San Diego Padres: Friars return home, host New York Mets

DENVER, CO - JULY 19: Starting pitcher Clayton Richard
DENVER, CO - JULY 19: Starting pitcher Clayton Richard /

The San Diego Padres are finally back home, and welcome in the Mets for a series this week at Petco Park. We preview the starting pitching matchups.

A disastrous beginning to a road trip in Colorado wasn’t enough to stop the Padres from at least coming away with a respectable 3-4 record away from Petco Park this past week.

A series victory in San Francisco has gotten San Diego back on track, momentum from which they will look to build on as they welcome in the New York Mets beginning Monday.

The following is a look at the projected starting pitching matchups in each of the four games this series, and they keys for the Friars to continue their winning ways.

Monday, 7:10 PM: deGrom vs. Richard

Despite the Mets’ talented pitching staff, the club sits in the middle of the National League East standings at six games under .500. This doesn’t, however, take away from the fact that they are indeed talented.

Jacob deGrom is of the most talented on the staff. In his fourth season, the 29-year-old has the highest ERA of his career, but a very respectable one of 3.37 nonetheless. The right-hander is set to start Monday night’s series opener, and will be opposed by San Diego veteran Clayton Richard.

Richard is among those rumored to be moved before the trade deadline, increasing the importance of what could be his final start in a Friars uniform. The 33-year-old has struggled in 119 and 1/3 innings, surrendering a league high 156 hits and currently holding a 5.35 ERA.

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Tuesday, 7:10 PM: Lugo vs. Chacin

Rookie Seth Lugo takes the mound for the Mets on Tuesday, making his 16th career start. The 27-year-old spent to bulk of his career thus far in New York’s minor league system, but is holding his own in the majors with a 4.05 ERA.

Jhoulys Chacin will go for the Padres, possibly the rotation’s most inconsistent member. Overall, the right-hander is 9-7 in 20 starts with a 4.26 ERA. However, fans can never be sure what to expect from Chacin. This is why it’s so difficult to predict a game like this, with Chacin opposing a young New York starter.

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Wednesday, 7:10 PM: Matz vs. Cahill

Another name mentioned a lot in trade deadline talks is Trevor Cahill. The San Diego right-hander is quite possibly the club’s most appealing starter to contenders, due to his manageable one-year, $1.75 million contract, as well as his playoff experience and versatility to either start or come out of the bullpen.

The trade talk underscores the significance of Wednesday’s start, possibly the last for Cahill before being traded. Cahill himself has been quite inconsistent in his four starts since returning from the disabled list, alternating between quality start and close to disaster.

Cahill will go up against New York starter Steven Matz, a southpaw who has struggled with injuries this season. Matz does have eight starts in which he has pitched a total of 44 and 1/3 innings, and has a 4.67 ERA. The Padres can definitely get to Matz and into the Mets’ bullpen, but Cahill must hold an explosive New York lineup in check to give the club a chance.

Thursday, 6:10 PM: Wheeler vs. Perdomo

If there was one game in this series to feel good about as a Padres fan, the finale would be it. Thursday night’s contest features a struggling Zack Wheeler, and Luis Perdomo.

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Perdomo hasn’t had the most success in San Diego’s rotation statistically this season by any means, with an ERA of 4.71. But there is one stat of his that is very relevant to this matchup. Perdomo is 3-1 at Petco Park, and 1-4 away from home. At home, opposing hitters hit .262 against him, while on the road, they hit .317. Ignore his stats as a whole, because Perdomo is an excellent pitcher at home.

The other reason for the Padres to be confident entering the series finale is the recent struggles of Wheeler. The New York starter is just 3-7 on the season, and has an inflated ERA of 5.21. None of these stats are skewed by lack of sample size either, as the right-hander has started 17 games and pitched 86 and 1/3 innings.

The Padres could use some early offense in this one, and a quality start from Perdomo. If this is what they get, expect San Diego to roll.

Next: Padres trade rumors: Starting pitching

Even though the Mets have a losing record, the Padres have their work cut out for them this week. New York’s pitching is talented. Once again, three of four would be major for the 43-55 Friars.