Padres Series Preview: Pads Start a Tough Series Against The Nats

Credit: Getty Images
Credit: Getty Images

The San Diego Padres are coming off a rough series against the Miami Marlins. They not only lost the series, but suffered some humiliating losses in the mix as well.

The Padres now will face an even tougher task. The team will now start a treacherous four-game series against the Washington Nationals. The Nationals are one of the best teams in baseball. The Nats are currently in first place in the N.L. East with a 41-25 record. To add to it they are also on a very nice run in which they have won five out of their last six games.

The Nationals have also won there three last series. Quite simply this is just an amazing team. The Padres have shown they can compete against some big teams this year. Earlier in the year they tied a four game series against the New York Mets. Let’s also not forget that the Padres beat the Cubs twice in one day, earlier this season. The thing is that the Padres also are 0-9 against the San Francisco Giants. Another “big” team.

The last series that the Nationals lost came surprisingly to the Cincinnati Reds. The Reds are one of the worst teams in baseball with a 26-40 record. If the Reds can beat the Nats, well so can the Friars. This is baseball where anything can happen. But will it happen? I really don’t see it happening. To add to it, I feel like this will be a rough series to stomach. I really feel grim and humiliating moments coming the Padres way this weekend. The highlight of the series could turn out to be the beer fest on Friday night. Or the fedora giveaway on Saturday, rather than the baseball itself.

Pitching Matchups

Tanner Roark vs Erik Johnson 7:10 p.m.

Joe Ross vs Christian Friedrich 7:40 p.m.

Max Scherzer vs Colin Rea 7:10 p.m.

Gio Gonzalez vs Drew Pomeranz 1:40 p.m.

To be completely fair the pitching match ups don’t side either way. Now if Stephen Strasburg was pitching in this series that would completely change. But lucky for the Padres they will not face the SDSU alumni. The first game of the series should be pretty interesting. Erik Johnson will pitch in his first start at Petco Park. We didn’t really get a good read on Johnson in his first start. The main reason being that it was at Coors Field. We can’t judge the guy on a start in that batter’s paradise. Johnson will have an extremely tough opponent in the Nationals. If you thought the Marlins did some damage to us, well the Nats could do far worse. He will also be facing a pretty decent pitcher in Tanner Roark. Roark has had a very nice series. The righty has a 2.93 ERA in 13 starts this season. This won’t be an easy game for the Padres. Really the only way they could have a chance is if Johnson can step it up.

The second game of the series brings another tough matchup. However I do feel that the Padres could take game two of this series. Christian Friedrich has looked impressive since being part of the pitching staff. Friedrich would look real sharp in his last start, which would come at Coors Field. The lefty would throw six innings, strike out nine and only allow one unearned run. That is an amazing outing, especially considering that it was at Coors Field. The Nationals will have Tyson Ross‘s brother Joe Ross on the mound on Friday night. The former Padre Prospect is having a decent year. In 12 starts he has a 5-4 record with a nice 3.01 ERA. Some nice numbers but not really overwhelming numbers. Friedrich is definitely capable of getting the W on Friday Night.

Saturday night’s game will present another interesting matchup. The Padres will have Colin Rea on the mound up against Max Scherzer. Rea had a horrendous start his last time out. He would allow eight runs in two and two-thirds innings of work. Rea will definitely be looking to bounce back on Saturday but will have a very tough opposition. Scherzer has been a decent pitcher but really hasn’t been amazing. In 14 starts “Mad Max” has a 8-4 record with a 3.40 ERA. He is also tied for second in strikeouts in the MLB with 118. Again there are some impressive numbers in there. But the ERA signifies that Rea and the Friars may have a chance to take the third game of the series. Realistically though I do not see the Padres taking the third game of this series. Not only are they facing an elite pitcher, but fatigue could play a factor by the time we get to that game. Even so I do feel like Saturday night’s game should be a good encounter. I do not feel like the Nats will have a complete washout on the Padres. It should be a good game to watch.

Sunday afternoon’s game should definitely be one that the Padres should win. The Friars will have their best pitcher out there in Drew Pomeranz. Pomeranz has looked shaky in his last two starts though. In his last start he would allow five runs in five innings of work against the Marlins. In his start before that he would allow three runs in five innings of work. The problem there was that his opponent were the Atlanta Braves. Pomeranz is definitely looking to bounce back after a rough couple of starts. I definitely feel he is capable of doing so. Pomeranz will face the Nats weakest pitcher in Gio Gonzalez. Gonzalez has really had a pretty rough season. He currently has a record of 3-5 with an ERA of 3.96. Despite this Gio has had success at Petco Park. In two starts at Petco Park he has only allowed two total runs. So you never know. Gonzalez could turn out to be a problem for the Padres. All in all if everything goes to perfection the best possible scenario for the Padres would be a series draw. But I just don’t feel that happening. My prediction for this series is that the Padres will only win one game out of the four. Despite this I do feel like we will see some interesting games.

Credit: AP Photo
Credit: AP Photo

Players To Watch

Bryce Harper

Harper is one of the faces of the MLB. He’s that one player that your average sports fan can name. Of course he has to be in the players to watch. If it wasn’t for his name however, he wouldn’t even be in here. Harper has not had an impressive season by any means. In fact he is struggling quite a bit. Harper is just batting .249 with 13 home runs and 38 RBI. Would you believe it? Wil Myers is having a far better season than Bryce Harper! Who would of thought? Even so Harper is always an exiting player to see. He is always capable of doing something that will either leave you in awe or completely just get you mad. Depending on how you view the game of baseball. I think Harper will have a decent series this weekend at Petco Park. But I don’t have to tell you that. All eyes will be on him regardless of what I have to say.

Daniel Murphy

Now here’s the guy who has been the real star of the Nationals. Daniel Murphy. Murphy went from being an average player, to a postseason hero, to an all-star pretty quickly. Well now Murphy is having the best season of his career. He is the best hitter currently in the game. Murphy has an out of this world BA of .359 with 11 home runs in the mix as well. To add to it his OBP is at .402 as well. Murphy has just been incredible this year for the Washington Nationals. He should be the player to watch instead of that other guy, Bryce.

Wilson Ramos

Ramos offensively is the best catcher in the MLB. He too has an otherworldly BA at .335. Ramos also has 10 home runs and 37 RBI as well. He definitely should be the starting catcher in the MLB All-Star Game over Yadier Molina. There is no question about it. But we all know how the All Star Game works nowadays. It really is quite a shame to see some of these players not get the recognition they deserve. Ramos is currently sitting in third in N.L. catcher ASG voting. He is behind Molina and Buster Posey. So if you want to see someone who deserves to be in the All Star Game play, vote for Ramos.

Wil Myers

Speaking of people who deserve to start in the 2016 All Star Game we move on to Wil Myers. As mentioned before, Myers has had better numbers than Bryce Harper. That is just crazy to think about. Not only has Myers performed better than Harper this season. He is also performing better than guys like Albert Pujols, Giancarlo Stanton, Anthony Rizzo. I mean how can you leave Myers out of the mid summer classic. As far as this series goes. Well we are at Petco Park, so you know what that means. Wil Myers is due to have another really solid series. Myers has somehow transformed Petco Park into his hitting Sanctuary. Whenever we are at home, Myers is the top player to look out for.

Matchups

Matt Kemp vs Max Scherzer

This was a very interesting matchup. Not because of the hitter owning the pitcher but vice versa. Kemp has been completely owned by “Mad Max”. Kemp has had at bats against Scherzer dating back to his Diamondbacks days. Well in 24 at bats Kemp has only achieved one hit off of Scherzer. What is even more alarming is that hit came just last season. It literally took years for Kemp to finally get a hit off of Scherzer. The sheer dominance of Max over Matt really is something amazing. To add to it Kemp has only manged to get one walk off of Scherzer as well. It’ll be interesting to see how it goes this Saturday at Petco Park. Will Scherzer continue his dominance? Or will Kemp finally break the walls of this matchup? We will have to see.

Derek Norris vs Gio Gonzalez

Christian Bethancourt is usually the one who starts those Sunday afternoon games. Well Andy Green might want to play Bethancourt on Saturday or Friday to give Derek Norris the chance of facing Gio Gonzalez. Norris has only had four at bats against Gonzalez. But he had quite the game against him back in 2014. Derek Norris manged to hit two three run jacks off of Gonzalez in one game. That encounter alone is worth giving Norris a shot at Gio once again. Hopefully he does start on Sunday. This is one matchup I would like to see.

Storyline

Drew Pomeranz needs to have a solid outing

Drew Pomeranz has been our best pitcher. However he has had some disappointing performances as of late. In his last start Pomeranz would give up five runs in the first inning. That would include a grand slam to Jeff Mathis. Those five runs would be the only ones he would give up the rest of his outing. Those five runs would also turn out to be the only runs the Marlins would need to win the game. Not many runs are needed to win a ballgame here at Petco Park. So those early runs can really be killer. Pomeranz also looked very shaky against the Atlanta Braves. Now this is not good. To look shaky against the worst team in baseball is always worrying. Pomeranz needs a good start in this upcoming game on Sunday to get back on track. To really bring up his confidence as well. The key will be to not allow those early runs. I definitely believe Pomeranz will be able to do it.

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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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