Padres Series Preview: Padres Battle Mariners in Split 4-Game Series

Credit: AP Photo
Credit: AP Photo

The San Diego Padres are coming off a disappointing series against the Diamondbacks and will now face the Mariners in a four game set. The Padres for the most part have not been successful in four game series this season. The Friars are 5-7 in four game sets against the Mets, Phillies and Brewers.

Now they did have a nice series against the Mets in which they drew the series at two games a piece. But the Padres would do the same against the Brewers and would lose three out of four against the Phillies. Fatigue does seem to have played a factor this season in certain losses that the Padres have had. We saw this especially in the Brewers series. There were a few injuries and the bullpen was heavily overworked. Thus we ended up losing some games. The bullpen did have to put in some work in Arizona. So we could potentially see fatigue play a role in this series against the Mariners.

The Padres are facing a pretty good opponent. The Mariners are currently second in the A.L. West with a 28-21 record. However the Mariners are a very beatable team. They are coming off losing two out of three games from the Minnesota Twins. The Twins are currently one of the worst teams in the MLB with a 15-34 record. If they can win a series against the M’s there’s no reason why the Padres can’t do it.

To be honest though, based on previous performances. The most I expect from the Padres in this series is a tie. That is if everything goes perfectly. Just enjoy this series Padres fans. Enjoy the epitome of the “fake rivalry”. We should be in for a good one.

Pitching Matchups

Andrew Cashner vs Nathan Karns 1:10 p.m. @Safeco Field

James Shields vs Hisashi Iwakuma 12:40 p.m. @Safeco Field

Felix Hernandez vs Christian Friedrich 7:10 p.m. @Petco Park

Wade Miley vs TBA 6:10 p.m. @Petco Park

When deeply analyzing these matchups you will see that the Padres actually have a chance in this series. First off we have Andrew Cashner starting things off at Safeco Field Monday. Cashner has not had a nice season so far. He currently sits on a 4.87 ERA in eight starts this season. He has only allowed four home runs this season but it is the accumulative hits which have hurt Cashner. The Mariners will have Nate Karns on the mound. The 28-year-old has had a decent campaign so far as he is 4-1 with a 3.53 ERA. Unfortunately I do feel that the M’s will be the ones who will take game one of the series.

However, I feel like the Padres will have the edge in game two. The man with all the speculation, James Shields will be the man on the mound for the Padres. Sometimes speculation and rumors can tap into a player’s performance. But this will definitely not faze Shields. I mean this man gave up a home run to Bartolo Colon then had one of his best starts of the season in his next start. Shields is a veteran of the game who is about as calm and composed as Cesar Vargas. Shields has had a good campaign. He currently sits on a 2-6 record mostly due to poor run support. He also sits on a very nice .306 ERA. The M’s will have Hisashi Iwakuma on the mound. Now this might sound like an intimidating foe but he’s really not. Iwakuma is actually struggling in this 2016 campaign. Iwakuma currently sits on a 4.33 ERA and a 3-4 record. Shields and the Padres are more than capable of winning game two of this series.

Then we move on to game three of the series at Petco Park. King Felix will of course be the man on the mound for the Mariners. Just with that fact alone it almost seems impossible that the Padres win this game. But you have to remember the Pads have managed to beat some good pitchers this season like Noah Syndergaard. Felix is off to a nice season with a 2.86 ERA. That isn’t the impressive part though. The thing is that Felix has absolutely killed it at Petco Park in his career. In seven starts the King is 5-0 with a minuscule ERA of 1.51. Do we even have to talk about Friedrich? Yeah we will, just a bit. Friedrich came out of nowhere due to injuries to the pitching staff. With even more blows to the pitching staff it seems like he will stick around for a while longer. Friedrich has looked amazing in two out of his three starts this season. the lefty’s last start came on Friday against the Diamondbacks. Friedrich would be lights out as he would throw seven scoreless frames. Friedrich would also only walk one batter. This will be the best pitching matchup of the series. I encourage fans to go out to the ballpark and check it out. Game three can really go either way.

Finally we reach game four on our previous journey. This series could potentially be dead by game four or it can be very much alive. For the Mariners they will have former D-Back, Wade Miley on the mound. Miley has been pretty lucky on the moun as he has had decent run support. He sits on an ERA of 4.95 but has a record of 5-2 this season. Hopefully the Mariners bats sleep on it in game four and the Pads can sneak in a W. The former first rounder did spend some time with the D-Backs and is quite familiar with Petco Park. However, unlike Felix, Miley has struggled in the pitching fortress. In eight starts Miley has a 1-4 record with an ERA of 3.62. The Padres should be able to get through Miley. But who knows. I said the same thing about Jake Peavy, Archie Bradley and several others this season. The Padres starter for Thursday is still unknown. It is expected that Colin Rea could get the nod. Rea has been another sufferer of the plague of inconsistency this season. H e has shown moments of greatness and moments of “you belong in triple A bro”. But overall I do feel like Rea is a decent pitcher who on his day can take down anybody. If Rea is to get the nod on Thursday he should be able to get the win on Miley and the M’s. All in all I’m really feeling the third draw of the season for the Pads.

Players To Watch

Nelson Cruz

In case you missed it Nelson Cruz managed to make history in batting practice. Yeah. Cruz crushed a ball out of Safeco Field, literally. Yes out of the stadium completely. This is something that had never been done before. It really was quite incredible when you think about it. Apart from that Cruz is also having a nice season. He is currently has a BA of .284 with 10 dingers and 32 RBIs. Cruz has always been a dangerous hitter and has hit two home runs in eight games against the Friars. I don’t think that anybody will hit a baseball out of Safeco in this series but we’ll see how it goes.

Robinson Cano

Robinson Cano is putting up some insane numbers this season. He is arguably the best second baseman in the game. Cano is tied for most home runs in the MLB with 15. He also is second in RBIs with 44 just behind David Ortiz with 46. Cano has always been an outstanding player. But he is going above and beyond this season. He is one of the elite players in all of baseball at this point. Cano has also had decent career numbers against the Padres. In 14 games Cano has a BA of .308 with a couple of home runs against the Friars. We will more than likely see Cano later on in the year. The Mariners do not come back again, but it is more than likely that we will see Cano in the mid summer classic.

Yangervis Solarte

Yangervis Solarte is blazing hot since coming off of the DL. Solarte went 5-12 with two home runs and five RBIs in this last series in Arizona. I want to see if Yangy can stay consistent, and not turn out to be another player who is consumed by the plague of inconsistency. I feel that with the form he currently has, he is more than capable of doing so. Solarte currently has the highest BA among active Frairs at .311. Solarte isn’t a bad player but many people still question him. This series can be an important one on painting a clearer picture of what Solarte will do this season.

Matchups

Robinson Cano vs James Shields

In case you didn’t know these two were once both in the same division. The AL East. Shields spent many years with the Tampa Bay Rays and Cano of course was a long time Yankee. These two have seen a lot of each other throughout the years. 90 at bats to be exact. Cano has definitely had the upper hand over the years. In 90 at bats Cano has had a BA of .411 and a monstrous OBP of .442. Cano has also manged to hit five home runs off of Shields. This will be a very interesting matchup. It is definitely the one that I am most looking forward to seeing.

Matt Kemp vs Wade Miley

These two have seen each other quite a bit due to the fact that both were once in the NL West. In 24 at bats Kemp has done damage to the former Dback. Kemp has only had seven hits but two of those hits have been home runs and one has been a double, with five RBIs in the mix as well. Kemp needs to get things going a bit more than he has. This would be a good opportunity for “Beast Mode” to be unleashed.

Storyline

Matt Kemp Needs to produce

Matt Kemp really needs to get things going

Matt Kemp realistically has had an okay year. He has hit twelve home runs with 32 RBIs, but he does have a BA of .228 in the mix as well. Another thing to throw in there is his glove as well. Kemp has been way below average with he glove this year as well. In some instances that has even cost the Pads to drop some games. Kemp is basically playing like a Diamondback from 08-2010 at the moment. He’s hitting home runs and that’s about all he’s doing. He’s mirroring guys like Mark Reynolds or Adam Dunn back in those Dbacks days. No contending team wants a guy like that on the team. Especially a guy like that who cost a fortune. Kemp really needs to pick it up so the Padres can part ways with him. This will hurt a lot of Friar Faithful to hear but it’s something that is necessary for the team to progress into the future. Right now Kemp represents what this Padres franchise is. And it is not a picture that you want to be seeing. Don’t get me wrong Kemp is a great guy to have in the club house and he’s great with the fans. But we need to get rid of him in order to progress as a franchise. That won’t happen with the way he’s performing though. Kemp really needs to start performing as of right now if we have any sort of chance of moving him in the near future.

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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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