Padres End Road Trip with Bay Area Battle

4 of 4

Jun 3, 2015; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Padres starting pitcher James Shields (33) pitches during the first inning against the New York Mets at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Game 3 Thursday, 12:45pm

James Shields (7-1, 3.75 ERA) vs. Chris Heston (7-5, 3.83 ERA)

Shields is unbeaten no more. He allowed four runs on 8 hits while walking four against the Diamondbacks. He is 3rd in the NL in strikeouts with 109 and 6th in innings pitched with 93 2/3. With a good start on Thursday, he could eclipse the 100 inning mark.

He has a 0.56 ERA in two starts against the Giants. The last one came in early April when he went 7 innings and only allowed one run. This will be his first start at AT&T Park since losing Game 5 of last year’s World Series.

Heston is two stats removed from his no-hitter on June 9th. Expect Murphy to slot as many left-handed hitters as he can against Heston. Lefties are hitting .308 with five home runs against him. The Friars handed him a loss in May, getting 5 runs and 11 hits.

The Padres need this series win. Unfortunately, I don’t see it. Tuesday’s matchup is unfavorable and Kennedy is unpredictable. I think the Padres will salvage the finale and head home with a series loss. Crazy things can happen. The lineup is full of hitters who are underachieving (see Kemp, Will Middlebrooks, Melvin Upton). Now is a great time for them to hit like they have in the past.