Padres Series Preview: Padres vs. Dodgers at Petco

Credit: UT San Diego
Credit: UT San Diego

The San Diego Padres are coming off one of their worst series of the season. The Padres were not just swept by the Giants. No. The Padres were humiliated by the Giants.

In this last series the Friars only manged to score three runs, one run each game. The Giants only had to use one reliever the whole series. Yeah the scenes from this series were grim. Now we move away from that catastrophe of a series and start a new one.

The Padres will now face the Dodgers for a three game set at Petco Park. The last time the Padres faced the Dodgers they did quite well. They manged to win two out of three games at Dodger Stadium. The last time these two teams faced each other at Petco Park, well let’s just say it was a little worse than this last series against the Giants. The Padres are definitely more than capable of winning this series. Especially based on the pitching matchups. A Padres vs Dodgers series is always something interesting to watch. We should be due for an exciting weekend at Petco Park.

Pitching Matchups

Scott Kazmir vs Christian Friedrich 7:40 p.m.

Alex Wood vs Cesar Vargas 7:10 p.m.

Kenta Maeda vs Colin Rea 1:40 p.m.

There is one clear matchup that favors the Padres and there is one that favors the Dodgers heavily. The matchup for Friday is unclear. Scott Kazmir has not been the best for the Dodgers, posting an ERA 4.89. However the last time he faced the Padres he went six scoreless innings. Christian Friedrich was recently brought up due to injuries. He looked phenomenal in his first start of the season, only allowing a run in six innings against the Brewers. Unfortunately the Padres Offense would not give the lanky lefty  any support and the Pads would lose 1-0. The Padres should be able to win this game, especially based on Kazmir’s form.

From one pitcher who hasn’t had any run support we go to another in Cesar Vargas. “El Calmado” has already started five MLB games and has not been able to get his first career win. He has looked good on the mound and it has been mainly due to lack of run support. He looked a little off in his last starts, but I’m sure he can bounce back here at Petco Park. We have seen this matchup earlier this season at Dodger stadium. Cesar Vargas was able to prevail against the Dodgers and Alex Wood. Vargas would go five and a third scoreless innings. Unfortunately Brad Hand would come in and allow a home run off of Yasmani Grandal and Vargas would get the no decision. Alex Wood would have a nice day at the mound himself going seven innings, only allowing a run and striking out nine. Despite that nice start Wood hasn’t looked that great, posting a 4.17 ERA this season. Vargas should have the upper hand in this game and the Padres should be able to win game two.

Then we have game three. For the Padres we have Colin Rea, who has suffered from the plague of inconsistency that many of the Padres bear. For the Dodgers we have a man who will make Padres fans have flashbacks of some disastrous scenes we saw earlier this year, Kenta Maeda. The Japanese pitcher destroyed the Padres in his MLB debut. Maeda would go six scoreless innings. He would also hit a home run in that game. Yeah he had a debut to remember and one for Padres fans to forget. The Dodgers definitely have the edge in game three of this series. I am most interested to see how Christian Friedrich fairs in his second start of the season. Of course I am always looking forward to seeing Cesar Vargas on the mound as well. These should be interesting matchups, but they probably won’t be the highlight of the series.

Players to watch

Trayce Thompson

Klay Thompson’s brother has been killing it for the Dodgers as of late. He has been given the opportunity to start quite a few games and has not disappointed. Trayce has had a nice season hitting .280 with six home runs. What is even more impressive is what he has done in his last seven games. This kid is on fire. In his last seven games Trayce has hit .333 with three home runs, six RBI and four walks. The Padres pitchers will need to watch out for Thompson, due to his excellent form.

The whole Padres lineup

To begin the year the Padres were outscored 25-0 in a three game series against the Dodgers. We saw looks of frustration from all the players. After that they came into Colorado inspired to not be humiliated once again. The Padres outscored the Rockies 35-12 that series. We now are sitting in a similar situation. The Padres batters are frustrated and don’t want to be made into a joke once again. Wil Myers in particular should be extra motivated. Myers went 1-11 in this last series. He should be more inspired than anyone to really turn thing around. Another player who should motivated is Matt Kemp who went 1-12 in the series. That one hit was a meaningless home run in the ninth inning of game one. Kemp should be inspired to get hits this series when it counts. Another 1-11 performance was that of Melvin Upton Jr. At least these guys got a hit. Derek Norris went 0-8 in  this series and is down to a .175 BA. The point is everyone had a bad series against the Giants in this last series. This streak can’t go on for players of this caliber. This isn’t a bad team and they should try to prove it in this series.

Matchups

Alexei Ramirez vs Scott Kazmir

Ramirez saw a lot of Kazmir in his American league days and did quite well against him. Ramirez has a .333 BA against Kazmir in 24 at bats. To add to it Alexei has a dinger, a couple of walks and a couple of doubles against the lefty. Ramirez didn’t have a nice time against the Giants as he went 1-10. He was however one of the only Padres to manage to get an RBI in this series. Alexei has really been up and down this year, but hopefully he can have nice game tonight and a nice series overall.

Chase Utley vs Colin Rea

Last time these two faced each other, Utley hit a two-run home run against Rea. They have only faced each other on six occasions and Utley only has two hits. One of those hits was that home run and the other was an RBI double last year. Utley has been able to produce for his team at the expense of Colin Rea. Rea should be careful when facing the veteran, because any type of run produced at Petco Park can turn out to be a game winner.

Storyline

Is the Padres season really over?

We are now more than forty games into the season. It really isn’t that “early” anymore. The Padres find themselves in last place in the N.L. West. A few days ago it was” Okay they’re in last place but they’re only three and a half out.” But now we have a clearer portrait of what Padres fans really should have expected. Not this fallacy created by the ownership who will not accept that they are a team which needs to rebuild. The Padres will need to do something incredible in this series and against the Giants next week to still even have a chance at contending.

Their season is pretty much over at this point. We find ourselves seven and a half out of first and we are facing the Dodgers and the Giants in these next two series. The Padres fate really is in their own hands. They have the power to prove everyone wrong. But realistically after seeing how they did in this last series against the Giants, it seems like the dream they wanted us to believe when this season started. Now all of this may sound negative, but it’s really not. Let’s remember we were not supposed to be good in the first place. I encourage everyone to go out and watch the game and have a fun day at the ballpark. Or just simply have fun watching at home with friends or family. This is baseball remember. Let’s just enjoy an exiting series against our rivals the Los Angeles Dodgers, and let’s hope the Padres can make it interesting.

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Francisco Velasco
Francisco, 21, Chula Vista area, Journalism student at Southwestern College. I have been a Padres fan all my life, did most of the series previews and recaps in the Padres' 2016 season for EVT. Now I focus more on the Tijuana Xolos soccer team, get press passes for every home game and write consistently about the team for EVT.

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