another crushing loss to their season. This afternoon they’ll have a chance to get out of this tough series with a split.
Ian Kennedy (2-6, 3.79 ERA) gets the start today for the Padres. He’s struggled his last two starts, giving up 4 runs to the Twins and 5 to the Reds in losing efforts. Aside from those past two starts Kennedy has been an extremely solid starter for the Padres. He’s gone 6 or more innings in 8 of his ten starts and is 4th in the National League with 66 strikeouts. Hopefully this anemic Cubs offense will help get Kennedy on track, but over his career the Cubs have been quite the foe for him. Against them he has a 6.33 ERA and a .264 batting average against in his 8 starts. Today could be the day where he turns the page.
Jason Hammel (5-2, 2.91 ERA) will be the one tasked with shutting down this Padres offense. Hammel will be a difficult challenge for the struggling Padres’ hitters. In his last outing, he shutdown the Yankees allowing just 1 run on 4 hits in 5 2/3 innings. It wasn’t the first time he’s been this dominant. He’s allowed 1 run or fewer in 4 of his 9 starts this year and 3 or fewer in 8 of 9. He has also pitched into the 6th in all 9. For an offense struggling to do much of anything, this is not the guy they want to see.
Despite making a pinch hitting cameo last night Carlos Quentin is not in today’s lineup, but one would imagine that he’d still be available in the pinch hitting role once again. Despite the subtraction of Quentin, there’s no surprises in today’s.
Two new additions to the club will be available today. Lefty reliever Troy Patton, who was acquired yesterday in a trade with the Orioles, and Tommy Medica, who is returning for yet another stint with the big league club. Patton adds another lefty to help take the toll off of Alex Torres, while Medica will be an extra bat off the bench.
Hopefully we’ll see Friday’s Padres and not Saturday’s today. They are looking to end this horrid homestand on a positive note. First pitch is at 4:10 PDT.