San Diego Padres: The San Francisco Giants And The Penultimate Series

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SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 18: Kelby Tomlinson #37 of the San Francisco Giants is tagged out in run down by Austin Hedges #18 of the San Diego Padres during the fifth inning of a baseball game at PETCO Park on September 18, 2018 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 18: Kelby Tomlinson #37 of the San Francisco Giants is tagged out in run down by Austin Hedges #18 of the San Diego Padres during the fifth inning of a baseball game at PETCO Park on September 18, 2018 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images) /
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This is just about it for 2018. The San Diego Padres begin their penultimate series as they take on the San Francisco Giants in a three-game set.

Believe it or not, we have reached the final week of the 2018 San Diego Padres baseball. It’s been an (insert adjective here) kind of season for the Padres, however, despite posting one of the worst offensive seasons in franchise history and just avoiding 100 losses, there’s optimism surrounding the team as we look ahead to 2019 and beyond.

A number of players have made great strides and a handful of rookies have made their MLB debuts with initial success. Next year is sure to be another season of exciting pro debuts and better overall team baseball. Ok, we can’t be entirely sure of the better baseball but it can’t get any worse…can it?

On Monday night, the Padres will begin their last series of the season against the San Francisco Giants, marking the 850th time the two franchises have squared off since the Padres inaugural season. San Diego currently holds a 396-453 all-time record against the Giants, currently sitting at 6-10 against San Francisco in 2018. The two teams just completed a series last week, with the Giants taking two of three from the Friars.

Bryan Mitchell is slated to throw on Monday night against Derek Holland (7-8, 3.57 ERA) while Robbie Erlin (4-7, 4.33 ERA) will go on Tuesday night, opposite of Chris Stratton (10-10, 4.88 ERA). Neither team has a starter scheduled for Wednesday, although it appears that the Giants will try and hold off on sending Madison Bumgarner to the mound in this series against the Padres so he can pitch against the Los Angeles Dodgers this weekend.

San Diego Padres Monday night starter.

More from Friars on Base

I wanted to take a moment and look at Bryan Mitchell since his return from the disabled list. I will preface this by saying that I do not want to see Mitchell in a Padres uniform, come 2019, however, I’d put the chances of him being removed from the roster at about 5% (result of non-scientific math calculations).

So, what has he done since his near three-month shelving? Mitchell has made three starts, giving up six earned runs on 15 hits across 16 innings. For the first month all season, he has more strikeouts (8) than walks (5). Since returning from the DL, Mitchell has lowered his ERA from 7.08 to 6.16, his WHIP from 2.03 to 1.83, and his batting average against from .320 to .304.

None of those numbers are good, by any stretch, but it’s progress. Maybe I’m in a forgiving mood since it’s the end of the season but I’m genuinely hoping Mitchell has a solid start tonight in San Francisco. His last start (September 17th) came against the Giants where he gave up nine hits (two home runs) in five innings. If we as fans are going to see Mitchell again next season, let’s hope he can give us just a small morsel of positivity heading into the offseason.

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First pitch tonight is scheduled for 7:15 pm. Let’s go, Padres!

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