After a horrendous road trip, the Padres failed to take advantage of being back in Petco Park, dropping three of four against the Brewers.
Now, the Arizona Diamondbacks will spend the weekend in San Diego where the Padres can hopefully gain some steam in the N.L. West.
The Diamondbacks are coming into town hot after left fielder Chris Herrmann hit a walk off home run in the top of the 11th to complete a sweep of the Mets.
The walk off gave the Snakes their third straight victory and their sixth in the last eight games.
Arizona is now riding on a 24-18 record, sitting just two games behind the Colorado Rockies in the N.L. West.
The Padres are in dead-last with a record of 15-28.
They have lost eight of their last 10, and done so in horrible fashion.
Now 11.5 games out of first in mid-May, the “tank” talk is real.
Let’s take a look at this three-game set against the Snakes.
Players to Watch
The Padres’ young slugger homered twice in the series against the Milwaukee Brewers to give him a total of eight on the season. With eight home runs, he is now tied with future Gold Glover Austin Hedges (8) and sits behind Ryan Schimpf (9) and star Wil Myers (11). Renfroe has increased his patience at the plate, walking eight times since the Padres began their road trip and returned home (9 games). I know it may not seem like such a huge number, but prior to the beginning of the road trip, the heavy swinger had walked just twice.
Watch for Hunter to continue his patience at the plate, and see if he can work some walks in this series, along with some extra-base hits against some familiar pitchers on the D-Backs’ staff.
Jered Weaver will be making his ninth start for the Padres this season, and not too many of them have been pretty. As many of you may have heard, Padres owner Ron Fowler had some very choice words to say about Weaver’s performance. His last outing came in Chicago, where he struck out three White Sox, gave up five hits, and just one run in six impressive innings. Going against a much more powerful lineup Friday night, Weaver will have to prove himself once again to Padres ownership that he can still be that inning-eating veteran he was for the Angels in his later years.
One Diamondback that is always fun to watch, is star first baseman Paul Goldschmidt. The slugger has had an impressive start to the season, posting a .309 batting average with 10 home runs, 32 RBI, and 10 stolen bases. With Jered Weaver taking the mound in game one, look for Goldschmidt to add to his career totals against Weaver. He currently stands at 4-6 with a double and a home run against the struggling veteran.
Final Verdict and Predictions
Let’s be honest with ourselves, the Diamondbacks are a hot team right now. The Padres are behind one game (3-4) in the season series against the Diamondbacks this season. The Padres took two of three at home in the first meeting, then dropped three of four when the two teams met in Arizona.
Jered Weaver did not pitch too well the last time he took the mound against the Diamondbacks. He pitch 5.2 innings where he gave up three long balls and five total earned runs at Chase Field. He will face that same power when he takes the field tonight. Let’s hope that he still feels the pressure coming down from ownership and pitch…well, better.
I think he will be overpowered by the Snakes lineup again and give up at least two home runs. Although with Weaver knowing his future is on the line, he will only give up one more earned run and the Padres drop the first game of the series.
Luis Perdomo will get the ball for the second game of the series on Saturday night. Last Monday night, Luis Perdomo became the first pitcher in Padre history to have six games started and no decisions. He will be coming into Petco looking to pick up that first win. As of Thursday night, Perdomo has been pitching a 70.5 ground ball rating. He also has only given up 34 hits in 128 batters faced.
The right-hander has shown some strengths so far this season. I think he’ll get the D-backs to ground into four double plays and go 7.0 innings, giving up just one earned run. Cory Spangenberg and Yangervis Solarte are the only Padres with multiple hits off of Robbie Ray this season. I think Spangy steps it up this series and helps bring the Padres a W.
To close out the series, Clayton Richard will be climbing the hill to possibly decide the fate of the series. Richard faced the Diamondbacks twice in April (4/20 in SD, 4/25 @ ARI). He picked up the W in San Diego. He gave up just one run while striking out eight. However, in Arizona was a different story. He gave up six runs, while walking three batters and allowing one home run in just 3.2 innings.
I think being back in San Diego, and coming off such a horrible performance against them just last month, will help motivate Clayton Richard to do some quality work. Wil Myers and Ryan Schimpf have also been able to find some success against Zack Godley, but I don’t think it’ll be enough for a series-ending win. Godley has been…Godly, since losing his season debut against the Padres on April 26. He has given up just two runs in his last 13.2 innings, and he managed to sit down 13 batters by way of the K.
In the end, I think the D-backs will continue the little hot streak that they are on, as the Padres continue to slide down the vertical downhill slope that they’re on.