The San Diego Padres will host the Baltimore Orioles for their second, and final, series this season. How do these teams match up this time around?
After yet another series loss, the San Diego Padres will try to bounce back against the Baltimore Orioles Monday. The Friars and O’s will have their final two-game interleague series at Petco Park, a rematch of their June match-up in which the Padres won both games.
The Orioles are second-to-last in the MLB, owning a record of 35-70 for a .333 win percentage. Their offense is led by infielder Hanser Alberto, right fielder Trey Mancini, and designated hitter Renato Nunez, who share the team’s offensive leaderboard.
Alberto is batting .313 this season, while Mancini leads the team in hits (109) and OPS (.869). Nunez owns the most home runs and RBIs for the Orioles with 25 and 61, respectively.
Meanwhile, the Padres still haven’t won a series since the All-Star break — they’ve gone 4-11 since with some tough losses along the way. Their most recent one to the San Francisco Giants put the Friars at 49-56, a difficult 7.0 games back from the wild card.
After an incredible series win against the Los Angeles Dodgers to pull to .500 at the break, the offense has stalled and failed to produce. Fans were hoping it was just a little bit of rust, but the rust has stayed and resulted in loss after loss.
At the beginning of this month, the Padres were talking playoffs perhaps a year earlier than expected; it seemed like the dark times may have finally been over.
The tune has severely changed since.
Analysts appear to have written off the playoffs at this point, and the attention has shifted towards the trade deadline and how the Padres could best prepare for a 2020 run. We’ve got a couple of ideas, but who knows what A.J. Preller’s strategy will be.
If he’s going to make a move, he better do it quickly. It wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see him stand pat though, thinking that the Padres have all the pieces they need — they just lack game-time experience.
Anyway, I digress. Let’s take a look at the pitching battles for the two-game series against Baltimore.
Chris Paddack will take the mound for San Diego, while David Hess will represent the Orioles.
Hess is 1-9 this season, owning a 7.15 ERA and 1.588 WHIP. The second-year starter has had a rough season; he was sent down to Triple-A then recalled at the beginning of July. He hasn’t started a major league game since June 12, when he surrendered four runs in four innings.
He’s pitched two games in relief since, allowing three runs in three total innings pitched. The Padres should have a good opportunity to capitalize off the inexperienced and struggling pitcher.
Paddack could be just the guy to help them do so, having looked good in his last few starts. He’s 6-5 on the season with a 2.84 ERA, 0.895 WHIP, and 99 strikeouts. The rookie is coming off a 3-run, five-inning game against the New York Mets. which wasn’t his best of the season.
Prior to that game, however, Paddack flirted with a no-hitter as he went 7.2 impressive innings en route to an eight-strikeout, one-walk, one-run game. Before that, he had tossed 5.2 scoreless innings against the Dodgers before the break.
Paddack has pitched 95 innings this season, so it’ll be interesting to see how Andy Green manages the rest of his season, especially with the team’s playoff hopes falling further and further out of reach.
Dinelson Lamet will pitch the second and final game of the series, while the Orioles will send out Tom Eshelman.
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Eshelman is coming off a decent relief appearance against the Los Angeles Angels, where he allowed one run in 4.1 innings. His last start, however, was atrocious; Eshelman allowed nine runs off six hits, giving up three home runs with three strikeouts and three walks. Four of those runs were unearned, but he still couldn’t make it to the fourth inning.
The rookie is 0-2 this year with a 5.79 ERA and 1.446 WHIP, so the Padres should have a blueprint to keep him winless on the season.
Lamet has had only four starts this season, and he’s struggled in all but one of them. The second-year starter is 0-2 on the year with a 5.00 ERA and 1.389 WHIP.
His last two starts have seen only four innings pitched in each game, though it’s not like he’s been getting rocked — he allowed five runs total in both games, and he’s currently throwing 12.5 strikeouts per nine.
Nevertheless, Lamet is yet to return to his dominating fashion from 2017; he’s still pretty fresh off of Tommy John surgery and is likely to require the rest of this season to fully get back to form and regain his command. For now, he should continue getting consistent starts to build up his confidence and refine his mechanics.
The Padres vs. Orioles series will begin on Monday, July 29 at 7:10 PM PT/10:10 PM ET.
For complete coverage of the San Diego Padres 2019 season, continue following Friars on Base all season long.