The San Francisco Giants head to San Diego to take on the Padres in a 3 game series. Let’s call it what it is, a battle to stay out of last place. The Giants head in to the first game with a 61-75 team record. They are just one game ahead of the Padres who sit at 60-76.
It’s September and the call ups have started. The Giants activated Tony Abreu yesterday and plan wholesale call ups on Tuesday after Triple-A Fresno completes their season. Among the names mentioned for possible big league experience are Heath Hembree, who set the Fresno saves record this season, and Johnny Monell as a third catcher. The Giants would have to clear roster space for the young Monell, but may do that to take a look at a hitter who hit 20 HR’s in just 113 games for Fresno.
We’ll bring all the moves to you as they come during the month of September. Stay tuned, there could be a lot of additions to the team.
On to the Padres. It’s been a while since these two teams faced each other. But it’s like looking in the mirror for the 2013 Giants. The Padres have their problems scoring runs too. They average 3.8 runs per game. They’ve actually scored 4 more runs than the Giants this season.
The pitching staff is supposed to be a strong suit for the Padres but the opposite has been true. The Padres have used 10 different starters this season and they have compiled a 4.53 ERA overall. The worst in the National League. The bullpen has been a hair better with a 3.47 ERA.
The Padres strike out a lot, they have 1076 K’s in 136 games. Chase Headley leads the way with 127 already this season, but the Giants may not see him. Hedley has had a sore back and will miss the series opener. There is no indication if he will play the final two games of the series.
The Padres have a little more pop than the Giants. Wil Veneble has 20 home runs to lead the team. Overall the Padres have hit 41 more HR’s than the Giants this season. The problems of playing home games in a pitcher’s park.
The series starts with a matinee, that may have already started as you read this. Tuesday is a 7:10 start and the third game is a getaway day afternoon affair with first pitch at 3:40.
The pitching matchups
Barry Zito is getting another road start. He hasn’t won a game on the road all season. The Giants have not won any of his 10 road starts here in 2013. He is trying to avoid tying Jonathan Sanchez (2006-07) with 9 straight losing decisions.
The Padres counter with Ian Kennedy. You remember him, we used to see him in the desert. This is his 6th start since coming over from Arizona. So far he is 2-1 with a 4.55 ERA in a Padres uniform. He has gone 2-2 at petco Park this season allowing 13 runs in 29 innings.
Madison Bumgarner has been the Giants ace all season. He doesn’t disappoint when pitching at Petco either. His last start there he went 7 innings allowing only 4 hits and 2 runs. The kind of dominance we have come to expect this season. The Padres have only hit .162 against Bumgarner in 3 games this year.
Robbie Erlin is a rookie that has slid in to the Padres rotation. Tuesday will be his 6th start and 8th appearance overall. The Giants have never faced him before. In his last start he picked up a win at Arizona after going 6 innings and only allowing 1 run.
RHP Tim Lincecum (8-13, 4.38) vs. LHP Eric Stults (8-12, 3.81)
Tim Lincecum’s last start in San Diego was a memorable one. He threw his first career no hitter on 148 pitches. He struck out 13 Padres and allowed 4 walks. He has been pitching well lately sporting a 3.45 ERA over his last 7 games. Lincecum has been bitten by a lack of run support from his teammates.
Eric Stults gets the nod Wednesday afternoon against the Giants. He previously beat the Giants on July 14th at Petco Park. Lately though giving up 3 runs or more is the norm for Stults. He has allowed 3 earned runs or more in 6 of his last 8 starts. This will be the 14th start for Eric Stults against our boys in orange and black. He has a 5-3 record and a 4.82 ERA over that time.
Enjoy the series and let’s hope the Giants can stay out of last place.