San Diego Padres look to sweep Phillies at Petco

SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 30: Clayton Richard
SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 30: Clayton Richard /

The San Diego Padres will send Clayton Richard to the mound in Wednesday’s series finale day game in search of their third straight victory and a sweep of the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Padres are a win away from doing something they haven’t done a whole lot of in 2017. With just two sweeps in 37 previous sets this season, San Diego has struggled to dominate even opponents they are supposed to.

Now, only Nick Pivetta stands in the way of a three game sweep on Wednesday afternoon. The Padres will send veteran southpaw Clayton Richard to the mound, who has pitched better as of late in the month of August.

The good news for San Diego is that Pivetta has struggled mightily this month. The 24-year-old right-hander has been charged with 13 runs in 7 and 1/3 innings. Overall this season, his ERA is 6.29, though recent numbers would indicate that he is trending in the wrong direction.

Since Philadelphia’s lineup has been among the worst in baseball, the Padres can be confident that even Richard with his 5.12 ERA can slow them down enough to give the club a good shot against Pivetta.

The Padres won the first two games thanks to timely offense. Cory Spangenberg has heated up, driving in four on Tuesday, and San Diego is getting offense from where they least expect it. After all, starting pitcher Dinelson Lamet also went deep in the 8-4 triumph.

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The same formula will work on Wednesday if they are able to get a quality start from Richard and use an aggressive approach against Richard. As long as they keep their focus throughout the series finale, they should be able to finish the sweep.

So what would a sweep mean for a club in search of a strong finish to 2017? It would certainly get them off to a good start this homestand, and would put them in a very favorable position to come away with a winning stretch at Petco with the Nationals coming for four next. But even beyond this, a sweep would provide fans with a glimmer of hope that the Padres can indeed beat up on inferior opponents. Maybe they have worked themselves into a tier above the lowest in baseball. Maybe they’re no longer competitive in the top draft pick league.

Next: San Diego Padres: Week #19 recap

Wednesday afternoon’s series finale is set to begin at 12:40. Promotions at the park include a throwback hat and a Friar Family day. The game can be seen on Fox Sports San Diego, and can be heard on 94.9 FM.