Padres: Pitching must show up in critical Rockies series

(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /

The Padres hit the road for a four-game set in Colorado this weekend, and it’s vital for their pitching to show up in a critical series.

The Padres are coming off a disappointing series loss to the Mariners, who entered the matchup with an 11-19 record. San Diego was riding a seven-game winning streak heading into the off day on Monday before game one of the Seattle series on Tuesday. And with the Padres top three guys in the rotation going, piece of cake, right?

Chris Paddack laid another clunker on Tuesday night, allowing six earned runs in 5.0+ innings. He served up two long balls, which have given him fits this season, as the Mariners took their fourth-straight win. The bullpen didn’t do the Padres any favors or provide them a chance to chip away at the lead as Javy Guerra allowed two earned runs, putting the game out of reach.

On Thursday, Dinelson Lamet spotted the Mariners a three-run lead, and Craig Stammen continued to disappoint, allowing four earned runs without recording an out. The Padres managed to win the first game of the doubleheader in astonishing fashion. However, an hour later, Garrett Richards gave up six runs in the first inning to start Game 2, and David Bednar put the finishing touches, allowing two earned runs over two innings of work.

Looking ahead to the four-game set with Colorado, the pitching matchups tentatively look like this:

  • Game 1: Zach Davies vs. Kyle Freeland
  • Game 2: TBD vs. Antonio Senzatela
  • Game 3: TBD vs Ryan Castellani
  • Game 4: TBD vs German Marquez

So basically the Padres don’t know how they are going to approach the rotation this weekend. What we do know is that Saturday is slated to be the infamous bullpen day. Could we see MacKenzie Gore make his debut? That would start the rotation over with Paddack on Sunday and Lamet on Monday. The Padres could also start the top of the rotation on Saturday, providing Paddack with four days of rest-something he’s accustomed to this year.

Regardless of how it shakes out, the bullpen is a broken record, and I am getting tired of writing the same thing over and over again. This group, one that was expected to be a dominant force, cannot go an outing without giving up a run. With Monday’s trade deadline looming, let’s see if general manager AJ Preller will be proactive in acquiring some help.

Other teams have already made their tweaks, yet Preller seems to be biding his time. Perhaps, he’s watching the market while driving down the price with each game passing. Whatever the case, the Padres starting staff now has a 4.08 ERA as a group, and the bullpen, a 5.48 ERA.

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The Padres have pulled a couple of wins out of the behinds this season. Yesterday’s heroics marked the first time ever that they scored seven runs in the final inning to win. Last week, it was the grand slam barrage. But plain and simple, this team needs pitching help. Go find it.